Last week I went to a cupcake meeting.
That’s right. A meeting. About cupcakes.
Somehow it feels wrong to call it a meeting when it is about cupcakes, but it truly was a meeting. I’m baking in Iron cupcake next weekend and this was our prep meeting. I’m extremely excited and slightly overwhelmed. Not about the baking, but about the display and all the little things I still need to do and everything leading up to it. Don’t worry I’ll post all about it afterwards.
Back to cupcake meetings. There was an e-mail that went out proposing people bring cupcakes to said meeting. I’ve wanted to try my chocolate cupcakes again, however I wanted something a little bit more summery.
And then it came to me. Lemon basil cupcakes. What, what?! Yes, yes!
I’m slightly obsessed with this boxwood basil plant I have. Maybe more than slightly, it’s pretty much my favorite and I thought its gorgeous little leaves would make an adorable garnish. These cupcakes are infused with lemon basil simple syrup. It’s sweet and light and so delicious. Then they’re topped with lemon butter cream. Good, good, good. Finally a little bit of lemon zest and a tiny leaf of basil to finish them off.
They’re like totally adorable. And delicious. I also brushed the tops of the hot cupcakes with the lemon basil syrup. The basil is like a tiny whisper at the end of each bite. Next time I do these I might punch it up more. I think the basil could kick you in the teeth and still be amazing.
So eat some cupcakes. And give some to everyone you know. Too many cupcakes around is bad news for your tummy and love handles.
Lemon Basil Cupcakes
Makes 24 regular or 84 mini cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon basil syrup
2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups.
2. Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir milk, lemon basil syrup and vanilla in another small bowl. Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add sugar slowly while mixing. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape bowl and beat until smooth.
3. Reduce speed and slowly add 1/3 of flour mixture. Alternate adding milk mixture and flour mixture until all ingredients added.
4. Divide batter among muffin tins. Using a small cookie scoop is the easiest way to do this, filling each cup with two large scoops (one scoop if doing mini cupcakes). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes (about 14 minutes for mini cupcakes). Let cool slightly. Brush tops with more lemon basil syrup. Frost cupcakes once completely cool. Garnish with lemon zest and basil.
Lemon Basil Syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil
1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Transfer to a jar or glass container. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.
Lemon Basil Buttercream
3 egg whites
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 sticks softened butter
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon basil syrup
1. Place heat proof mixing bowl over pan of simmering water. Add egg whites and sugar, whisking occasionally until temperature reads 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Transfer bowl to mixer and beat on medium speed for 6 minutes. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly stream in lemon basil syrup, watching mixture closely to ensure it doesn’t get to thin.