Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lemon-Filled Lemon Cupcakes

Hello out there! It's only been 6 months away from blogging, but it feels like years. If there's anyone still reading, I'd love to explain why I've been away, and why I chose to come back now.

Lemon Cupcakes

During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was really, really sick. It went beyond feeling nauseous all the time; I developed a complete aversion to anything edible. Along with that came the inability to be in my kitchen. There were weird smells that I had never smelled before and that no one else could detect. It was so bad that even passing through made me throw up (sorry, I know this is a food blog!) immediately on contact. I came to dread anything remotely related to food.

After those days of fun passed, I was left feeling completely empty. I could eat again, but my passion for cooking, baking, and even eating had died. In the past few months, there has been more takeout and prepared, processed foods served in our house than I care to admit. It's felt like a deep loss, actually. This thing that was such a huge part of my identity just disappeared, and I've had to work really hard to start to rebuild it. And that's exactly what I plan on doing now.

I've started baking a little bit again, and giving myself permission to not photograph or blog every single thing that I make. Taking baby steps. Before I know it, life is going to start throwing some beautiful curveballs at me, and I desperately want my outlet, my hobby, my passion back before that happens. I know the spark is in me somewhere, I just need to keep at this and I know that it'll ignite eventually.

So that's where I've been. If you made it through that, please let me treat you to some cupcakes! Lemon buttermilk cake, filled with lemon curd, topped with cream cheese frosting. They are as good as they sound, I promise.

Lemon Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tbsp), plus 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Lemon Curd for filling (I used the kind from Trader Joe's, feel free to use your favorite recipe!)
Frosting: Cream Cheese Frosting from this Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake recipe - makes exactly enough to frost 24 cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line 24 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

4. Fill cupcakes with lemon curd using your favorite filling technique (mine is described here), then frost and serve immediately.


Linda said...

Yum! Loving lemons right now.

Angela said...

Welcome back. What a thing to live through. Your cupcakes look refreshing and a good way to return.

(wife.) said...

YAY <3

Julie said...

Aw, Amy, we are definitely still here. I'm so sorry to hear about your struggle -- when I read that it felt like a deep loss, I know that must be an understatement, because I can imagine how I would feel. Big hugs to you as you ease back in.

Kat said...

Hooray! I lost forty pounds when I was pregnant...soooooooooo sick the whole way through. After the kiddo shows up, the smell and taste aversions completely disappear.
So glad you are back! Lemon is my favorite so I'm definitely going to have to make these.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Still here. Of course. Take it easy on you, but it is sure good to see you back here.

Allison said...

These look amazing!! And congratulations on your graduation from morning sickness... 33+ weeks and I'm still waiting for mine! Haha! Dr. says that it will come some time around week 40 :)

Jochi said...

Hi! Welcome back!!! I follow this blog since months. I´m from Argentina and I love your recipies.
Congratulations for the new life. I have a little 4 month baby and is the best.

My blog:

Jessica said...

Yuck, I was the same way my first trimester! I survived on peanut butter and pretzels. :/

BUT, I'm over that and can eat whatever I want. Including these delicious cupcakes.

Amy Huff said...

I had a similar experience and can relate completely. I'm glad you're on the mend and giving yourself a break on taking on too much.

Lemon is one of my favorites so I can't wait to try this one.

Lara said...

I'm so happy to read this!!! Yay for getting back in the kitchen! I'm so with you. Everything I USED to love to eat was horrible smelling the first trimester. SO bad. All my body craved the second trimester was whatever was going to make me gain all the weight back I lost during the first trimester. Then, 3rd was smooth sailing! I'm so glad you're past the tough stuff! I'm so excited for you and Andy!

Maggie said...

You're back! This makes me so happy! A big hug as you make your way toward week 40... and I'm so happy you're finding your way in the kitchen again, for you AND for me! xoxo

Jennifer said...

I can totally relate! I went through the same thing and started baking again about halfway through my pregnancy. You'll feel better soon!

Emily (The Culinary Couple) said...

Welcome back, Amy! Fortunately, I had no food aversions while pregnant -- I was just too tired to do it! And I didn't spend much time in the kitchen during Sam's first few weeks, either. But I think I've finally gotten my groove back, and it feels so good. It's obvious how much you've missed it, too. Wishing you the best in the final weeks before baby girl arrives!

Susan Rosen said...

Hi, Amy. So sorry to read about your awful time; I had wondered where you went after the adorable "bun in the oven" post. Glad to hear you're feeling better, and I know you'll be feeling perfect (and over the moon) in a
few weeks!

Lindsay said...

Welcome back, Amy!

I'm so sorry to hear about your morning sickness. It is incredible how our bodies react to pregnancy. I didn't have any morning sickeness, but craved some really interesting things - including foods I am not sure I have ever eaten before. I'm glad to hear you are feeling a bit better.

I just found a recipe on pinterest for Meyer lemon curd and your recipe gives me a good reason to give that a try! YUM!

jamesavery said...

I've always wanted to know some ways to fill cupcakes!!! Thank you for taking the time to post this! It has helped me so much...!!
Boxomania Play house

Keeley said...

I just found your blog via a Google search for pizza dough breadsticks. I'm sure your little girl has arrived, but I'm pregnant right now (due in August) and I can totally relate to the being a food blogger who is now totally turned off by the kitchen and cooking. At 23 weeks I'm just starting to attempt to cook meals and I still gag when I smell the trash or the garbage disposal. I hope all is well!

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