Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake Cupcakes
Food Styled by Robin Krause
What’s the fairest pound cake of them all? It could be these cupcakes that are baked in a decorative floral cupcake tin. The cupcakes can also be baked in a Texas-size muffin tin with ½-cup-capacity openings. Using the floral cupcake pan and the combination of cream cheese and butter for these cupcakes produces a tender cupcake with a slightly crisp, but not sugary exterior. A simple dusting of powdered sugar is all the garnish needed for the top of the floral pattern cupcakes (this will not cover the pattern). If using a muffin tin, a drizzle of lemon glaze looks nice.
Makes 12 cupcakes
baking spray with flour or 2 tablespoons melted butter plus flour for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
powdered sugar for dusting
Lemon Glaze (optional)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 325°F. Use baking spray with flour to coat cupcake pan, or use a pastry brush to carefully brush inside of tins with melted butter. If using patterned tins, dust generously with flour then tilt tins to coat evenly; tap out excess flour. Flouring is not necessary for muffin tins.
For the cupcakes: Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, blend butter and cream cheese, 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until mixture is smoothly blended and lightened slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Add eggs in two additions, beating 1 minute after each. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat 1 minute. On low speed, mix in flour mixture just to incorporate. Fill tin openings with a scant ½ cup batter. Bake just until tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 26 minutes if using floral cupcake tin and 30 minutes for cupcakes in the muffin tin.
Cool cupcakes in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Using a small knife, loosen cupcakes from pan. Carefully place wire rack on top of cupcakes in pan. Protecting hands with potholders and holding pan and rack together, invert pan and rack to release cupcakes onto rack. Turn cupcakes right side up to cool completely. Dust tops lightly with powdered sugar.
For the glaze: In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar and lemon juice together to form a syrupy glaze. Using a small spoon, drizzle glaze over top of cooled cupcakes. Cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature up to 2 days.