Moist & Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes made with Healthy Greek Yogurt, topped with a Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting. These Little Treats are so Cheerful and Bright, they’re a Perfect Spring Dessert! Easy One Bowl Recipe.
Last week was glorious.
Did you get a little taste of Spring? We did. And we soaked up every second of it.
It wasn’t a full on, bust out your strappy sandals Spring, but it was a, hey, lets shove the last of the slush off the sidewalk and go for a bike ride with just a fleece on kinda Spring. I’ll take it!
Even though it was still pretty chilly, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. It felt so good and made me think of Easter and all the lemony things.
I’ve been craving lemony things. Light, tangy, lemony things. With a fluffy swirl of something on top.
It was also my little guy’s birthday last week. I took this photo yesterday:
… and then I must have blinked my eyes or something, and somehow this happened:
So I wanted him to have some cupcakes to take to his preschool friends, and chocolate is not allowed at the preschool. Vanilla is perfectly nice but like I told you, lemony things. So these little babies were born.
Aren’t they so cute? I garnished a few of them with candy daisies and leaves. (They are called “Icing Decorations,” and they’re made by Wilton. Sorry I can’t find a link anywhere! I found them at Michaels. Same goes for the papers.)
And Spring has sprung!
Mini cupcakes are so perfect for preschoolers. I mean, a full-sized cupcake is no sweat for a grownup or a bigger kid to handle, but the littlest ones do sometimes have a hard time managing them. The mini size is just right for tiny hands and mouths. I figure on two mini cupcakes per child.
But this recipe works equally well with standard size cupcakes. They bake up so puffy and fluffy, because of the acidity in the yogurt + baking soda. If you have trouble finding Greek yogurt, you can substitute regular (plain) yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk. Any of these will really yield a moist and flavorful cake.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, and cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 ounces (half a block) softened cream cheese (not reduced fat, not whipped)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a mini cupcake pan with papers.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice, mix for 30 seconds, and scrape the bowl again. Mix for another minute.
- Fill the cupcake liners about ½ to ⅔ full. Be careful not to overfill, the cupcakes will puff up a lot as they bake.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the mini cupcakes are springy to the touch, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with one or two moist crumbs. Regular sized cupcakes will need about 18-20 minutes bake time. Cool completely before frosting.
- Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together on medium speed, using the paddle attachment.
- Stir in the vanilla extract, and switch to the whip attachment.
- Slowly drizzle in the cold cream, while whipping on high speed. The frosting will probably look a little loose in the bowl, but it actually holds its shape when piped.
You are going to love how fluffy these cupcakes bake up. They are bursting with lemon sunshine, soft and moist, but not too delicate to hold up to generous swirl of tangy cream cheese frosting. Speaking of which, my search for the ultimate cream cheese frosting continues. For my Hummingbird Cake, I used a variation on this recipe. It’s great if you like a less heavy option. Then I have this one, from when I made Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies. Also a good one; it holds its shape well when piped. But neither of these are as stiff as I’d like. They seem loose in the mixing bowl, however, once they are piped they do hold up well. A reader clued me in to this recipe, and I’m anxious to try it next time! I’ll keep you posted
For now, I hope you all are enjoying the beginning stages of Spring! It’s taking its time getting here but I’m so happy we’re headed in the right direction! xoxo
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