Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Labor Inducing Lemon Cupcakes

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Labor Inducing Lemon Cupcakes

Charlottesville folklore has it that if you eat these Lemon Drop Cupcakes at Cappellino's Crazy Cakes you will go into labor 24-48 hours later. Well. Cappellino's closed down a couple of years ago. So I did a quick Google search and found a homemade recipe that insured labor would start after eating these cupcakes. (I later found out that the cupcakes can still be found in town but at another location.) Yesterday I went to work in my kitchen and whipped up a HUGE batch of these cupcakes. They make 24. The breakdown of the lemony goodness is, lemon cake, with lemon syrup, with lemon glaze, and lemon buttercream. The fresh lemon is what is supposed to make you go into labor. I did make some alterations to the recipe.

One thing, you all know I don't eat a lot of sweets. This is A LOT OF SUGAR! Once upon a time I would have been find eating 6 cupcakes in one siting, but not anymore. I got 4 down over the space of 4 hours. By number 3 I was ready to puke, but my friends said to eat as many as I can and then one more. So just before bed I forced down a 4th. But here I am, the morning after my cupcake binge, still pregnant. 40 weeks and 6 days. Induction is scheduled for 24 hours so one way or another this baby is coming out!
Lemon-Sugar's Labor Inducing Lemon Drop Cupcakes

Lemon Drop Cupcakes 


Cake Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups white sugar
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (4-8 lemons, depending on size) I USED 9!
3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Syrup Ingredients: 
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I added an extra 2 tablespoons of juice)
1/2 cup white sugar

Glaze Ingredients:
2 cups powered sugar
31/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used 4 tablespoons)

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh squeeze lemon juice (I used 4 tablespoons)

Optional Lemon Zest Decoration:
4 lemons, well scrubbed
2 cups sugar
1 cup cool water


Cake Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add lemon zest.
4. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. In another bowl, combine lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.
6. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternating to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
7. Fill each cupcake liner 1/2-3/4 full (do not over fill, they will explode!) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake!
8. Remove from oven and remove from cupcake pans as soon as possible. Let cool on a wire rack.
9. Begin prepping the lemon syrup.

Syrup Directions:
1. Combine sugar and lemon juice in pan over low heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Set aside.
2. After cakes have cool for 10 minutes, spoon the syrup over the tops of the cupcakes.
3. Allow the cakes to cool completely before glazing and frosting.

Glaze Directions:
1. Combine sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whist until smooth.
2. Using the back of a spoon, smooth some glaze over the top of each cupcake. Will run a little.
3. Each cupcake will use about 3/4 teaspoon of glaze.

Buttercream directions: 
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and salt for 30 seconds.
2. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and lemon juice and beat for 5-6 minutes until frosting is fluffy. Can add food coloring to make more yellow (I didn't because I didn't want any artificial coloring or flavors in my cupcakes.)
4. Add to piping bag and frost as desired.
5. Decorate with yellow sugar pearls, sugar, or a lemon drop candy or even a sliver of lemon zest for decoration. (again, I didn't add a topping I would go with candied lemon zest if I had thought about it more!)

Candied Lemon Zest Directions (just for fun!): 
1. Remove zest from lemons with a veggie peeler, keeping the pieces long. Remove white pith using a paring knife. Place julienned zest in a small bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes; drain.
2. Bring sugar and cool water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When sugar is completely dissolved, add julienned zest, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand overnight.

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