Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy 2 Years/200th Post/Blogiversary! -- Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Photo by my former-photographer-turned-print-artist boyfriend ;)

Two years. I feel like it was just yesterday that I'd destroyed my kitchen and decided to take pictures of it for the first time. Just yesterday that I posted my first recipe, Mac and Cheese, thinking that if nothing else, this blog would simply be an online recipe collection for personal use. My pictures were horrible, and while I still have a very LONG way to go, at least my pictures are somewhat tolerably decent these days. Basically, this blog began because I was addicted to trying new recipes and wanted some way to document the process.


In that sense, this blog is everything that it ever was. Something to show for all the money I keep spending on kitchen adventures.

...and cats. Always cats.

I've come quite a long way from my first few months/year of posting though. It's fun to look back at older posts and see how much I've grown as a blogger, as a cook (or chef? I can never remember), as a writer, as a recipe developer, as a still-very-novice-but-learning food photographer, and as a person. Not to mention the fact that this blog is inspiring a freaking BOOK in the near future... wow. If you'd told me two years ago that today I'd be sending in my final book proposal to my AGENT I'd probably laugh at you.

Met this guy this year, isn't he handsome?

Life certainly has changed in the past two years, that's for sure. In addition to this blog changing and growing and becoming a bigger part of my life than I ever thought possible, I accomplished so much in this year. I had my first published piece in a national magazine. I moved out of my parents' house. I held the titular role in a local community theater production. I visited Iceland. I got my first pet that is all my own. I met the most amazing man who became my boyfriend. I developed a strong circle of friends who I love and admire. I FINALLY HAVE A LE CRUESET DUTCH OVEN (guys, I'm really excited about this). And I won a contest that snagged me an agent and is paving the way for my first published book.

Wearing the local fashions of Iceland with friends

There is surely a lot to celebrate.

My party-time outfit, and my messy kitchen

Despite putting myself on a frantic diet in order to fit into last year's bikini before summer hits, I felt like a cake is the only proper way to mark this milestone of a year. However, there was one problem: can you believe I don't have a cake pan?? I'd been borrowing a friend's set and he'd cashed in and taken it back. So, my cake idea turned into cupcakes.


I love lemon. When I indulge in a dessert, despite an undying love of chocolate, I rarely actually opt for chocolate. If there's a lemon tart or a citrus cake I am all over it. Plus, I had just bought two pounds of meyer lemons that were sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used. Meyer lemons are the best lemons, because they think that they are oranges. Sweet, but still tangy and almost sour, the zest and the juice of these lend themselves perfectly to baked goods. So I figured it was only fitting that my two year cupcake be a lemony cupcake with a lemon curd core and a strawberry buttercream topping!



Meyer Lemon Blogaversary Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Cupcakes (adapted from The Alchemist)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • Juice and zest from 5 Meyer lemons
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Buttercream

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3+ cups confectioner's sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with the prettiest cupcake liners you can find.

In large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in lemon juice and water until completely combined, then slowly whisk in sugar and continue whisking until dissolved. Remove from heat and add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir vigorously until completely combined.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, transferring to a larger bowl if saucepan is too small. Pour batter into the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

If frosting immediately, place in the refrigerator to cool, about 20 minutes. If desired, core cupcakes and fill with lemon curd (recipe forthcoming!).

Buttercream: Slice strawberries in quarters and sprinkle with sugar. Microwave on high for one minute, then smash with fork. Let cool for at least ten minutes.

In a stand mixer or large bowl using a hand mixer, blend together strawberries, butter, and vanilla until just combined. Slowly add confectioner's sugar until desired texture is reached. Frosting should be fluffy, hold shape but still be soft and not wet-looking.

Use a piping bag to pipe frosting onto tops of cupcakes. Keep in fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
Thank you for all your support!

25 comments:

  1. Congrats on 2 years and 200 posts! Lots of hard work :) These cupcakes sound super tasty-- I love lemon cupcakes and imuplse bought lemon cake mix yesterday (which I NEVER do). Should've held out until today :)

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    1. Oh I still succumb to cake mix, and often. Sometimes it's totally worth saving a few extra minutes in the kitchen!

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  2. It sounds like an amazing two years, and these cupcakes seem like the perfect celebration!

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  3. It's been a pretty rad 2 years :D
    Congrats girly!!!

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  4. Those cupcakes are gorgeous! Congrats on 2 years!

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  5. Ashley, congratulations, two years of blogging and so many milestones! The recipe for these lovely Meyer Lemon Cupcakes looks wonderful - the perfect little treats for your celebration!
    Hope you are doing well and wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

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  6. Love your blog, girl! And... HAPPY 2nd BLOGIVERSARY! Wow, you really do have much to celebrate and how totally fab to have your own sweet pet (love cats... have two, boy and girl Bombays, you can check my pets page via link from my About page at my blog) and a handsome, sweet guy to celebrate with! Congrats on all the good fortune and opportunities that have come your way from hard work and dedication. You deserve it all! So happy to have met you “Ashley Bee”. Thanks for dropping by to say hello at my blog. Can't wait to see what else you do and will follow your blog. Best wishes and may all your hopes and dreams come true! xo

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    1. Aw, thanks! I saw you comment somewhere and "wicked good" reminded me of Boston so I clicked. Glad I did as well! :)

      Bombays are GORGEOUS cats!

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  7. Happy blog birthday! No matter the diet, cake is always the best way to celebrate :). Especially lemon and strawberry!

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  8. Happy blig birthday! What lovely cakes you've made to celebrate.

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  9. Congrats on two years and all you've accomplished in that time! You should pat yourself on the back. And eat a few of these cupcakes because, dang, they sound delicious.

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  10. Wow girl-you rock! And you still have so much ahead of you! Incredible.

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  11. Congratulations on 2 years - that's awesome! And I loooove the look of these cupcakes - lemon + strawberry = pure perfection!

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  12. Congrats on 2 years and 200 posts! Great milestone to celebrate with these delicious cupcakes! Very pretty... I love the lemon curd core. Oh I love lemon curd - I can eat it by itself. Congrats again!

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  13. Happy Blogiversary! Sounds like the last two years have been quite a ride :-)

    And heck with a cake... cupcakes mean you can eat more and it doesn't seem as bad :-D

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  14. Woohoo! Congrats on 2 years AND 200 posts! These cupcakes are perfect for celebrating. I love me some strawberry buttercream!

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  15. Congratulations on 2 years my friend. Love this recipe, I have such a weakness for meyer lemons.

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    1. I know! I went to your blog for inspiration :) I need to do that Meyer lemon peel salt/sugar idea!

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  16. Congratulations and those cupcakes are a wonderful way to celebrate. I love the idea of using strawberry buttercream on top.

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  17. Yay on such a great year and a great blog! I always love coming over to see what you're up to! And a LE CREUSET DUTCH OVEN?! I totally need one of those.

    I actually think cupcakes are better for celebrating than cake because there's a higher frosting:cake ratio. Which is my favorite. :) These look gorgeous and are worth breaking your diet a little bit!

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  18. I will definitely celebrate your blogiversary with a few of these cupcakes :)

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  19. You sure have come a long way :) What an amazing 2 years it has been! Can't wait to read your book :)

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  20. Happy Blog Anniversary! Keep on doing what you do, you've had a great year and I bet the next one will be just as exciting!

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  21. Congratulations on your 2 years, how you've grown, and your book!!!!
    Woo hoo!

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