Going back to school has been a great experience so far. For the last few years, I had been procrastinating it, but finally when I am physically not 100 percent perfect, I pushed myself to it. I have always admired confection and the art of decorating it. While I continued to bake, my decorating skills had been always pretty rudimentary. I have always admired cupcakes at the baker's window or marvelled at a multi-tiered cake iced in myriad colors. YouTube tutorials are there and shall be there, but I wanted a hands down experience of learning from a teacher in class. And so the saga began. It started with cookies. How exactly does one decorate cookies was my first back to school experience. My teacher Mindy Badgley is an absolute doll with patience personified. She inspires you at every step, even when you are doing the simplest of decorating exercises.

So Mondays became Baking Days at the household. Well, that seems to have become the norm for the past few weeks. I have baked and I have iced, and I must say, I have enjoyed myself. Now that my cake decorating classes are quite on a  roll, I finally took out some time, to pen down.

It was Cupcake Time at the class!!!  After a few weeks of baking quite big chocolate cakes, I decided on vanilla cupcakes. It was time to give chocolate a miss for some time.  I have been binging on chocolates in general, so thought that Vanilla Cupcakes with a dash of lemon, would be perky.

I have never baked with cake flour and mostly all cupcake recipes I came across today, used cake flour. Till I decided to go back to my baking Godmother: Stephanie Jaworski. She always has a solution to my baking dilemmas, and she did so, even today. Loved the simplicity of her Vanilla Cupcakes and yes, it did have the hint of lemon, I was looking for. A big virtual hug goes to Stephanie ! With the holidays round the corner, I thought of sending a batch of cupcakes to Hubby's workmates. All of the boys have been under loads of work pressure, so though of sweetening their day a bit, with some treats. Here's hoping that they like the lil Thanksgiving cheer, which I shall be sending along with Hubby. 


Recipe Courtesy: Vanilla Cupcakes by Stephanie Jaworski(Joy of Baking) 

Butter(Unsalted): 1/2 cup (1 stick) at room temperature
Granulated White Sugar: 2/3 cup
Eggs: 3 large
Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
Lemon Zest(outer yellow skin of a lemon): Zest of 1 large Lemon
All Purpose Flour: 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp (Skip the salt, if you are using salted butter)
Milk: 1/4 cup


Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C and line a 12 cup muffin pan, with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. If you have a stand mixer, then use the bowl of the stand mixer, with the paddle attachment.

Add in the eggs one a time, beating after every addition. Ensure that the eggs are at room temperature.

Add in the Vanilla extract and mix it well.

In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. With a dry whisk, mix in the lemon zest and whisk everything well.

Alternately in the flour and milk, to the butter mixture, in three batches, beginning and ending with flour.Ensure that the mixer is on low speed, or else you will land up with flour all over you, rather than in the batter. You might have to scrape down the sides of the bowl, while your are mixing it. Do not over beat the flour mixture, or you will land up with tough cupcakes.

Use an ice-cream scoop or two spoons to evenly spoon out the batter onto the muffin pan.

Bake for around 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Check at the 15 minute mark. Do not over bake.

Cool them on a wore rack, after your remove them from the oven.

Frost the cupcakes only when they have totally cooled.

Here's how I frosted the Cupcakes !!  

Dig into some soft velvety cupcakes.

Bon Appetit !!! 

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