I adapted this cupcake recipe loosely from Two Sugar Bugs’ ‘Simply Vanilla Cupcakes’ recipe! Do yourself a favor and check out Tasia’s site; she is an amazing lady with a beautiful blog!
Lemon Drop Cupcakes:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 T lemon extract
2 T lemon zest (I recommend fresh, but you can buy it dried)
1 small package lemon pudding mix (just the mix; ignore the package instructions!)
1 cup milk - I used whole milk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup vodka (can replace with ¼ cup sour cream if desired)
Melt and cool butter; you don’t want it to cook your eggs!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (180C), and prepare 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Combine all dry ingredients except pudding mix in a large bowl, then combine cooled butter, eggs, lemon extract & zest, pudding mix, milk, sour cream, and vodka in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full. (I didn’t want my liners to overflow, and I found I had enough leftover batter for about 16 mini cupcakes, so I made some of those as well!)
Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
The hang time while your cupcakes are cooling is a great time to make your frosting!
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons vodka
1 T lemon extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with vodka until frosting reaches desired consistency. I recommend making it fairly thick for this recipe, so that the frosting swirls hold their shape and the pipettes stay put. Add lemon extract and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
- 24 cupcake liners
- 24 Wilton ‘Shot Tops’ martini pipettes – I bought mine online on Amazon!
- additional 2 T lemon juice, 2 shots vodka, and 2 oz simple syrup (this can be purchased online, or made by adding 1 cup sugar to 1 cup boiling water, stirring to dissolve / cool)
- 24 lemon wedges (I used almost 3 fresh lemons)
- White Sugar sprinkles – I love the Wilton brand
Noooow – onto the fun part!! Decorating!
Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a tip (I used a close star similar to the wilton jumbo 1B). Pipe frosting in large swirls onto your cupcakes, and add a dusting of white sugar sprinkles.
‘Shot Top’ pipette filling –
Combine 2 Tablespoons lemon juice with 2 shots vodka and 2 shots of simple syrup, and stir to mix well. Squeeze the air out of your pipettes, then submerge the open end and allow them to fill. Press a pipette into the frosting on each cupcake.
Slice 24 lemon wedges and press a lemon wedge into the frosting on top of each cupcake.
Step back, give yourself a high-five, and admire your amazing cupcakes! When they’re ready to be eaten, squeeze the pipette to infuse the cupcake with your Lemon drop cocktail mix! (Or drink it by itself and then eat the cupcake; no judgement here!)