- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lemon juice, divided
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
- Vanilla bean frosting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
In another bowl, stir to combine ½ cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla, then set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and 2 cups granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs to the mixer while it’s running, 1 at a time. Allow each egg to mix in for approximately 30-45 seconds before adding the next. Once the eggs are incorporated, add lemon zest.
Turn the mixer speed down to low/medium speed and then alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures, about one third at a time, mixing until just combined. Begin and end with the flour.
Once all of the ingredients have been combined, continue to mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice.
Divide the batter evenly between 12 cupcake liners. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves to make a lemon simple syrup.
When the cupcakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a cooling rack set over a tray or sheet pan.
With a wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes into the top of the cupcakes (the more holes the better).
With a pastry brush, brush the lemon syrup over the tops of the cupcakes, allowing time for syrup to absorb into the holes.
Frost with vanilla icing.
Lemon Bundt cake: This recipe can be doubled and then baked for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean. Poke holes into the top of the cake, then spoon over lemon simple syrup as with the cupcakes. No need to double the glaze, 1 recipe will cover the cake perfectly. In a rush? Simply dust the cake with powdered sugar instead of frosting it.