triple lemon cupcakes.

this is the cupcake version of what I'm making for my brothers wedding cake.
and let me tell you.. its pretty freakin' good.
although, if i make it again i will not put the curd as a filling in the cupcake, i think i will spread a thin layer on top before i frost. 
there was way too much in such a little bundle of goodness.
that said, here's the recipe.
oh, and p.s. this recipe does call for coconut, but i opted out of it.

Lemon Coconut Cloud Cake
From Baking Unplugged by Nicole Rees

Makes 12 servings, or 24 cupcakes.

Lemon Cake Layers:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 1 tbs unsalted butter, soft
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest 
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup milk, room temperature
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon curd recipe below.

preheat oven to 350 degrees and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.  sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  One at a time, beat int he eggs and then the egg yolks, beating for about 20 second after each addition.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk starting and finishing with the flour.  Stir in the lemon juice until just combined.  Divide the batter evenly between the pans.  bake for 23-30 minutes (about 15 minutes for cupcakes) until the top springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted near the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging.  Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes.  remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely.

Lemon Curd Filling:
From Baking Unplugged by Nicole Rees

Makes 1 3/4 cups

3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
6 tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest until combined.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the egg yolks.  Slowly pour half of the hot lemon into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.  Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and reduce to the heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a container.  Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and chill until set before using, about 1 hour. 

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting with Lemon:
From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes 

I took Martha's fluffy vanilla frosting and added some lemon zest and extract to give it a little kick.

Makes about 4 cups

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner' sugar, shifted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
the zest of one whole lemon 

with an electric mixer, beat utter on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium.  Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed;  after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 second to aerate frosting, then return to medium.  This process should take about 5 minutes.  Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.  Add vanilla, lemon zest and extract, and beat until smooth.  If not suing immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container.  Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake:
Trim the domed top from one of the cake layers and place on a serving plate.  Spread with 1 1/4 cups of the lemon curd and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut.  Top with the remaining cake layer. Then frost.  If making ahead, refrigerate until ready to serve.  Let the cake sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before slicing to let the cake warm up and become tender.    


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