Friday, August 7, 2009

Lemon cupcakes

Photo shoot, the morning after. They're glowing.

Fake it, don't make it, right? First off, I'm way too lazy to make things regularly from scratch. I have no patience. Also, when I bake, I like recipes that are fool proof, because I tend to not measure and dump ingredients in, like I'm making some sort of crazy stew. That's why this recipe is perfect: you can't mess it up (hello, boxed cake mix and pudding), and I swear everyone will screech, "They're so moist!" or "They're so light!". I am such a con artist.

So, here are some super-duper quick lemon cupcakes that are perfect summertime treats. I augment store-bought whipped icing a bit, and it essentially hides any store-bought taste (but in my opinion, store-bought icings are making big strides these days). Feel free to make your own icing, of course. My new rule is that one should always add pudding mix to a boxed cake - it's fluffy and moist beyond belief, and if you have questionable morals like me, you can lie and say they're homemade. Instead, you dumped some box in a mixing bowl. Score.

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package lemon instant pudding
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the icing:
  • 1 container WHIPPED white icing
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • Lemon extract or fresh lemon juice (add to your desired specification)
  • 2 T. marshmallow fluff (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs, oil, and lemon juice in large bowl with mixer on low speed until moistened. (Batter will be thick.) Beat on medium speed 2 min. Spoon batter evenly into 24 paper-lined 2-1/2-inch muffin cups.
  2. Bake 18 -21 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, beat store-bought icing and lemon extract and/or fresh lemon juice (add as much as you like, about 2 teaspoons) in an electric mixer or with a hand-held mixer with sugar, butter, and fluff (if desired). Beat for about 3-4 minutes. Frost cupcakes.
Makes 24 cupcakes.

Right out of the oven. Fill cupcakes about 3/5 full. I know. It's very exact.

Panting for a cupcake (don't let those crazy eyes seduce you).

Freshly frosted to bring some sunshine into your life (and stomach).


  1. I can attest that these are very good, and the icing really had me fooled--it did not have that icing from the plastic tub taste. Instead of lemon extract, which I don't have, I would use some lemon zest. Mom

  2. I hope you are feeling well! I have been MIA for a few months, but I wanted to say hi. I love reading your blog. It's wonderful to look into your spirit:)


  3. Lemon zest is a good idea - why don't you make some with it and I'll do an official taste test?

    I'm feeling pretty good! (Much better than before the surgery, but still Crohnsy, but I'll take it.) And thank you for the blog compliment! I know it's been less Crohns-related, but heck, why not, right? I'm going to wonder over to your blog now; welcome back!