Happy Birthday Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes

He’s always right, knows a better way, rarely rests and is always building and creating some new invention. He has no volume control whatsoever and can be heard long before he is ever seen.  He is wise beyond his years, which makes him an excellent back seat driver.  He has an insatiable appetite and I have yet to find food he won’t eat.  He is an adventurous culinarian and will gladly eat a hot dog on the curb in dowtown LA or stroll the farmer’s market trying each stand’s pluots. He drives me to the edge of crazy town and then pushes me over, laughing.  He is the love of my life and I will drop everything to squeeze him under the covers after his shower…He’s more like me than I would like to admit…he is my baby boy Michael.  Tomorrow is his birthday and he wants lemon cake.  We baked these lemon buttermilk cupcakes together and stood at the kitchen sink licking the icing bowl.  He kept looking at me wondering when I was going to say, “that’s enough”, but the noises he squeals out when he eats something delicious are too delightful to stop.  This lemon cake is as intense as my little boy, it’s not a whisper of lemon or even a hint.  It’s pucker up, mouthwatering shout, give me some milk lemon cake. It’s not a complicated recipe but it does take a bit of time to juice and zest all the fresh lemons- don’t worry it’s worth it. 
~ Happy Birthday Michael, mommy loves you… 

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature or (9oz of egg)
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted+
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp vanilla
Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time adding the next after each egg is incorporated
add the lemon zest
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
In another bowl, combine ½ cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla.
Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the mixing bowl, beginning and ending with the flour.
Divide the batter evenly between 12-16 cupcake liners
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean
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.
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 cakes (the more holes the better)
With a pastry brush soak the lemon syrup over the tops of the cakes allowing time for syrup to absorb into the holes
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, salt, vanilla and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. If mixture seems to thick to spread, pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds
Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

21 comments… add one
  • High Plains Drifters September 1, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Very cool muffin/cup cake liners. Where'd you get them?

  • Louise September 1, 2010, 3:24 pm

    High Plains- (I'm from Denver) the cupcake wrappers are from Michael's craft store here in LA.

  • Steve September 1, 2010, 4:10 pm

    Just beautiful, Louise. And Happy Birthday to a very lucky young guy.

  • Rosy September 1, 2010, 6:05 pm

    They sound and look delicious. Where did you get the cute cupcake liners? Love them.

  • Renee Fontes September 1, 2010, 7:51 pm

    Michael did you get woke up early on your birthday? I have heard that is a tradition at your house!

    The tradition at my house is my dad always sings his version of the Birthday Song, it goes like this…"This is your birthday song…it won't be very long…happy birthday" Hope you saved me a cupcake!

  • Faith September 1, 2010, 9:38 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Michael! Hope he had a wonderful birthday! The cake sounds delicious and your presentation is absolutely stunning.

  • Mary September 2, 2010, 3:23 pm

    Michael is a luck fella. His cupcakes look and sound delightful and I'm sure he will have a wonderful birthday. Keep up the great work and you'll soon have a gazilion readers. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Priscilla - She's Cookin' September 2, 2010, 5:15 pm

    We share the same birthday – I love him already! And if he has you cooking for him, he's one lucky little guy 🙂

  • Pretty. Good. Food. September 3, 2010, 2:43 am

    Your photographs are gorgeous. These look so delicious!

  • Angela-Thrifty Homemaker September 3, 2010, 11:29 am

    These cupcakes look so good. I shared your link with all my facebook friends.


  • gibknitty September 3, 2010, 12:44 pm

    these look so yummy! i saw your comment about the possible guest-post idea. it could be fun if we figure out the right details. thanks for thinking of me…i will email you over the weekend. cheers!

  • Rosa's Yummy Yums September 3, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Those look so pretty and delicious! I really like your cupcake liners.



  • The Comfort of Cooking September 3, 2010, 4:12 pm

    These are just precious! So glad I found your blog. I love your writing style and photography, Louise. It's all just lovely!

  • Mary September 3, 2010, 5:55 pm

    THOSE are BEAUTIFUL! Bookmarked!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  • Lana September 4, 2010, 5:36 am

    Hmmm, I wrote a comment a couple of days ago, and I do not see it. Does not matter:)
    This post brought tears to my eyes – your Michael sounds just like my youngest, Zoe.
    Many happy returns to him on his (belated now) birthday.
    Greetings from the neighborhood:)

  • Snooky doodle September 4, 2010, 2:06 pm

    oh these look spectacular and must be so yummy 🙂

  • Anonymous September 4, 2010, 6:29 pm

    Wow those look gorgeous! I love the little drips down the side. I've been using the Bella Cupcake Couture wrappers and they are pretty cool. I want to try these as well. Thanks for sharing where you got them. Do they have lots of designs?

  • Anonymous September 4, 2010, 7:12 pm

    These are beautiful. Where are the yellow pearl decorations from, I would love to get some!

  • SK September 7, 2010, 4:43 am

    these are absolutely beautiful. i love the presentation!

  • Indie.Tea September 7, 2010, 7:47 am

    Those are so pretty! Anything with drizzle dripping down the side looks lovely, and the little pearly topping doesn't hurt either. Not to mention lemon buttermilk flavoring..

  • Terrianne, Call me Ree September 7, 2010, 8:31 pm

    That's so sweet! I'm sure your baby boy had a wonderful birthday, with such an awesome mom, and loved his cupcakes. They're gorgeous!

Leave a Comment