Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Tangy and tart homemade lemon cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment to a sweet and fluffy lemon cake. A piece of candied fruit adds flair and an extra hit of citrus. Soak in all you can before winter citrus season ends!

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Helloooo? Is this thing on?

Oh! Um, hi! It's me? Jesse? That girl who bakes and cooks and writes about it and shares posts? Yeah! That's the one. I'm back!

I've been super slackin' on the blog over the past couple of weeks, and I have no excuses but work and alcohol. This isn't to say I haven't been baking! I've been baking plenty. But pictures usually fall to the wayside (or turn out a blurry freaking mess) when you plan to shoot after boozy brunch. Because, as we all know, bottomless mimosas often segue straight into giant Moscow Mules.

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Oh? That's just me and my ratchet friend group? You're probably right. MOVING ON.

But seriously, guys, my life has been phenomenal. I live in the MOST wonderful location with amazing people and have had a blast making new friends and trying new happy hour spots. I found the perfect gym for me - MINT* - and have been revisiting my love for fitness classes that tapered off after I left UVA. And between all the positive vibezzzz and my new job as a skincare consultant for Rodan + Fields (<--my website, email me for more deets/if you want radiant wonderful ageless skin!), my skin has never looked better. So, yeah, it's been a good couple weeks :)

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*DC area readers, if you're looking for a gym and haven't tried MINT yet, DO IT! They offer a 5 day free trial, and my mind was set from day one.

I was at Saufhaus this past Saturday for a trivia participant's birthday when he suggested I bring cupcakes to trivia on Tuesday. Turn down baking? Me? Never! Once I sobered up from the boozy weekend (see below), I headed to Trader Joe's to stock up on all things citrus. As such, these cupcakes were born!

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These cupcakes are SUPER flavorful and delicious, but if you're anything like me, you know the best part is that sweet, creamy, cream cheese frosting. Yeah, baby.

Anyway! Don't wait for a birthday to make these! Make them today! You can thank me later.

Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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To make these cupcakes, you will need:
Cake
- 1 1/2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat because fiber)
- 1 t baking powder
- Pinch salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 oz light cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 t vinegar (or 1/2 cup buttermilk)
- 3/8 cup fresh lemon juice
Frosting
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 oz light cream cheese
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar, to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon

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Preheat your oven to 350F. Begin by whisking together your flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

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Zest one of your lemons, then combine the zest with the sugar, rubbing together until well distributed. Use your fingers! Have fun!

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To this mixture, add your cream cheese and butter (both softened), and mix well until light and fluffy. Add your eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Finally, add your lemon juice and buttermilk to the mixture.

Stir your dry mixture into the wet just until no streaks of flour remain, then scoop into a lined cupcake tin. My liners have easter bunnies on them because they're all I could find and because I'm festive AF. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the tin and let cool while you make your frosting.

The frosting is super simple - just blend together your butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice, adding lemon juice and sugar gradually until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness. Voila!

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Frost and garnish as desired, and then devour! What a time to be alive.

XOXO,
Jess