I have a request for a dozen vanilla and a dozen lemon cupcakes. My vanilla recipe will make at least 2 dozen. Am I able to add lemon juice to the batter after I divide out for the vanilla cupcakes? Any idea on how much? Or would I use extract and/or zest? TIA!!
When I add lemon juice to my cake recipe it winds up with big air pockets in the cake, I don't know if that is from adding too much liquid, or more likely from adding so much acid. Instead, I like to add lemon zest and lemon oil to my white cake recipe. Lemon oil is much stronger than extract, so be careful with it, but I think the flavor is much better than extract without being bitter, although I would use extract in a pinch. Don't leave out the vanilla, I think it pairs nicely with the lemon and warms up the flavor nicely. The zest and oil add lots of flavor without altering the texture and structure of the underlying cake. If you are starting from scratch, mix the zest with the sugar and let it sit for a few hours, which really diffuses the flavor nicely when the cake is mixed up. However, it would be fine to add it to the completed batter also, if you are making the batch of vanilla and dividing it in half.
I would divide the batter in half (after the vanilla was added) and add a generous heaping tablespoon of lemon zest and two teaspoons of lemon extract or other lemon flavoring. I think the juice would thin down the batter too much.
& add a touch of lemon yellow color to the mix, as people taste with their eyes also.
Thank you all for the advice! They turned out great. MBalaska - I had completed the cupcakes prior to your post here but that is a good point and I will make sure do that next time! Thank you!
Wooohooo, congrats, Tempi! That is a good suggestion by MBalaska to add a touch of food color. I need to remember that.
Totally agree MBalaska! I always add a touch of pink to my rose and cardamom cake - makes it taste more rosy that way :)