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Lemon Drop Rainbow Cupcakes

My grand-daughter Alexis was home sick with bronchitis and wanted to make cupcakes.  We went through my recipe cookbook program and this is what she picked to make.  I would not suggest these for kids. I think they are made for the taste buds of adults.  She wasn’t particular to the flavor combination of the cupcakes, but loved the frosting! (Kids and frosting just go together don’t they?) I was quite fond of the flavors in this cupcake, with the wonderful taste of lemon. Folding lemon zest and lemon drop candies into the batter, make a perfectly wonderful lemony cupcake! Thanks Lexi! These were delicious and beautiful!

The recipe was found here.  Originally, this was adapted from Martha Steward’s Cupcakes, Lemon Meringue recipe.  Delicious! If you like  lemon and cupcakes, this may be the recipe to try!

Lemon Drop Rainbow Cupcakes

    3 cups all-purpose flour1 tablespoon baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

    2 cups sugar

    4 large eggs, room temperature

    3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about 3 medium lemons)

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1 cup buttermilk

    1/4 cup crushed lemon drops

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line standard cupcake tins with liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside.

With an electric mixer on medium-high, cream the butter and sugar (using the paddle attachment) until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one. Scrape down the sides of bowl if needed. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Combine the buttermilk and lemon juice in small bowl or measuring cup. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk/lemon juice mixture. Beat until just combined after each addition.

Gently fold in the crushed lemon drops. To avoid the batter getting too stiff, try not to overmix when adding the lemon drops. It will be mixed even more when you add the colors.

Divide the batter into 1 cup increments and put into 5 separate small bowls (if doing 5 colors). Gradually add food coloring to each bowl, until you get to your desired colors. Stir gently to make sure there aren’t any remaining streaks of color.

To measure the coloring she dipped a toothpick about 3/4″ into each jar of color (with the exception of the green, see below), swirled it through the batter and mixed thoroughly.

Here are the colors and amount of coloring she used from the bottom of the cupcake to the top:

• Orange – Wilton Creamy Peach – 1 toothpick plus a tiny bit more.
• Yellow – Wilton Buttercup Yellow – 1 toothpick
• Green – AmeriColor Avocado – 5 drops
• Blue – Wilton Cornflower Blue – 2-3 toothpicks
• Violet – Wilton Violet – 1 toothpick

Put 1 teaspoon (slightly heaped) batter of your first color in each of the cupcake cups. I gently smoothed out only the first color, just to get an even bottom. Repeat with the other colors.

Bake at 325°F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Decorate!

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