Friday, May 25, 2012

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes & Menu Post

I love this weekend because Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer.  It is also the Bear's birthday weekend.  While we are looking forward to some relaxation on the links, we have a busy weekend in store.  I am bringing these little gems to celebrate!  Happy Birthday Bear!

When I asked the Bear what kind of cake he wanted, he said something with lemon.  Since I do not have a handy cake carrier, I thought cupcakes would do the trick.  Plus, you have the added benefit of portion control.  That is, if you don't eat two like I did after taking this picture:)

These cupcakes were relatively easy to make.  You can use a gluten-free cake mix as I did, or use a regular cake mix.  I used Pamela's white cake mix.  It is a little fluffier and less granulated than other gluten-free cake mixes.  It still, however, does not compare to regular cake mix.  So if you are not on a gluten-free diet, I would suggest using regular white cake mix.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes
(heavily adapted from Giada's orange raspberry cake)

For the cake:
1 box white cake mix (gluten free or regular)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water
6 egg whites
2 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

For the frosting:
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 pound powdered sugar
1 6 oz. carton fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cupcake tin with cupcake liners.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, water, egg whites, oil, and jam.  Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the ingredients on low speed until incorporated.  Add the cake mix and beat together on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the mix, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour before frosting.

While the cupcakes are baking, add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.  Add the almond extract and beat until combined.  Gradually add the powdered sugar.  Continue beating at medium speed until all of the sugar is combined and fluffy.  Cover and cool in the fridge for 1 hour before frosting the cupcakes.

After the frosting has set and the cupcakes are cooled, spread the frosting on each cupcake and top with a raspberry.  Makes approximately 24 cupcakes.

Since we will be traveling, this week's menu is benefiting from freezer friendly left-overs.  Monday, I will be using the final cup of the left-over Tofu-Tomato Pesto as a pizza topper.  Tuesday, I will be adding some additional spices to my left-over Veggie Burger mix with a Greek twist by making Falafel Burgers with Tomato, Basil, & Feta Salad.  Wednesday we will be enjoying my spicy Chipotle Pork Tenderloin as sandwiches with Broccoli Salad.  Later in the week, I'm putting Justin on grill duty with steaks, grilled potatoes, and a simple wilted spinach salad.  Next week might seem mundane; however, I will be posting the salads to share.  Because I am using so many left-overs, you can look at past menu posts or check out the above recipes for what you will need.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!

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