We have an abundance of citrus that grows here and we’re constantly coming up with ways to use it up. Fresh orange juice, citrus sangria, vanilla marmalade, lemon ice cream, bars, cookies and one of Scott’s favorites: limoncello. He’s been making various versions of this with all our varieties of citrus and I can’t wait until the batch he made with our tangerines this year is ready. It was quite a thrill to see that the latest Baking Chez Moi recipe would allow us to use some of this lovely liquor. I was worried that this recipe would be fussy or overly complex but instead I found this to be one of the simplest recipes I’ve made so far.
While my lemons are now out of season my bosses lemon tree is still producing juicy and bright lemons. I lucked out that he happened to bring me a few right before I was set to make these. I pulled one of our completed bottles of grapefruit limoncello from the freezer since our lemon batch isn’t quite complete yet.
As with most of Dorie’s recipes the zest gets rubbed into sugar. I love the wet sand texture I get to feel and the wonderful lemony aroma.
Yogurt, eggs and limoncello all get whisked into the batter followed by the flour and oil. The batter comes together easily and quickly.
While the cupcakes bake a simple mixture of sugar, water gets microwaved and a little limoncello gets added once it has cooled somewhat. Once the cupcakes are out the syrup gets brushed in and things are left to cool.
The frosting is a simple buttercream with a bit of limoncello for extra taste. I went to the trouble of using a star tip decorator for my icing and I think it was worth the extra hassle. Just a little swirl turns the ordinary into something a little special without all that much real effort.
I loved the hint of cardamom spice in these and I think the amount of frosting was perfect. I enjoyed these quite a bit more than originally anticipated. They are lemony and light but also satisfying. Pretty much a perfect spring cupcake.