Nailed It – Author Home Addition…
For my new releases, I’ve started making “character cupcakes”! This week, I made up my own cupcakes to represent the hero and heroine from my book, The Protector – meet Lyndi Chandali & Levi Rowtag!
These cupcakes are lemon cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting.
Why those combinations, you ask?
Levi Rowtag is a rogue gold dragon shifter who is the Beta of his team of Enforcers. Levi is a gold dragon who can be both a brutal fighter, but also he has a zesty personality. Lyndi Chandali is a rare female-born dragon who is a red dragon. She smells of springtime–cut grass, flowers, and warm breezes.
Because we already had a red and gold combo with Kasia and Brand from The Rogue King, I decided to go with Lyndi’s springtime scent for my inspiration with these cupcakes – lemon & strawberry flavoring. Lemon cake for Levi (gold dragon), strawberry icing for Lyndi (red dragon). We decorated with red and gold wrappers for both of them and tossed in green wrappers because I’m baking these at Christmas time!
Just so you know, I am not a regular baker and so this was a continuation of last weeks “Nailed It” style experiment. I’ve got powdered sugar all over me, but I will say I’ve gotten much better handling the icing piper. Not to ice, but to get the frosting in it without getting it all over me. LOL.
At the last minute, I realized these would be even more amazing with a lemon curd center, but didn’t have time to do that. Just remember that as an option if you try these out. They still taste amazing!
This is my recipe. After looking through a gazillion different recipes out there, as well as my mom’s (she’s an awesome baker), I came up with up with my own ingredients and measurements combos. Share as you like!
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- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour (sifted is best)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 large lemons (zested and juiced)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Set 12 cupcake wrappers into a cupcake baking pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamed.
- Add eggs and vanilla to the butter/sugar mix and beat until blended smooth
- Beat in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth.
- Slowly add the cream, lemon juice (roughly 1/3 cup), and lemon zest
- Scoop batter into cupcake wrappers (about 3/4 full).
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool, then frost!
The recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes, so double if you need 24.
We did add 24 drops of yellow food coloring to get an even more lemony look.
For extra lemony goodness, fill the center with lemon curd!
STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM ICING
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cream (1/4 cup if you want stiffer frosting)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Set aside enough strawberries to decorate each cupcake top with a 1/2 strawberry
- Puree remaining strawberries (after cutting off the tops) and strain out the seeds.
- Put the puree in a small sauce pan, bring to boil, then turn to low and reduce (stirring constantly) by 1/2.
- Put strawberry mix in the fridge to cool.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer.
- Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat to blend evenly.
- Add 3 Tbs of the strawberry mix and beat to blend evenly.
- Add vanilla extract and 2 more cups powerdered sugar and beat to blend evenly.
- Add cream and 3 more Tbs of strawberry mix and beat to blend evenly.
- Pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
- Top with 1/2 a strawberry.
Super easy frosting, and super tasty!
If needed, add more cream or more strawberry mix until the frosting is the consistency you want. OR to thicken, add more powdered sugar.