As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mini Cupcakes with Lemon-Cream cheese frosting

Our friends Ritesh & Archisha are expecting their first baby in a couple of months. I scratched my head, wondering what to get them on their babyshower...Rattles? toys? baby clothes? gift vouchers?....hmmm... none of these seemed like as much fun to me as an edible babyshower gift! As a result of that I spent a rather enjoyable Sunday afternoon, baking a batch of 24 mini-muffins.
The base for these cupcakes comes from my mom's basic cupcake recipe, and for the frosting I referred Rachel Allens lemon cupcakes (found here).
I wanted to try something that wasn't too sweet, but at the same time most definitely qualified as dessert. So I used cream-cheese for the frosting, flavoured with freshly grated lemon zest and lemon juice.
This recipe will yeild 12 normal sized cupcakes or 36 mini cupcakes. I hope Archie enjoyed eating them as much I enjoyed making them :)

Dry Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1 cup All purpose flour (maida)
1/4 tsp Baking powder

Wet Ingredients for Cupcakes:
2 eggs
3/4 cup soft brown Sugar
3/4 cup Unsalted butter (at room temp)
2 tbsp plain Yoghurt
1 tsp Lemon zest
1 tsp Lemon juice

Kitchen Essentials (for complete recipe):
Convection Oven | 3 Piping bags(or ziplock bags)| Hand -held mixer | Mixing bowls | Rubber spatula | Paper muffin cups | muffin tray

Method (for Cupcakes):
1.) Preheat your oven to 180 deg C. Sift the flour and baking powder into a dry bowl and set aside.
2.) Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one-at-a-time and beat on medium. Once the eggs are creamed into the mixture, add the Yoghurt, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat on high for a few seconds till well integrated.
3.) Add the flour mixture in 3 steps - i.e. add 1/3rd of the flour, then beat on medium for a few seconds till well mixed. Add the next 1/3rd and beat again. For the last addition of flour, beat on slow for a few seconds. Scrape the batter off the mixer blades.
*At this stage, the mixture might look 'curdled', do not worry about it.*

4.) Fill the batter into a piping bag/ ziplock bag. This I discovered, makes filling the tiny paper cups MUCH easier. To make this transfer from bowl to bag quicker with minimal mess, set the bag into a tall-ish glass with the edges folded over as shown in the image on the left. (this image is borrowed from google, since I forgot to take one myself) Scoop the batter into the bag. Remove bag from the glass and squeeze the batter towards a corner. Secure the bag with a rubber band or tape, after removing as much air as possible from the batter. Snip off the tip with a scissor and your bag is ready to use.

5.) Line the muffin tray with the paper cups and pipe the batter into the cups. Bake @ 180 deg C for about 10-12 mins (baking time is for the mini-cupcakes, for regular sized cupcakes, allow about 15-16 mins) till a toothpick/ knife comes out clean.

 6.) Transfer baked cupcakes on to a wire rack and allow them to cool down completely.Meanwhile, get on with the frosting ! :)


Ingredients for Frosting:
50g Cream cheese + 25g Unsalted butter + 75 g Icing sugar + 1 tsp Lemon zest + 1tsp Lemon juice + Food colouring ( I used yellow and grape colours)

Method to make Frosting:
Cream the Butter and Cream cheese together in  a bowl using an electric mixer, till soft and fluffy. Add the icing sugar in stages (or it will fly out of the bowl!) and cream till well mixed.
Add the lemon juice and zest and a dash of food colouring and cream again. Transfer into a piping bag (using the technique described earlier) and Chill for about 20 mins.

Method to Frost the cupcakes:
Since I don't have the appropriate nozzles needed to create a pretty frosting, I proceeded by simply snipping off a small tip from the piping bag. I'm not proud of my artwork (as yet) but am hoping to develop my frosting skills as I go along. But these pictures should come in handy for someone willing to try :)

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcake by creating a spiral as you go along. Sprinkle with coloured edible decorations. Chill for about 20 mins to allow the frosting to set again.


  1. Khatam bhi ho gaye~! Now I am pestering Ritz to make me another batch :)) Thanks dear for the wonderful treat..

  2. :) hehehe :) glad to hear that :)