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Lime Cupcakes

Lime Cupcake

I recently treated myself to the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, sold mostly on the pictures of the amazing cakes within. When I googled it, I was intrigued by the mixed reviews of this book all over the internet, some people rave about it, others complain they cannot get the recipes to work.

Admittedly, the cupcake recipes are unusual for the seasoned baker – no creaming of butter and sugar, and ingredients in different amounts (as opposed to the usual equal parts flour, sugar, eggs and butter). However, the book promises, if you follow the instructions, you’ll end up with the desired result.

With baking, it’s best to follow instructions anyway, as it’s a little more science-y than other cooking, and I usually follow instructions at least the first time, before I start playing with flavours and the like. Here, the only change I made was to substitute lemon for lime, as I had some limes that needed using, and I do love the flavour of lime.

The recipe said I would get 12 cupcakes from the mixture, although I only got nine, and even then was worried these wouldn’t fill their cases on baking since the mixture looked a little scant – the cases should be two-thirds full. However, I did get flat-topped cupcakes, something I wouldn’t have achieved if I’d tried, so they would have been good for runny, glace icing. And the shortfall was lucky really, as I suspect the frosting recipe wouldn’t have stretched to 12 either.

Lime Cupcakes Uniced

It’s also worth pointing out, for us in the UK, you need the larger paper cases for these, the ones sold as ‘muffin cases’. Well, who could complain about bigger cupcakes anyway? The end result was good – nice moist sponge, sharp yet sweet lime frosting (which I would definitely adapt and use elsewhere!) – so overall, I’m pleased and can’t wait to make more from the book.

Recipe based on The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’s Lemon Cupcakes

Lime Cupcakes (makes 9)

  • 120g plain flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg

For the lime frosting:

  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • a couple of drops of food colouring (optional – I used a touch of yellow)
  • 25ml whole milk

Preheat the oven to 170°C, and, as ever, ensure your baking ingredients are at room temperature. Especially the butter. Place 9 muffin cases into a cupcake/muffin tray.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, lime zest and butter in a mixing bowl, and beat, on a fairly slow speed, with a handheld electric whisk (or, if you’re lucky enough to have one, a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle or beater attachment) until everything is combined, and you have a kind of sandy consistency.

Still beating, gradually add the milk. When incorporated, add the egg. Continue to mix for a minute or two more, until everything is smooth, but don’t overwork it. While you’re mixing, you may need to push in any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a silicone spatula.

Spoon the batter into the cases until they’re two thirds full at most. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touch. A cake tester or skewer poked in the middle should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for five minutes before placing onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together the icing sugar, butter, lime zest, and colouring if using, again using either an electric whisk or a handheld mixer, on a slow to medium speed, until well mixed and coming together. With the mixer on a slow speed, add the milk slowly, and when everything is incorporated, turn the mixer up to a high speed. Carry on beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, for at least five minutes, but, apparantly, the longer you go, the lighter and fluffier the frosting gets.

When the cupcakes are completely cold, spoon the frosting on top. Allow the frosting to set a little before serving.

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  1. October 2, 2009 at 8:37 am

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