FOOD | rustic lemon cupcakes

Last week we celebrated the feast of St. Joseph, one of my absolute favorite Saints. There have been so many times that I have prayed novenas to St. Joseph and always, I am given reassurance and answers through his help in those prayers. He is also my husband’s patron saint so between all those times St. Joe has helped me out + to celebrate my husband I thought it was only appropriate to bake up a sweet treat in honor of the day.

In New Orleans St. Joseph altars are apparently huge thing (but not surprising since I feel like any excuse to celebrate down there is welcomed with open arms;). I was seeing friends post about them on the feast day and so I did a little research on my own and found out some pretty interesting information. They are a Sicilian tradition and are a grand presentation of food and thanksgiving to St. Joseph for answered prayers and devotion. Lemons are frequently found on these altars, and it is believed that a woman who steals a lemon from a St. Joseph altar will get a husband.

Well I am a sucker for traditions and anything hopelessly romantic. So inspired by the lovely lemons, I decided to make some (super easy!) lemon cupcakes. I am calling them ‘rustic’ because they are a little rough around the edges and I did a quick/not piped icing job on them.


Recipe: Rustic Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 1/2 a box of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cake + Baking Mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4c + 2 tbsp cold milk (I used whole)
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • zest of 1 whole lemon rind

Ingredients for flour buttercream frosting: 

  • 1c milk
  • 1c granulated sugar
  • 1c unsalted butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp lemon zest
  • 4.5 tbsp all purpose flour

1) Instructions for cupcakes: 

  • In a stand mixer combine egg + milk + lemon juice + lemon zest and beat until well combined. Slowly add in cake mix until smooth consistency. Pour into a greased (or lined) muffin tin until each cup is about 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (I checked on them at 20 minutes and they needed a bit more time – just keep and eye on them.) Remove from oven and let completely cool before icing.

2) Instruction for flour buttercream frosting: 

  • Combine flour, milk and sugar. Whisk over low heat until the ingredients come to a boil. (You will need to continuously whisk until it comes to a boil to avoid lumps, clumps and over heating your milk)
  • Turn off heat and continue to whisk while warm for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large mixing bowl/stand mixer and continue to beat until cooled to room temp.
  • Add butter one tbsp at a time until eat tbsp is completely combined into your liquid, then add the vanilla.
  • Add lemon juice and then fold in your lemon zest.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes immediately + enjoy.

Happy eating!

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