Cupcakes & Small Cakes

Lemon Cupcakes

Hi, hi. I’ve made cupcakes.

How they came into being was a little accidental.

I was perusing Twitter at the weekend, trying to keep myself entertained during a moment of tediousness, when I came across a tweet for a recipe for National Cupcake Week. Bugger, I thought, as someone who blogs about food, I should really be all over this. I know it is impossible to keep tabs on all the special days relating to food. I am sure that somewhere in the world it is National Cauliflower Day or some such, but National Cupcake Week seemed like an obvious one to know about.

lemon cupcakes 3 - the pink rose bakery

Frantic plans were made to make cupcakes that afternoon. They needed to be quick and easy, so lemon seemed the most obvious flavour. Plus there were a lot of lemons in the house, so no shopping was required.

I made them, photographed them, tried not to eat the whole batch in one go, pleased that I would be able to partake in cupcake week.

lemon cupcakes 1 - the pink rose bakery

Only, well, I failed. Because as it turned out, National Cupcake Week was last week. Poo bums.

One of the things (one of many, I should really say) that drives me nuts about Facebook is the fact that they don’t show my news feed in chronological order. Things from 3 days ago are intermingled with things from 1 hour ago. Why is this? If anyone knows how to correct it, please tell me. I almost feel as if it happens as punishment for only checking it once every blue moon. It’s as if they are taunting me – “see, if you looked at Facebook every 5 seconds you would see things in the order that they have happened”. Sorry, Facebook, I have better things to do with my time than waste it reading about people complaining about how ill they are (again) or how crappy their day has been. Maybe if it was more positive I would visit more.

Anyway, I digress, because what I am trying to say is that, maybe only for a moment, Twitter appeared to be doing the same thing. I swear that cupcake tweet I saw wasn’t recent. And that my friends, is how it fooled me.

Please could someone make a list of all the special food days and weeks and send it to me? Thanks.

lemon cupcakes 5 - the pink rose bakery

On the plus side, I know for next year now. And I made these cupcakes, which quite frankly were some of the best damn cupcakes I have made in a while. I would even go so far as to say that these are the best thing I have made in a while. They were so good.

You get an initial punch of lemon which then mellows into a hint of vanilla. The sponge is, well, spongy, just like a wheat based cake. You. Would. Not. Know. These. Are. Gluten. Free. Honest.

I so rarely urge you to go and make something instantly, but please go and make these. Please, please.

lemon cupcakes 2 - the pink rose bakery

Lemon Cupcakes


For the cakes:

  •  140g butter, melted and cooled a little
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 110g rice flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the syrup:

  • 30ml lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
  • 30g icing sugar

For the icing:

  • 50ml lemon juice (approximately 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 300g royal icing sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit and line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition.
  3. Sift in the rice flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Stir until combined.
  4. Stir in the vanilla and zest, followed by the milk.
  5. Distribute between the liners and bake for 20 – 25 mins, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  6. As soon as the cupcakes have come out of the oven, make the syrup by placing the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small pan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to the boil. Carefully spoon some of the syrup over the hot cupcakes. It is important that this is done whilst both the cakes and the syrup are hot as this will help the sponge absorb the syrup. You can skip this step if you wish, but it only takes 5 minutes and makes all the difference to the taste and texture. Leave the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once the cakes are cold, prepare the icing by mixing together the royal icing sugar and the lemon juice. This makes a very runny icing that will drip over the edges of the cakes (I placed the cooling rack over a large baking sheet lined with foil in order to catch the drips). If you would prefer a firmer icing, use less lemon juice. I used royal icing sugar as it contains egg white and dries to a firmer finish than water icing or buttercream.
  8. Keep in an air-tight container for 3 days.

© The Pink Rose Bakery