Lemon-Ricotta Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Frosting
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS
- SERVINGS: Makes 12
Joanne Chang makes her moist, lemony, fresh-tasting cupcakes with honey instead of refined sugar, which keeps the sweetness in check. This is the perfect grown-up cupcake.
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup crème fraîche
- MAKE THE FROSTING In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and beat until incorporated. Beat in the honey, vanilla and salt. Cover and refrigerate until firm and spreadable, about 3 hours.
- MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CUPCAKES Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the honey with the ricotta, vegetable oil, lemon zest and vanilla; whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Whisk in one-third of the flour mixture just until incorporated, then whisk in half of the crème fraîche until smooth, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the remaining crème fraîche until well incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely. Frost the cupcakes and garnish with lemon zest.