Citrus cupcakes for spring….groundbreaking right? Well don’t go anywhere because there is more to these than a simple dash of lemon, and paired with the cutest little chick decoration these are a perfect bake for Easter.
There’s nothing that screams spring more than the kick of a citrus themed bake. I have a serious soft spot for anything lemon and as we all know I love bringing bakes to life so I really enjoyed creating these cute chicks.
The trick with these is ensuring the buttercream consistency is just right so that the piping holds, and my go to recipe has never let me down.
How to add extra zing to these citrus cupcakes?
The zest of a lemon is enough to make these cupcakes pop but I take these a little further by infusing the sugar in lemon zest as well.
How do you make a lemon sugar?
It’s super simple and only requires a little extra effort a day or two in advance of baking the cupcakes. I like to bake a big batch at the start of spring so that I have enough for a few bakes but if you’re only looking to use it once then just make enough for your recipe.
For my bigger batch I add 1kg of lemon to a large bowl and add the zest of about 10 lemons to the bowl and stir it through. If you need to make a smaller batch just think 100g and 1 lemon zest as your measurement.
Leave the bowl covered somewhere cool and dry for 24/48 hours before you want to use it. Store any extra in an airtight container and let it continue infusing until you need to use it.
How long can I store Lemon Sugar for?
As long as the sugar is kept airtight it will last a long time so next time life brings you lemons, why not try making lemon sugar?
Other ways to use lemon sugar?
Even if you’re not going to use it in bakes there are lots of other great uses for lemon sugar including;
- The rims of cocktail glasses or in cocktails themselves
- Sprinkled on top of biscuits
- Added to tea. Try it in this Easy Iced Tea recipe
- Mixed into porridge
- Sprinkled onto pancakes
- Mixed into a fruit salad
Other bakes for your lemon sugar
How to turn these cupcakes into Easter Chicks?
The best part of these cupcakes is bringing them to life. As pretty as a citrus cupcake is on it’s own, there’s nothing cuter than adding a pair of edible eyes and a sweetie beak to give them instant personality.
To create the shape of a chick I’ve piped a body and then a head separately. It’s easy for buttercream to merge into one so to ensure you can separate the two it’s important you have the right buttercream consistency. You need a mixture that is firm but also pliable and my recipe works each time by using a 1:2 ratio of butter and icing sugar, then adding about 2 tbsp milk to loosen it a touch, you’ll need to add your milk and judge it based on how soft the butter was originally.
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I would love it if you tagged me @mykitchendrawer on Instagram if you make these Easter Chick Cupcakes. It’s the biggest honour to see my recipes come to life in your kitchen and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message. Happy baking!
Citrus Chick Cupcakes
- Cupcake tray
- Handheld whisk or standing mixer
- Piping Bag
- Closed Star 2D piping nozzle
For the Cupcakes
- 125 g unsalted butter softened
- 125 g lemon sugar see post for details
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 125 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
For the Buttercream
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 300 g icing sugar
- 2 tsp orange extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/8 tsp yellow food colouring
- 12 edible eyes 2 per cupcake
- 6 orange sweets
- orange icing pen or orange buttercream
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases
- Cream the butter and lemon sugar together until soft and fluffy, then add the eggs one by one.
- Stir through the lemon zest and vanilla extract, then add the flour all at once and fold through until combined.
- Add the milk to loosen the mixture
- Spoon the batter evenly between the cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once baked leave the cupcakes in the tray for 5 minutes then take out and let them cool fully on a wire rack whilst you make the buttercream.
For the buttercream
- Cream the butter to soften in a large bowl then gradually add the icing sugar a tbsp at a time until it's all combined.
- Add the tsp orange extract and milk and fold through until the mixture is a firm but pliable consistency.
- Finally add the yellow food colouring and beat through to create a soft pastel yellow buttercream. Add more if you wish to make it more vibrant.
- Fit a piping bag with a closed star piping nozzle and fill the piping bag with the buttercream
- To create the chicks pipe a mound for the body, then stop and pipe a smaller mound for the head
- Bring them to life by adding edible eyes and an orange sweet for the beak, then finish with some orange icing for the feet.