It is currently citrus season in New Zealand and zingy, citrusy flavours, such as lemon, are a perfect way to bring summer-like happiness to cold winter days. The number of cupcakes this recipe makes depends on how big the muffin cases you use are – I have ended up with three different sizes as I have tested different batches of this recipe, so watch your cupcakes carefully and use my oven timing as a guide and not an absolute. If you only have a 12 hole cupcake tin and end up with leftover batter after filling 12 cupcake cases, grease a small ovenproof container with butter and bake the remaining batter alongside the cupcakes (I use a glass pyrex lid). It is important not to leave this batter sitting once it is all mixed – get it into the oven straight away before the air bubbles start bursting and the flour starts sinking. As usual, 1 cup in the recipe below refers to a 250 ml cup. For gluten free baking by cup measures, it is better to spoon the ingredients into the cup and then level it off with a butter knife or the back of a spoon than to scoop the ingredients straight into the cup.
What you’ll need for the cupcakes:
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1/3 cup of oil
Rind of 1 medium to large lemon
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (strain to remove any bits and then measure)
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca starch
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
What you’ll need for the icing:
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (without any bits)
1 cup of icing sugar
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan and line a cupcake case with cupcake cases.
2. Beat together the eggs and sugars in a large bowl until light and frothy.
3. Add the melted butter and oil to the egg/sugar mixture and fold together carefully, being careful not to lose any air.
4. Add the lemon rind and freshly squeezed lemon juice to the bowl and fold in carefully.
5. Sieve together into the bowl the rice flours, tapioca starch, salt and baking powder and again carefully fold in, being careful not to lose any air.
6. Fill each cupcake case to about 1 cm below the top of each case. As mentioned above, if you have any leftover batter don’t leave it sitting on the side, but rather tip it into a small, greased ovenproof container to bake alongside the cupcakes.
7. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done. Once baked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave the pan on a cooling rack to cool for at least half an hour before icing.
8. To make the icing, place the lemon juice and icing sugar together in a bowl and whisk until there are no lumps of icing sugar.
9. Once the cupcakes have cooled, poke a few holes into the top of each one with a skewer and then spoon 1 – 2 dessertspoons of icing over the top of each one. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and the icing to harden slightly before eating. I usually leave them in the cupcake pan on a cooling rack for this, but once the icing has hardened slightly and won’t run over the sides of the cupcake cases, you could leave them to cool on a cooling rack out of the cupcake pan.