Extra-DORIE-nary Strawberry Lemon Cream Cupcakes

April 10, 2008 at 4:07 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 25 Comments
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Yet again I am inspired by my baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie [Greenspan].

This week my fellow TWDers made The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart (whew! say that 10x fast!) and I am reminded by this recipe why I love her cookbook. It didn’t have an intimidating amount of ingredients (butter, eggs, sugar, lemon) and the multiple steps are explained very well by Ms. Greenspan that I really enjoyed the baking experience. This is probably my favorite recipe so far. If you make anything from this book, definitely give this one a try! Though my husband would probably disagree with me and point you towards the apple pie-cake instead. haha

Ok back to the situation at hand.

I had a good amount of leftover delicious lemon cream (I halved the recipe below for you already) and since I hate wasting anything (Remember my rant about scraping down the KA bowl right?) my mind started brainstorming about how to use it. You know its gotta be a cupcake!

I’ve been itching to use my homemade vanilla extract and now that I am approaching the recommended 3 month mark I knew it was about time! I wasn’t sure if I believed all the hype and if you could really taste the difference but let me just tell you, you can! Ohmygod! Its A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I don’t think I could go back to store bought again…

Click image to enlarge
(Recipe from DG Baking & Crazy about Cupcakes | photos from me!)

Makes about 14 cupcakes


For strawberry cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced (I used fresh strawberries)

For lemon cream
1/2 cup sugar
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 large eggs
3/8 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
1 stick plus 2 Tbsp butter unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature.


To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the vanilla and strawberries.

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 – 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan.

To make lemon cream—
Have a instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (1st choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy, and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture fees tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling- you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point- the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience- depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp may take as long as 10 minutes.

[NOTES: Many TWDers had problems getting it up to 180F. Since I don’t have a candy thermometer, I relied on Dorie’s description of how the cream should progress. I had it on medium heat and it took me about 15 minutes. I think using a metal bowl helped too.]

As soon as it reaches 180F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the lender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

[NOTES: I almost skipped the straining step but I am so glad I didn’t. Its worth it for the smooth cream texture. Trust me. Take the time to strain.]

Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going- to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to bend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests, and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. (the cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator)

To assemble cupcakes—
Fill a pastry bag with the lemon cream. Use a 1M piping tip to frost the cupcakes. Garnish with strawberry slices.

[NOTES: I think next time I make these I might try some strawberry coulis to drizzle on top of the lemon cream frosting. Yum!]


Husband rating: N/A

Wifey rating: A+
Strawberry lemonade in a cupcake! If I do say so myself… one of the best cupcakes I’ve made so far.



  1. Oh yum! These look to die for!!

  2. APRIL, I wish I could give you one through the computer. Its SO good!

  3. They sound amazing! I would totally bake them up if I had some strawberries in the house. I will give them a go soon. Awesome recipe Clara!

  4. OH.MY.GOSH.

    Those look amazing! I’m glad to see you used the lemon cream as icing. I had a similar thought–I was going to use it as a cake filling.

    I am definitely going to make this recipe!

    (p.s. love your blog!)

  5. I used my leftover cream as a frosting for strawberry cupcakes too. Great minds thinks alike. ;)

  6. I will most def be making these!

  7. Seeing as my dad really likes strawberry lemonade, and is always complaining we only ever make chocolaty stuff he can’t have, I might just have to make these for him sometime. I might eat one(ish) too.

    I also thought you would enjoy the fact that my sister and I comment about “CB put xyz on her blog” or “I tried this recipe from CB…” and it TOTALLY confuses my mom. She can’t remember either of us having a friend CB. Oh but I do, & my sis started reading because of me. Hahaha!

  8. Mmmm!! These look and sound delicious!!

  9. SLUSH, Fortunately strawberries are available in Cali practically year round but I was also thinking you could probably replace the vanilla extract with strawberry extract too? I was “this” close to trying myself! If you make them, let me know what you think, k?

    CAFE, I was totally thinking cake filling too! But then I saw how Di’s Kitchen‘s perfectly swirled lemon cream and I knew that I had to make it the “frosting” instead. Love your blog too!

    AMANDA, definitely GMTA! Did you blog about your cupcakes? I wanna see!

    RACHEL. let me know what you think, k? If you like strawberry lemonade, you will LOVE this!

    ZEBE, Definitely let me know what your dad thinks, esp a strawberry lemonade lover. LOL @ your comment about your sister. Too funny! I hope you don’t explain to your mom what “CB” means. Thats a weird convo!

    BUNNYB, thanky! They were sooooo good. :)

  10. Those look like my DREAM cupcake. Wow!!!!!

  11. Looks amazing!!!!

  12. KAT, you like strawberry lemonade? Its damn tasty! I assume these aren’t on the PTKAT diet huh? poo.

    NINA, thanky! You should move here so I can give you one ;)

  13. How about you move here then you give me one? Everything is cheaper in Oklahoma, there’s no way I could afford Cali…

  14. NINA, *I* can’t afford Cali and thats why me and T are seriously considering moving out of state to afford a home. :(

  15. ::whispers:: Oklahoma! I think your aunt really wants you to live closer. :D

    I want one.
    They are so pretty too!

  17. JANNA, Thanky! I lurve strawberries so these were quite sinful for me :)

  18. Those look DELISH. I am on the hunt for the perfect strawberry cupcake recipe…did these taste really berry like?? I had an amazing moist one at a cupcakery and I want to figure it out. LOVE the presenation!

  19. MARA, I definitely think it had a good all natural berry flavor esp if you like strawberry chunks. If you are looking for a strawberry flavor w/o the strawberry chunks you could probably omit the strawberries and replace the vanilla extract with strawberry extract. I haven’t try that variation though but thats my guess. Thanks for the compliments! :)

  20. Hi, I was wondering how is the texture of this cupcake? Does it have a strawberry flavor? Is it dense? Is it sweet? I want to make a strawberry cupcake but use a vanilla cream cheese frosting, what are your thoughts on that? will it be good together? Could I fill this cupcake with lemon curd (I have some in the freezer)?

    I noticed how you said this is probably the best cupcake you’ve made…i am dying to try it

  21. TAMMY, Its not a dense cupcakes; its moist from the fresh strawberry juices. If you like strawberry chunks, its a great fruity flavor. I think it would be fabulous with cream cheese frosting and lemon curd filling. I am just not sure how easy it would be to fill with the lemon curd with the strawberry chunks. Definitely try it and let me know what you think! :)

  22. Hi! I made Dorie’s lemon cream tart for Mother’s Day. I often use lemon curd as frosting, so this looks great. But I don’t think my lemon cream would’ve been pipe-able. It was yummilicious, but when I cut the tart, the cream oozed a bit (not runny, but definitely not staying in its place). I made the cream the day prior, so it had plenty of refrigerator time. Any ideas where I went wrong (if I went wrong)? The only possible thing I could think of is that I did have to drive the cream for 45 minutes (in an A/C car), where I assembled the tart at the destination. Ah, guess that means I’ll just have to make it again.

  23. WENDY, Hmmmm… I am not sure why it was runny. Yeah I let mine set overnight too. Maybe next time you have to travel you might wanna let it chilled in the frig/freezer for a couple hours before piping. Definitely make it again and see how it goes!

  24. I am planning to make these for a co worker’s baby shower on Friday. I was torn between lemon or strawberry cupcakes . . . but why not combine both and call it strawberry lemon cupcakes? Yay! You’re brilliant. :D

  25. SUGARBETTY, sweet! There are seriously one of my favorite cupcakes. Let me know what you think, k? :)

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