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Lemon and cranberry cupcakes
probably one of my favourites, and definately one of my familys, these cupcakes are a real crowd pleaser. sure the cranberries might sink to the bottom a bit, but this cake is light, fluffy and fresh and perfect in my eyes.

ingredients
80g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp finely grated lemon zest
240ml milk
2 large eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla essence
100g dried cranberries, chopped

method
  • preheat the oven to 190C (gas mark 5) and line a twelve hole muffin tin with 12 cases. There will probably be more needed, but start off with this.
  • using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, slowly beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest until all the ingredients are well mixed in and resemble fine breadcrumbs
  • mix together the milk, vanilla essence and eggs by hand in a jug with the whisk or mixer on a low speed, pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl until everything is combined. Add the rest of the milk mixture and beat again, now on a medium speed until the batter is smooth. stir in the dried cranberries by hand.
  • this will be quite runny mixture, so my advice is to wash out the jug and pour the mixture into it so it can go in the cases more evenly, and less messily! Fill them up to about two-thirds full, and if there is any batter left over (there probably will be) fill up more cases in a second muffin tin. Pop in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the sponge feels springy when you touch them. leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove from a tin and place on a wire rack.
frosting

ingredients
500g icing sugar
160g unsalted butter
50ml milk
1tsp finely grated lemon zest
and you might want to decorate with the odd cranberry.

method
  1. beat the icing sugar and butter together in a free-standing electric mixer with the paddle attachment (the icing sugar will go everywhere so use a tea towel to cover up the bowl, or just start off with a spoon) on a medium-low speed until the mixture is a sandy texture and there arent any lumps of butter. Turn the mixer to a low speed.
  2. gradually mix in the milk, then increase the speed to high and whisk until soft and light. add the lemon zest and whizz for another 30 seconds to finish it off.



sorry i couldnt get a picture of the inside. just pretend you have x-ray vision and imagine some cranberries in some cake. yum.