Buying a box of chocolates as a gift for every occasion possible can get boring, don’t you think? How much nicer the gift is, when we add a personal touch to it? The problem is, most of us are usually very busy, and finding spare time for anything can be challenging. Not to mention that finding a few hours to spare to make a DIY gift for someone, is virtually impossible for most of us: working hard, having families and a packed schedule.
Not necessarily though. Creating a homemade gift for someone we care about, does not mean pulling an all-nighter or skipping work. Not all of the DIY gifts must take hours to make, some of them can take an hour or two, and will still be much nicer than a box of chocolates from a shop.
I came up with these cupcakes last May; my niece was turning one year old and we were throwing her a small party. I was thinking about something not too time-consuming, pretty looking and delicious at the same time. These cupcakes turned out to be a great idea! All the kids loved them. With a little bit of effort, we can create something memorable. And they can serve as a gift, too. All you need is a fancy box to put them in ^^
VANILLA AND LIME CUPCAKES
for the cupcakes
1tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
for the frosting
200g cream cheese (or mascarpone)
250g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
lime juice (squeezed from 2 limes)
lime zest (peeled from 2 limes)
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare muffin baking tin and line it with paper muffin shells.
2. Add the butter to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat it until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at the time, mixing well after adding each egg.
3. In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients: flour, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. Start adding the dry mix to the butter and egg mixture, in small portions, with your mixer on a low speed. At the same time, start adding milk. Alternate the additions: milk, dry ingredients, milk, etc. This way the mixture will mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into the paper muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake for about 20 minutes; if you are not sure if they’re baked, simply check by inserting a wooden skewer or toothpick into the cupcake. If it comes out clean – it’s done.
5. Line the cupcakes on the wire rack and let them cool down. Start preparing the frosting.
6. In a medium bowl, beat the butter with your electric mixer until nice and fluffy. Beat in the sugar first and, when well combined, start adding soft cheese, spoon by spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract. Soft cheese should be at room temperature.
7. Slowly and delicately, stir in the lime juice. Don’t add everything at once, the frosting might curdle! Be careful so your limes are not cold, they should be room temperature, so the temperature of the frosting is similar to that of lime juice. Stir in the lime zest. Done! Place the frosting in the fridge for at least 30min, so it settles nicely before you start decorating your cupcakes.
8. Decorate the cupcakes with frosting and use sprinkles to decorate them. Put ready cupcakes in the fridge so the frosting settles nicely. Enjoy ^^