I was worried that the basil would be overpowering in this cupcake but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, unless you eat the candied basil leaf on top, the basil only enhances the sweetness of the lemon. These were very tasty and I am sure you will enjoy them as well.
Again, I adapted a Taste of Home recipe to suit my needs. I like to be inspired by other bakers and then tweak things to make them more of my own. Please feel free to do the same with any of my recipes and post how things worked for you!
Don't forget about Cupcake Tuesday!
Lemon Basil Cupcakes
(Makes 24 regular cupcakes)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
¾ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredient mixture in thirds, alternating with two additions of sour cream. The batter will be very thick.
Scoop ¼ cup of the batter into each liner. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Lemon Basil Syrup
1 cup water
¾ cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
8 fresh basil leaves
1 strip lemon peel (1 ½ inches by ½ inch)
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Strain and discard lemon peel and basil. Allow to cool completely.
Using a toothpick, poke holes into the tops of the cooled cupcakes. Once the syrup has reached room temperature, spoon 1 teaspoon syrup over each cupcake. Allow to soak in and repeat. Reserve remaining syrup for frosting.
Lemon Mousse Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon basil syrup
1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
In a large bowl, beat together powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon basil syrup until smooth. Whisk into the already whipped cream until well blended. Top cupcakes with frosting and candied basil leaf.
Candied Basil Leaves
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
¼ cup sugar
24 small fresh basil leaves
Using a new paintbrush (or one specifically used for food), brush corn syrup onto a basil leaf. Dip painted side into the sugar and set aside to dry. Repeat with remaining basil.