Rosemary & Lemon Cupcakes

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I am not sure what the impetus for this cupcake was, I was planning to do an ice cream filled one, but then my day got too busy and I had to postpone it since I couldn't get the ingredients I needed. Still, I was in the mood to bake after psyching myself up for it all day.

Down into my pantry and fridge I went, hoping I might find some sort of inspiration to light my baking way. I uncovered some fresh lemons that I had purchased at the farmer's market and tried to see if I could use them. Then a big verdant aroma caught my attention, and I noticed the leftover rosemary from last night's spaghetti. I've always been a fan of my friend Sarah's rosemary bread; it's sweet, fragrant, rustic and sweet. Freshly baked it's perfect with when sliced and spread with creamy butter...

But back to the cupcake, I remembered the orange scented white wine cupcake utilizing cornmeal, so I figured that it might be the perfect base for a lemon and rosemary cupcake. With a simple sugar crust, it would be a perfect cheap n' easy Spring cupcake.

And they are. I think these are Rob's favorite cupcakes to date. They're very Andalusian in their taste and so simple to make. Plus, no butter or frosting makes them a bit lighter, which makes many of my taste testers happy. We also noticed a peculiar yet perfect match for this cupcake, English Breakfast tea. Really, the robust and bittersweet tea matched perfectly with the herbacious lemony cupcake, each emboldened the other and you never knew which was the star, the tea or the cupcake.

Rosemary & Lemon Cupcakes
12 cupcakes / 350 F oven

What You'll Need...

4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 cup of AP flour

1 cup of cornmeal
2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary

zest of two lemons
1/3 cup of sugar

What You'll Do...
1) Preheat oven to 350 F

2) Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and olive oil.
3) Sift in the dry ingredients together and whisk until incorporated.
4) Chop the rosemary, and fold it and the lemon zest into the batter.
5) Scoop into cupcake papers and sprinkle on sugar into a thick, snowy covering.

6) Bake for 17-20 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15. A toothpick should come out clean.

7) Set onto a wire rack to cool.


  1. It sounds so refreshing for a hot summers day. You are quite the Cupcake Genius!

  2. making my taste buds and my waistline happy?! you're my hero!!!

  3. Um, what does it mean when a cupcake tastes "Andalusian"?

    They look beautiful, and as English Breakfast tea is a big favorite of mine, this sounds like one yummy tea-time.

  4. Andalusia is a region in Spain, and these flavors just sort of make me think of that area. :P

  5. so pretty! i like the idea of a sugar crust instead of frosting as well. They probably travel fairly well, I imagine?

  6. Hum...decadent and refreshing! How about creating the Mojito cupcake for adults, with rum, lime and mint!

  7. and you'll get more out of that lemon zest if you grind it with the sugar, or part of it, in a food processor or a dedicated sweet spice grinder. The oils in the rind/zest are released when they get flung around with a sharp blade!

    It also helps to use non-waxed/organic lemons because oftentimes when you're zesting waxed fruit, that's most of what you're eating in the end....

    these are 2 of my favorite flavors together! Thyme is also nice as well...

  8. They look delicious! Do you think that if I tried to put some strawberries as well in the recipe they would taste good?

  9. staria - sure, give it a try and see how it goes!!!

  10. That sounds divine-the thing about the crust. mmmmmm. I might be able to make it wheat-free...=)

  11. Happened upon this recipe on google and what can I say? These cupcakes were SO delicious. Thanks for posting (even if it's an oldie), they helped inspire a blog post for me this week and were great to munch on. -K

  12. Katie: I'm glad you found them to your liking!


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