Let's be fancy. I thought I’d try something totally new, and bake lemon almond cupcakes... inside the lemons. Told you it was fancy.
What you’ll need:
• Box of lemon cake mix
• Box of lemon jello mix
• 3 eggs
• Almond extract
• 1/4 cup of oil
• A cup of water
• 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds
• Cupcake papers (optional – although if you don't use them, be sure to grease the pan)
• 1 cup confectionary sugar
• If you plan on baking inside the lemon, buy as many as you like. If not, just pick one up to juice for the frosting. You’ll need 2–3 tablespoons.
Combine the first six ingredients and mix on medium for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. And don’t forget to pre-heat the oven (whatever temp your cake mix box says).
Now here’s the fun bit. Time to hollow the lemons! I'm betting a grapefruit spoon or knife is easiest, but since I didn’t have those I used a regular teaspoon. I won't lie, it took a little doing, but on a scale of one to super hard, I’d only rank it a 3. You can do it.
Make a cut about an inch down from the stem of the lemon like this:
Use a knife to make slow, careful cuts to loosen the flesh:
Then get to scooping! Do it over a bowl so you save the juice for the glaze. You won't get much more than juice and seeds at first, but that’s fine. Get most of that out...
And then you can use the spoon to carefully peel the membranes away from the pulp, leaving the inside clean and ready for batter.
Time to load them up! I'm doing two lemons and the rest will be regular.
Note: Only fill the lemons halfway, or it’ll end up a delicious cakey mess.
Now into the oven. The regular cupcakes will need to come out in 15-17 minutes, but the lemons go back in for about 10 more minutes, for a total of 24-26 minutes. The added moisture in the peel makes for a longer bake time.
While they’re baking you can whip up this super simple frosting. Slowly stir two tablespoons of lemon juice into one cup of powdered sugar. Add more if you’d like to thin it further.
When the cupcakes are done and cool enough, drop a small amount of frosting on top and let it spread out and get deliciously drippy. Then sprinkle some chopped almonds on top and you have yourself some fancy (and yummy!) lemon almond cupcakes. Enjoy!