AFLAC!

No, not the insurance company…but sadly, commercialism has made it so that’s the first thing I think of when I see a duck.  Even a cute little rubber ducky for a baby shower.  Sigh.

So, sort of like with the Thanksgiving meal, I didn’t take photos of the making of the ducky cupcakes (though not because my family was threatening to take my camera away, just because I was in a hurry).  So I’ll just tell you about them.  They were lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting.  What you can’t see under the blue frosting is that each moist little lemony baby cake was topped with a generous dollop of either lemon curd or blueberry compote.  A flavorful little surprise for the consumer.  I didn’t have enough to try one myself, but I’m told by the shower hostess they were a hit!  Aflac!

Incidentally, when searching for those little ducky cake toppers, I discovered that there is a crazy selection of themed rubber duckies.  I had seen the holiday ones (vampires, ghosts, santas, etc.), but did you know there are NINJA duckies?  Ninjas!  How awesome is that?  I am seriously tempted to throw a ninja rubber ducky themed shower for a girlfriend expecting her first child, just because I can.

 

Lemon Cupcakes
(adapted from ourbestbites.com)

 

1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) of butter
3 c. cake flour (I didn’t have enough cake flower, so I used sifted AP flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners (I was making 36 cupcakes, so I 1.5ed the recipe and lined 3 cupcake tins) 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Don’t go skimping here–you want the mixture to be almost white and super fluffy. This is absolutely essential to the outcome of the cake.

While butter and sugar are mixing, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. After butter and sugar have mixed sufficiently, With the mixer running, add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. 

With mixer on low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until fully incorporated.

Fill a bit more than 3/4 full.  Mine had a slight dent in the top, which was perfect for the lemon curd/blueberry compote addition.

Bake about 20-25 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. You don’t want to overbake these even a bit, or they’ll start to lose their delicious moisture. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream
(from the same site)
1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks)
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 c. powdered sugar (I sift mine to make the frosting fluffier) 

Beat butter, lemon rind, and lemon juice in an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating to spreading consistency.
The lemon curd was store bought (I KNOW, I’m going to baking hell) and the blueberry compote was just blueberry preserves boiled with a little extra sugar and water to thin it out.  I tossed about half of it in the blender to eliminate some of the chunks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to AFLAC!

  1. niki says:

    Love. the. ninja.

    Cupcakes look good, too! Love the idea of the surprise under the frosting, too. But that’s also why I love filled donuts. I digress…

  2. Kelly says:

    Hahaha…we happen to be the proud owners of a Blue Ninja Rubber Duckie!

  3. Gina says:

    I make lemon curd!! We could team up on these

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