Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
- 1/2 cup cake flour (about 2 ounces)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup egg whites (about 5 large eggs)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- Lemon Frosting:
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Edible flowers such as pansies or rosebuds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place 16 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Set aside.
- Lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl; repeat the procedure 2 times.
- Beat egg whites and salt with a mixer at high speed until frothy (about 1 minute). Add cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle flour mixture over egg white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; fold in after each addition. Stir in vanilla and rind.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack.
- To prepare frosting, beat butter with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar; beat at low speed just until blended. Add milk and lemon juice; beat until fluffy. Add more lemon juice as needed to adjust the consistency. Spread 2 tablespoons lemon frosting over each cupcake. Garnish with edible pansies and rosebuds, if desired.
Sifting the flour mixture thoroughly three times incorporates the powdered sugar for a light, tender cupcake.