I loved the Oreo Cupcakes so much – but I am striving to come up with my own original recipes. Believe me, this is tough, because there are SCORES of cupcake recipe sites out there! Then, it occurred to me that I could try some other sandwich cookies in place of Oreos. Immediately, the Ginger-Lemon Creme Cupcake came to mind.
I am an Anglophile, so I knew that these kinds of cookies existed. Still, it took trips to two places to find some. I located two boxes of LU Ginger Lemon Cremes at Ingles and bought them both. This is where the expense comes in – there are about 45 cookies in a bag of Oreos, where the LU only had 14 cookies. Since there were only two boxes ($2.99 each), and I knew I would need more crumbs for garnish, I bought a box of Anna’s Swedish Ginger Thins. I had some Lemonheads left over from the Lemon Cupcakes, so I knew I would use them, too.
GINGER-LEMON CREME CUPCAKES
MAKES 22 TO 24
28 ginger-lemon creme sandwich cookies (2 boxes LU or Carr’s)
1 package (18.25 ounces) lemon cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Lemon)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Creamy Lemon Icing (recipe below)
About 10 Anna’s Ginger Thins, crushed
About 24 Lemonhead candies
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
2. Count out 12 ginger-lemon creme cookies and separate the top and bottom wafers. Make sure each has some of the icing on it. (I find that a knife helps with this – use it to separate the halves, then scrape some of the extra icing for one half and smear it on the other half.) Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Set them aside. Place the remaining 16 cookies in the Cuisinart and crush them.
3. Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. Add all of the ginger-lemon creme cookie crumbs and fold these into the batter until well incorporated. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans in the oven.
4. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
8 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Juice from 1 lemon
Peel from 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon curd
1 packet True Lemon®
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. (Microwave for 1 minute if they are not softened). Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy.
2. Stop the machine and add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the lemon peel, the lemon juice, the lemon curd, and the packet of the True Lemon®. Blend with the mixer on low speed until ingredients are mixed together.
3. Add more sugar (1 – 2 cups) and beat until sugar is incorporated. Add sugar by the cup until a light creamy consistency is achieved. Icing should have enough sugar to harden – melty icing is not neat.
4. Use to frost cupcakes. I was able to ice up to 36 cupcakes, with about 1 cup of icing left over. I prefer to have too much than too little.
5. Top each cupcake with Ginger Thin cookie crumbs and place a Lemonhead candy in the center of the cupcake. Here they are: