strawberry jam filled mini lemon cupcakes

we spent jason's birthday in boston as part of our new england vacation (oh, i haven't talked about that yet? watch for it soon.), so his birthday kind of got skipped at home. as soon as the laundry was done and most of our suitcases unpacked, i set out to make a cake. or some version of a cake. i wanted something more than a simple vanilla cake with chocolate frosting but something that wasn't too complicated. something i could whip up in an evening. something that isn't too rich or dense, but rather light and reminds me of summer.

i turned to martha. but to be honest, i was skeptical. she still hasn't totally proved herself to me yet in the cake department. she's either been a big hit or a big miss. this time i narrowed it down to two choices: chai cupcakes or strawberry jam filled cupcakes. i was not at all surprised when jason chose jam. especially when he realized they would be filled with homemade jam.

but i made some modifications. i opted for minis instead of full sized cupcakes. the original recipe calls for orange zest & juice in the cake and the icing but i opted for lemon (because i think it goes better with strawberry than orange and because i didn't have an orange in the house).

the key to making minis from a recipe that originally made full size cupcakes is to cut the baking time in at least half. everything else can stay the same. the recipe said to bake the full size cakes for 25-30 minutes. i started testing my minis after 10 minutes and after 12 they were perfectly cooked. i usually get twice as many mini cupcakes as full size cupcakes too.

the sweetness from the strawberry jam and the tartness from the lemon glaze balance each other out perfectly. it's the perfect snack. or breakfast treat.

i dare you to eat just one!

strawberry jam filled mini lemon cupcakes
adapted from strawberry jam tea cakes in martha stewart's cupcakes
1 hour (includes bake time), makes 24 mini cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (i prefer aluminum free, if you can find it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
zest from half a lemon
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup milk
~1/2 cup jam, more or less depending how much you want in each
  1. preheat the oven to 350. grease 2 mini muffin pans.
  2. mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. in a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add the egg yolks one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  4. alternate adding the milk and flour mixture to the butter & sugar until fully incorporated.
  5. in a separate bowl, mix the egg whites to soft peaks, about 5 minutes.
  6. fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. spoon about a tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin. place about 1/2 teaspoon jam into the middle of each muffin. try to keep the jam in the middle of the tin, so it doesn't seep out the sides when baked. top each cupcake with another tablespoon of batter.
  8. bake 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. cool in the pan until cool enough to handle. remove from tin and finish cooling on a wire rack. while they're cooling, make the lemon glaze.
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
zest of half a lemon
juice of half a lemon
  1. mix the sugar, juice, and zest together until smooth.
  2. when the cupcakes are cool, dip the tops into the glaze, allow the excess to drip off, and let dry on a cooling rack. store the glazed cupcakes in a sealed container.


  1. When do you add the lemon zest in the top part of the recipe?

  2. i added the lemon zest right before the eggs.


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