Background: Whenever I’m sitting at the intern desk where I work, there is some sort of dessert or food item waiting there for me to munch on. After telling some of my co-interns about my baking blog, I naturally felt inclined to bake something for them. I needed something small. Something munchable. Something cute. What instantly came to mind were these mini cupcakes that my mom bakes. Just about anything mini tends to be cuter than the normal size (mini puppies, mini cliff bars, mini coopers). And when dealing with food, mini always makes for the perfect finger food. So, mini lemon poppyseed cupcakes it was.
Baking Disasters: I have two “disasters” for you today. One involves a nasty encounter between my finger and a zester (apparently human skin can be zested as easily as lemon “skin” can) and the other involves me completely forgetting to take my prized mini cupcakes to work. Yes, after all that work, I neglected to bring the perfect little buggers to their intended consumers. This left me with the terrible fate of having to dispose of most of them myself. Mmmmm.
1 package of lemon cake mix
1 package of vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups powdered sugar (you may need a bit more if the glaze is too thin)
1/3 cup of lemon juice (you may need a bit more if the glaze is too thick)
1 lemon, zested
1 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp water
Turn on the oven to 350.
Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease with butter (I suggest the spray…this takes forever). Combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil and ginger with a blender for about two minutes (it should be smooth–not bubbly). Mix in the poppy seeds and lemon and orange zests. Fill each mini muffin tin about 2/3 full and bake for 8-12 minutes.
For the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil and water. Mix until smooth. You can make it thicker by adding more powdered sugar or thinner by adding more lemon juice.
While the cupcakes are still hot, drench them with the glaze and place on wax paper to cool. Top with extra zest if you feel the urge to make them look pretty.
Note: I’m normally against using boxed mixes, but my mom makes this recipe–originally a Paula Deen–and it’s damned good!