Lemon Bar Cream Cupcakes

Awesome moist, velvety cupcakes with a creamy tart filling. Best served at room temperature.
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ C sugar
6 large eggs
¼ C fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 ½ medium-small lemons)
2 ¼ C cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
¾ C cream cheese, softened
confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional, but they look ugly without it)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with yellow or white paper liners.

Combine the butter and 1 ¼ C of the sugar in the large bowl and beat with the mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and 3 T of the lemon juice and beat until well combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice as necessary. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tsps of the lemon zest until just combined.

In the small bowl, mash together the cream cheese, the remaining ¼ C sugar (can do a little less) the remaining 1 T lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tsp lemon zest until combined.

Spoon about 3 T of the batter into each muffin cup. Place about 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture on top of each portion of batter and cover the cheese with some of the remaining batter. The batter should reach three quarters of the way to the top of each cup, but I always fill to the top to get that muffin top overflow. You will have extra batter still. Bake until golden about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing onto a rack to cool completely. Once cooled use a strainer to sift the tops with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Makes 1 dozen, from Instant Gratification

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