By Emily Chavez
(Photo by Luis Chavez)
How do you reinvigorate the traditional celebratory cupcake? By using nutrient-dense ingredients and bright flavors. The mere mention of cupcakes brings to my mind a dessert where the main flavor profile is just sugar with added descriptors of texture, like it’s a moist and tender crumb. But those days of sugary, artificially colored cupcakes become a distant memory with this light and lemony version. The Greek yogurt creates a tender cake, sugar is added just to balance out the citrus acidity, chia seeds create visual and textural interest, and a cooling cream cheese frosting comes together to provide the perfect spotlight on the light lemon flavor.
Lemon Chia Seed Cupcakes
Hands-on time: 30 Minutes | Ready in 1 hour
Yields about 8 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons chia seeds
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
Optional: Garnish with candied or regular lemon twist
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, cream the 1/2 cup butter. Then add sugar, yogurt, lemon juice and zest until fully combined. Finally mix in egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Add dry ingredient mix to wet ingredients in two additions, stirring until just mixed each time. Gently fold in chia seeds.
Fill each cupcake liner or cupcake tin 3/4 of the way.
Bake at 400 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While cupcakes are baking, make the frosting by creaming together the remaining butter and cream cheese.
Add powdered sugar and remaining vanilla extract and continue to beat until creamy.
Frost cupcakes once cooled.