Here’s what you need:
For the cupcake:
1 ¼ C all-purpose flour
¼ C sliced almonds
¾ t baking powder
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt
2 Ener-G Egg Replacer ‘eggs’ (3 t Ener-G powder and 4 T warm water. Whisk well and set aside to thicken)
¾ C sugar
½ C nondairy milk (I used almond)
1 ½ t lemon juice
½ C vegetable oil
1 T finely grated lemon zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
For the frosting:
2-3 C powdered sugar
¼ C Earth Balance non-dairy butter, room temperature
¼ C fresh lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
Tiny, tiny bit of yellow food coloring (1/2 drop or less! Use a toothpick to add it)
For the candied lemon peel:
¾ C sugar
¾ C water
Here’s what you do:
Make the candied zest: remove the lemon peel carefully, avoiding the white pithy part with a vegetable peeler. Slice into very thin strands. Place in small sauce pan, cover with water, bring to a simmer, drain. Repeat this process two more times. You will be amazed at how much bitterness washes away from the zest.
Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in another pan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon zest and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes – watching carefully. Drain the zest and arrange in clumps on parchment paper. Allow to dry and pull the strands apart. Store zest buried in white sugar.
Make the cupcakes: Place the flour and almonds in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add the 1 ½ t lemon juice to the almond milk to create sour milk (a great buttermilk swap). Allow to sit for a few minutes. Pour the prepared Ener-G eggs into a large bowl. Add the sugar, the sour milk, the oil, the zest and the lemon juice. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix until just incorporated. Fill prepared cupcake tins about ¾ full. I think you should spray the paper cups to insure that the cupcake comes out nicely. Bake 350 for about 16-18 minutes – checking at the 12 minute mark. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the puffiest part of the cupcake comes out cleanly. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting: Place the soft butter in a large bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this). Mix the butter until fluffy – about a minute. Slowly add 1 C powdered sugar, incorporating well and scraping down the sides. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, food coloring (just a tiny, tiny bit! You don’t want your frosting to look like egg yolks!) Slowly add the remaining sugar until you have a perfect spreading consistency.
Frost the cupcakes and decorate with the candied lemon zest. Beautiful!