Paula Deen’s Lemon Blossoms

Back before she got so orange and loud and over-the-top with the butter thing, I really loved Paula Deen. The early episodes of Paula’s Home Cooking on Food Network featured some really good, down home cooking. Like many of Food Network’s cooks, she wasn’t a trained chef which made her very relatable to people watching at home. Sure she used condensed soups and cake mix but so did many of us. She seemed like my kind of people.

I can’t remember if I saw her make this on her show or if I just stumbled upon this recipe online. Whatever the case, I’ve been making these Lemon Blossoms for years. They are probably my husband’s favorite dessert. I’ve made them as gifts, for a bridal shower, and I almost always make them at Easter.

They are easy to make but there are a few quirks to the recipe so be sure to read my notes at the end. As Paula might say, enjoy y’all!

Lemon Blossoms

18.5 oz box of yellow cake mix
3.5 oz box of instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze:
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray miniature muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scoop a small amount of batter into each muffin tin, filling halfway. I find that a small scoop similar to this one works perfectly.

Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel.
To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they’re still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set throughly, about 1 hour, before storing in airtight containers.

Makes 48 mini-cakes.

Notes:

*The most time consuming part of this recipe is sifting the confectioners sugar for the glaze. It’s tempting to skip this step but it’s important that you don’t. Sifting makes the sugar even finer which makes for a smoother glaze with fewer lumps. I usually do this first before I do anything else with the recipe.

*The cake batter will be really thick. That’s ok! Do not add more liquids to it. If you have a stand-up mixer, I recommend using it to mix the batter.

*You can use bottled lemon juice and omit the lemon zest but real lemon juice truly is better. To get 1/3 cup of fresh juice, you need two large lemons. Roll them on the counter prior to cutting them for squeezing to get their juice flowing. I use a Pampered Chef zester but OXO makes one very similiar that you can find here.

*Let the cakes sit in the pan for a minute or two before trying to flip them onto a tea towel. You also might want to run a butter knife around the edges of them to make sure they are loose. Nothing is more frustrating than a stuck blossom.

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