Several years ago my siblings and I threw a series of 40th anniversary parties for my parents. One was a fancy dinner prepared by my brother-in-law with their closest friends from their Santa Barbara days (1970-1980) who they don't get to see very often and always claim are their bestest friends ever. Second was a dessert party for their close friends. (A dessert party, who could have come up with such an awesome idea??) And the third, I don't think ever happened. It was supposed to be a get together with my dad's sister and her family but those gatherings are often talked about but never executed.
About that dessert party, this is one of the desserts I made. And I wanted to make a summery dessert when I hosted my book club tonight, so I finally settled on this recipe. It's supposed to make a sheet cake but since I'm terrible at applying frosting to cakes and cupcakes are the new black, I made them into cupcakes. Here they are:
Lemon Cupcakes (original recipe from here)
1 box (18.25 oz.) lemon cake mix
1 can (15.75 oz.) lemon pie filling (my can was larger, so I put about a TBSP into the icing)
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (I did about 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. vanilla to make it more lemony)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix and eggs until well blended. Fold in pie filling. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter. (I used a cookie dough scoop and a half to pour the batter into cupcake liners. I saw this on Paula Deen at our hotel in South Dakota for the 4 1/2 minutes of the show I watched). Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Stir in vanilla (and lemon juice and spoonful of pie filling). Frost cupcakes (I used this). Store in refrigerator. (Everything I've read about this recipe says that they are much better cold.)
Makes about 2 dozen standard sized cupcakes.