I have a confession to make: I dont have much of a sweet tooth. Ugh, I know. It’s actually something I’m not proud of. I wish I could look at a triple chocolate cake with the same ferocious desire that some people do (like my wife). That’s not to say that I dont enjoy sweet treats! I’m just super picky about what I like. The desserts I tend to gravitate toward (both eating and recipe development), tend to have more contrasting flavors than the typical baked good. That’s why you’ll find a little extra salt or a splash of vinegar in a lot of my sweets. And oooooh let me tell you, what a world of difference it makes. Case and point: my lemon basil cupcakes with balsamic strawberry filling.
This recipe came to be because of a very special reason! My cousin is getting married this summer and I will have the pleasure of creating her wedding cake! And after a long, sugar-filled wedding cake tasting, the happy couple (and fam) unanimously decided on two flavors…. not this one. This little lemon gem as a close third. So as a compromise (really it was an excuse to eat more cake), the bronze medal cake was turned into a winner of a wedding shower cupcake!
Cupcake disclaimer: these lemon basil cupcakes with balsamic strawberry filling recipe is 2/3 Farmstead Table. The remaining 1/3 is thanks to the genius that is Stella Parks (of BraveTart and Serious Eats fame). She truly is a “Pastry Wizard” and an excellent resource for anyone wanting to jump into the pastry game. Her Swiss buttercream recipe specifically is my jam. I’ve tried so many recipes over the years but Stella’s is incredibly easy to prepare and a hit every time I make it. Plus it has a decent fridge/freezer life which is ideal for anyone wanting a delicious treat at a moments notice!