I usually have a jar of labneh in the fridge at all times here in Lebanon. In the US, I make it from scratch usually or buy it on my trips to the Middle-Eastern store. I decided out of the blue to make some cupcakes, thinking of a famous Texan cake, the Seven-up Cake, that ladies used to make for potlucks and bake sales. Except I wanted to use a bottle of bitter lemon tonic water I had, to add that extra lemony taste.
The last few minutes of baking, the aroma coming out of the oven was faintly lemony and delicate. Very enticing.
INGREDIENTS: 12 cupcakes
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
rind of 2 lemons or limes or both
6 ounces oil
2 ounces bitter lemon tonic water or seven-up
3/4 cup labneh
Preheat the oven to 350F
1. Sift all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine and set aside. Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat till thick and doubled in volume and pale yellow. Gradually while beating add the oil, lemon or lime rind, tonic water or seven-up, and labneh. Add the flour mixture till combined. Pour the batter into cupcake molds (3/4 full) and bake about 15 minutes till puffed-up and thoroughly cooked (a cake tester will come out clean). Cool and serve.
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