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A Bakers Dozen (13): Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes

Asalam Alaykum,

Ever heard the term 'Baker's dozen'? Well a Baker's dozen in England = 13 why? you may ask, i know i have, when all bun tins i've ever seen are even numbered i.e. 6, 12....

Here's the answer courtesy of Wikipedia

A baker's dozen, devil's dozen, long dozen, or long measure is 13, one more than a standard dozen. The oldest known source for the expression "baker's dozen" dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (1216–72), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have shortchanged customers (some variations say that they would sell hollow bread) could be subject to severe punishment including judicial amputation of a hand. To guard against losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12 in order to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was insurance against "short measure", on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original legal dozen. The practice can be seen in the guild codes of the Worshipful Company of Bakers in London. 

Masha'Allah the above reminded me of the following verses in the Qur'an regarding the matter of giving/receiving an accurate measure and weight in transactions.

*note the following is the english translation of the meaning of the arabic verses.
11:84. And to the Madyan people (We sent) their brother Shu`ayb. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other god but Him, and give not short measure or weight. I see you in prosperity and verily, I fear for you the torment of a Day encompassing.''
11:85. And O my people! Give full measure and weight in justice and reduce not the things that are due to the people, and do not commit mischief in the land, causing corruption.
How many of you have been short changed in some form before? whether it's the description of the product or the number of items/money etc. By accident or on purpose, the feeling of being cheated out of something is not pleasant at all.

Then on the other hand you have the example of  how bakers would give away 1 extra for every 12(dozen) to prove they weren't unjust infact they were being generous! Does the bakers dozen still exist in bakeries today?

Well in my home Bakery lol it does, so on to my 13 Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes, i made a few changes including switching around the name from Lemon Chocolate Cupcakes

I changed the name to reflect the flavour, instead of having too much of a sour lemon taste they had before, now they have a nice balance between rich deep chocolate and zesty citrus.

I increased the amount of cocoa in the cupcake whilst removing it totally from the Icing which gave a nice contrast in colour and flavour.

I swapped the Icing from a chocolate buttercream to a lemon cream cheese icing, i made a slight boo boo with the icing, it became too runny to pipe hence the pool instead of a thick swirl. This led to using less icing than original anticipated :) which meant i had some leftover for eating straight out of the bowl!

Later, i discovered from the daring kitchen i wasn't the only one to have ever experienced this problem with runny cream cheese icing, what a relief! So from my limited research i discovered what could have gone wrong:-

The order of making my icing, i creamed the cream cheese and butter together first and then added the icing sugar.

I should have mixed the butter and icing sugar together and then added the cream cheese, i must try this next time in sha Allah but all in all i'm happy because the cupcakes looked ok and tasted great, so go on the next time your up for trying something new, give this odd but yummy flavour combination cupcakes a try!

By the way, i didn't purposely set out to make 13 cupcakes but in order not to waste the batter leftover in bowl, i filled a cupcake case, stuck it on a baking tray and off it went into the oven to bake and it didn't collapse like i thought it would having no support from a bun tin.

Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes

Makes: 13


For the cupcakes:

165 grams Unsalted Butter (you can use margarine), at room temperature
165 grams Caster Sugar / vanilla sugar
3 eggs
115 grams Self raising Flour
50 grams Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing:

I halved the recipe from Lizzy
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4oz. Cream Cheese, softened
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 - 2 cup icing sugar, as needed


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C Fan/180C and line a bun tin with cases (don't forget you will have enough batter to make 13 so either bake 12 first and then 1 seperately or use a 24 hole bun tin if you have, alternatively fill the odd case and place on baking tray and bake on oven shelf underneath your 12 like i did)
  2. In a bowl mix whisk together cocoa and flour, set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together your butter, sugar, lemon zest until light in colour and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 by 1 ensuring each egg is fully combined before adding the next.
  3. Add cocoa/flour and your lemon juice and mix/fold in just until you have no traces of flour/butter left.
  4. Bake on the rack just 1 lower than the middle for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Make cream cheese icing by mixing butter, zest, juice and icing sugar together and then add the cream cheese and mix until homogenous.
  6. Spread or pipe icing onto cupcakes and top with your favourite sprinkles/decorations. 

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At 20 February 2013 at 18:52 , Blogger Meriem said...

Even with the runny icing, these look darling!

At 21 February 2013 at 12:31 , Blogger Aiza said...

Wallah I learned a new piece of knowledge. These look super cute btw :)

At 22 February 2013 at 18:46 , Blogger Unknown said...

thank you sisters <3

At 1 March 2013 at 15:03 , Blogger The chic and cheap said...

mille foglie is one of my favorite desserts as an italian! u did it so perfectly!!

Your blog is very nice and interesting!i love cooking too.

Maybe wanna follow each other?? Let me know :)
The Chic and Cheap Blog
The Chic and Cheap Blog Facebook Page

Dont forget to like my Facebook page too!

At 3 March 2013 at 08:11 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment.
No offense to you but i'm not really interested in fashion or i would gladly follow you <3

At 3 March 2013 at 08:12 , Blogger Unknown said...

Aww thanks you should try them, as a little birdie told me your a chocolate lover <3

At 3 March 2013 at 08:13 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you sister


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