Old-Fashioned Velvet Sponge Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

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It is very important to use high quality ingredients, since this cupcake has so few ingredients—every flavor is very important. I wanted to use very good flour, and good (organic, cage-free, etc) eggs. Hodgson Mill All Purpose White Flour makes a lovely traditional cupcake, as pictured in at top of this post.


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, or Hodgson Mill All Purpose White Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest, more or less, to taste


Grease 12 cupcake pans well. Preheat oven to 350° F. Separate the eggs, and in a large bowl beat the yolks. Add sugar gradually and beat till very light and thick.  Add the egg whites, and mix; then add the hot water and mix. In a separate bowl mix together the baking powder and flour, and then very gently stir this dry mix into egg/sugar mixture.  Do not over mix; stir just until everything is combined.

Pour into prepared pans, and bake 17-20 minutes. They will brown lightly on top; check with a toothpick in center of cupcake—when it comes out clean, it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Release from pan with a knife and let cool completely on a rack. If desired, ice with Lemon Mascarpone frosting (below) and top with berries and/or chocolate.

Notes: Frost with lemon icing, and refrigerate after frosting. These can dry out quickly, so keep in sealed container. This cake recipe, when made with white flour, would also be wonderful in a trifle, because it’s very firm and dense.

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting


1 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest (more or less, to taste)


Whip all ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, scraping sides often, until fluffy. Keep chilled until time to frost cupcakes. Refrigerated frosted cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes Print this Recipe

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