The Best Lemon Cupcakes

Paper & Birch - The Best Lemon Cupcakes


Lately, I’ve been on a huge reading kick. For those of ya who know me, know that I’m somewhat of a book hoarder. But the last couple of years I’ve been finding it hard to find the time or the focus to read. Last week I spent an hour going through my 4 large moving tubs (and my random stashes around our apartment) to find my copy of “Orange is the New Black”. As someone who is obsessed with this show, I thought I’d finally read the book – what could be better I thought. So I literally went through hundreds of books before I found it. And then my husband says to me: “We’re still watching the show, do you really want to know what happens?” Couldn’t have said that BEFORE I dug through all of those books?? Usually I read a lot of heavy non-fiction or biographies, but this time I just wanted an easy old favourite. And ya know what? I opened the first tub and it was right on top – hallelujah!

Besides trying to find some down time, I’ve been testing a lot of recipes lately. Some good…..some well let’s just say I wouldn’t have fed it to our dog. We don’t actually have a dog yet, but when I finally convince my husband, we WILL have one….or two. I mean if ya already have one, what’s one more? ;-) Anyhoo, back to our dogless reality. So, I’ve been testing Lemon Cupcake recipes like they’re goin’ out of style.  I think at this point I’ve probably tried 5 recipes before I finally adapted one to make the best lemon cupcakes. It’s a good thing I like lemon because I’ve tasted countless cupcakes the past week. I have a feeling I’m going to regret my next dentist appointment with all the sugar I’ve consumed.

The Best Lemon Cupcakes



  • 1-1/2 cups at self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  4. Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice.
  5. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, approximately 17-21 minutes, depending on your oven.
  6. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.
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Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.


Daily Dish Magazine

Would love to hear from ya, so leave a comment below and say hi! :) 

~Natalie  :-)


6 Responses to “The Best Lemon Cupcakes”

  1. Lemon desserts are among my very favorites. These cupcakes are gorgeous.

  2.'/ Heather says:

    Oh lemon cake, so pretty and fresh. Looks amazing!

  3. […] #1 The Best Lemon Cupcakes from Paper & Birch… […]

  4.'/ Danelle says:

    I love knowing someone has tried a bunch of recipes before posting their favorite. I know when I hear that, it’s going to be a great recipe!

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10 No Bake Desserts!

Today was the first day in well over a month that I was finally able to turn all of our fans off. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. But we live in an older apartment building, and so our apartment could also double as a sauna, if needed. There are some days where I turn on our portable a/c and put it on full blast and sit right in front of it. It was impossible to cook. There was one point where I was dragging our a/c from our bedroom to the living room, just to make dinner. One day it was so hot, that not even that helped! That night we went to the movies, partly because they’re very generous with their glorious a/c.

The past week admits the heat I’ve been testing cupcake and frosting recipes again (a post is coming soon!). Today it’s Raspberry Frosting. Last week it was Lemon Frosting. Next week, I’m thinking something caramel-y. I’m also loving that it requires absolutely NO HEAT! Booya.

I’m all over anything that doesn’t require me to turn on that big white box on in there. If it’s super hot where you are, I gotcha covered. Well with desserts at least. It IS the best meal anyway. Here are 10 No Bake Desserts for ya.



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Blackberry Cream Pie www.paperandbirch.comFrozen Blackberry Cream Pie – Let’ Dish Recipes



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Cookies and Cream Cake www.paperandbirch.comCookies and Cream Cake – My Baking Addiction



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Key Lime Margarita Squares www.paperandbirch.comKey Lime Margarita Squares – Dinners, Dishes & Desserts



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - No Bake Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars www.paperandbirch.comNo Bake Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars – Seasons & Suppers



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - No Bake Mini Cheesecakes with Raspberry Sauce www.paperandbirch.comNo Bake Mini Cheesecakes with Raspberry Sauce – Oh Sweet Basil



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Pots de Crème a l'Orange www.paperandbirch.comPots de Crème a l’Orange – The Pioneer Woman



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - No Bake Lemon Oreo Cheesecake www.paperandbirch.comNo Bake Lemon Oreo Cheesecake – My Baking Addiction



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches www.paperandbirch.comBrownie Ice Cream Sandwiches – Smitten Kitchen



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Retro Peanut Butter Pie www.paperandbirch.comRetro Peanut Butter Pie – Spoonful



Paper & Birch - 10 No Bake Desserts - Apple Pie Icebox Cake www.paperandbirch.comApple Pie Icebox Cake – Let’s Dish


If you have any favourite No Bake Dessert recipes, leave them in the comments below!
Happy Friday!
~Natalie :)

One Response to “10 No Bake Desserts!”

  1.'/ Danelle says:

    I don’t know what happened, but somehow my comments about this post ended up in the post about smoothies….so check there! And thanks again for including my recipes!

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12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes

We’re on a hot streak here these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer but man, I feel like I melt away just a little bit each day. One day my husband will come home to find a pool of water that was me. We live in an older apartment on the 3rd (top) floor. And man, it gets hot in here. There are some days where I’m dragging our huge portable a/c from the bedroom to the living room just so I can cook. Because otherwise, I’ll grab a rotisserie chicken and call it a day. Boom.

During the week we get up ridiculously early. I mean it, the birds aren’t even up yet. In the morning, all I have the energy for is doing what’s absolutely necessary before I run like a maniac out the front door. Coffee is a MUST for me. That has to happen before anything else. And the only way we get breakfast in the mornings is by having a smoothie. I can whip up a batch of smoothies in record time. I ain’t joking, if there were smoothie making olympics, I would win hands down.

About a week ago, we finally got ourselves a Vitamix and that made all the difference. We tried out another high end blender, but found it didn’t work nearly as well as the Vitamix. That thing will pulverize anything! It’s made our smoothies soooo much better. There are a ton of smoothie recipes out there, but it can be difficult to find healthy smoothie recipes. So, here’s a round-up of my favourite healthy smoothie recipes.


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Triple-Berry-Chia-Smoothie-4 Triple Berry Chia Smoothie – Two Peas & Their Pod


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Green Tea, Blueberry & Banana Smoothie www.paperandbirch.comGreen Tea, Blueberry & Banana Smoothie – Prevention


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Protein-Smoothie-2 www.paperandbirch.comChocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie – Sally’s Baking Addiction


 Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Pineapple Blueberry Smoothie www.paperandbirch.comPineapple Blueberry Smoothie – What’s Gaby Cooking


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - kale-banana-smoothie www.paperandbirch.comKale Pineapple & Banana Smoothie – Real Simple


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Creamy Chocolate Hemp Smoothie www.paperandbirch.comCreamy Chocolate Hemp Smoothie – Oh She Glows


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - citrus smoothie main www.paperandbirch.comCitrus Smoothie – Vitamix


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Green Smoothie www.paperandbirch.comGreen Smoothie – Eating Well


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Chocolate-Espresso-Smoothie-The-Lemon-Bowl www.paperandbirch.comChocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie – The Lemon Bowl


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Berry Banana Smoothie www.paperandbirch.comBerry Banana Smoothie – Lauren’s Latest

Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Strawberry Smoothie

B & L’s Strawberry Smoothie – All Recipes


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Very-Berry-Chocolate-Protein-Smoothie www.paperandbirch.comVery Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen


Paper & Birch - 12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

 Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie – Joy The Baker

If you have any great recipes, I’d love to try them. Leave them in the comment section below!

Nat :)

5 Responses to “12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes”

  1.'/ Joanna says:

    Yay! All great recipes in one place! It’s like having all socks in one place and not looking for the odd ones!

  2.'/ Danelle says:

    Thanks so much for including my desserts in this post! But I must say, they all look amazingly good! My husband is from Canada and we used to live just south of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island–you can buy them in the stores there, and that is one treat he really misses, so I will definitely have to try making those! :)

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8 Summer Picnic Must Haves!

Summer is in full swing here. Sun is out, well except the past few days. Like a lot of people, we spend a lot of time at the beach in the summer. Sometimes the hubby and I just grab some food and a bottle of wine and have a little romantic dinner to ourselves. Sometime’s it’s with everybody and their dog. We go so much that this year we’ve just left the major picnic gear in our car. Mainly because our storage locker a.k.a the “leaning tower of pisa” is a hazard to my safety and sanity. Seriously, last time I was in there, a suitcase fell on my head while I was holding up another suitcase with my head. Oh….to have a house.

I always have a list of stuff to bring when it’s the usual group. I make lists/spreadsheets for EVERYTHING. You should see my spreadsheets for when we’ve moved….. Or maybe you shouldn’t, you might think I’m a little nuts. Don’t judge.

So, here are 8 of my summer picnic must haves!

Paper & Birch - 8 Picnic Must-Haves www.paperandbirch1. Graphite Grey Turkish Cotton Beach Towel  // 2.  Coca-Cola 1940′s Replica Cooler // 3. Light Blue Chevron Plates // 4. How Does She Do It Beach Tote // 5. iHome Portable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker // 6. Monaco Red Beach Chair // 7. Poppytalk Charcoal Camp Stove // 8. Frankford Beach Umbrella

Oh, and speaking of awesome picnic stuff, have you seen the “Coolest Cooler” yet? I’m obsessed with this. Ryan Grepper had a goal of reaching $50,000 for his kickstarter campaign and at today’s mark, he’s now grossed $7,118,666. Yes that’s right SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS!! And he still has 35 days left on his campaign. My husband turns to me and says, “See sweetie, you just need to come up with an idea like that and then I can retire rich!”. That’s love people.


~Natalie  :-)

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Pomegranate Guacamole

Paper & Birch - Pomegranate Guacamole


First off I gotta know – are any of you watching Orange Is The New Black? I’m obsessed with that show. Last year when my husband was at his guy’s weekend and I wasn’t feeling well, I binge watched the entire first season. It’s that good. Of course when I found out that there was going to be a second season, I decided that the husband needed to watch it too. I mean for a guy, what’s not to like? The writers definitely knew how to get the guys on board with this show.

If you watch it, who’s your favourite character? Like most people, I think one of my favourite characters is Suzanne aka Crazy Eyes. She’s so much fun to watch. Uzo Adubo is an incredible actress. However, if you haven’t watched the show yet - stop what you’re doing, turn on netflix and watch it now. Seriously, getta move on. You’ll thank me for it later.

Ok, now back to the guacamole. We have guacamole a LOT. Most guacamole recipes seem to be different configurations of pretty much the same ingredients. It’s also one of the easiest and healthiest dips you can make. The ironic thing about guacamole is although I love guacamole – hate avocados. Seriously. Can’t stand ‘em. But you mix them with a few ingredients, bada boom bada bing and I love it. Weird, I know. My husband thinks so too. But he likes beets and I think that’s weird.

Pomegranate Guacamole

Total Time: 20 minutes

1 1/2 cups


  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 large jalapeño - seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion (approx 1/3cup), finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate


  1. 1. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop the flesh into a bowl.
  2. 2. Add the red onion, lemon & lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro and garlic. Mash with a fork.
  3. 3. Lightly mix in pomegranate.
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Have a great week everyone!

xo Natalie  :-D



5 Responses to “Pomegranate Guacamole”

  1. Never thought of using pomegranates in guacamole!! Genius!

  2. This is such a cool and unique dish! Wow :)

  3. aah i too am am so obsessed with orange is the new black at the moment.. need to finish the first season though! this gauc looks delicious, never thought to add pomegranate before.. definitely an idea i will be trying in my kitchen!

  4. Very different thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday!

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