Wheat germ adds flavor and nutrients to these delicious and delightful little cakes.
Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease 12, 2-1/2-inch muffin cups; set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk or sour milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in the wheat germ. Spoon batter into prepared muffins cups.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Prepare Lemon Butter Frosting. Spread or pipe over cupcakes and sprinkle with shelled sunflower seeds and colored sugar, if you like. If you like, serve in paper bake cups. Makes 12 servings.
Allow butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in enough additional milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Stir in lemon peel. If desired, tint with food coloring.