Light and refreshing cupcakes filled with lemon curd and topped with a meringue frosting! Take them to the next level by lightly torching them with a blow torch.
There are many types of pies in the world.
The classic apple pie, the juicy cherry pie, the fan-favorite pumpkin pie... but for me, nothing beats a big ol' slice of lemon meringue pie.
And today we're taking all those classic lemon meringue pie flavors — that tangy, light lemon curd and that sweet, crunchy meringue — and packing them into cupcake form.
I had so much fun baking these lemon meringue cupcakes, and I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as I did!
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Delicious lemon flavor. That gorgeous lemon flavor that we all know and love comes though in multiple places in this recipe — both in the cupcake itself and the lemon curd!
Perfect for entertaining. Given how unique these cupcakes are, they'd be perfect for a dinner party or a summer BBQ! I always love bringing cupcakes to parties since they're already portioned out.
Good excuse to use a blowtorch. This is the perfect recipe for all you pyromaniacs out there! Whip out that blowtorch and give these cupcakes that beautiful smoky texture. If you don't have a blowtorch yet, here's one you could consider picking up.
Most of the ingredients in this recipe are pretty straightforward, but here are a few important ones to note:
Lemons. Unsurprisingly, this recipe calls for quite a few lemons. You'll need both lemon juice and zest, so get those juicers and microplanes ready to go!
Sour cream. I love using sour cream in cupcakes because it helps make the cupcakes moister and richer. Just trust me on this one!
Egg yolks and egg whites. You'll use four egg yolks for the lemon curd and four egg whites for the meringue frosting, so separate the yolks from the egg whites and keep them all for the entire recipe.
Cream of tartar. I like to use cream of tartar in the meringue frosting because it helps stabilize the egg whites and produce a sturdier meringue. You can usually pick up cream of tartar in the spice section of any grocery store.
Tips for Making These Cupcakes
After adding in each ingredient, make sure to scrape the bowl very well. This is especially important to do after adding in the eggs and dry ingredients. In order to get an even cupcake that rises well, you want to make sure all the ingredients are homogenous.
Once you add in the dry ingredients, don't overmix. When it comes to cupcakes, you always want to mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can cause the cupcakes to taste tough, and who wants that?
Use a toothpick to test if the cupcakes are done. To test if the cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick or cake tester directly into the center of one of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean with just a few crumbs, it's done baking. If it comes out liquidy, continue to bake the cupcakes and check every two minutes or so until ready. To learn more about testing if cupcakes are done, check out this article.
Common Questions About These Cupcakes
Yes, definitely! Once baked, you can store these cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. I would recommend filling and frosting them right before serving to have the best flavor. Alternatively, you can also freeze the unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2 months—just thaw them completely before serving.
After removing these cupcakes from the oven, I recommend cooling them in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely at room temperature.
I decorated these cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a round tip, then I used a small blowtorch on the meringue to give it that smoked look. However, you can decorate them however you'd like! If you don't have a piping bag at home, you can always cut a hole in a Ziploc bag and use that instead.
Light and refreshing cupcakes filled with lemon curd and topping with a meringue frosting! Take them to the next level by lightly torching them with a blow torch.
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs (100g)
- 2 teaspoons (9g) vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup (57g) sour cream
- 2 ½ cups (300g) all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons (10g) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups (340g) whole milk
- 4 egg yolks (80g)
- ⅔ cup (134g) granulated sugar
- Zest from 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2-3 lemons)
- ⅛ teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 egg whites (120g)
- ¼ teaspoon (1g) cream of tartar
- 1 ¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
- Make the lemon cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), cream together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Once fluffy, add in the eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. Next, add in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sour cream, and scrape well to incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the whole milk into the creamed butter mixture in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix and periodically scraping the bowl to make sure the mixture is homogenous.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared liners until they are about ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the lemon curd: Fill a medium-sized pot with about 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt, then place the bowl over the pot of simmering water. Cook the mixture, while whisking continuously to prevent curdling, until it has thickened up and can coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove the bowl from the heat, then whisk the butter into the curd. Pour the curd into a small bowl or jar, then place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin. Let the curd cool completely before using it to fill the cupcakes.
- Make the meringue frosting (Swiss meringue): Fill a medium-sized pot with about 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar until well combined. Place the heatproof bowl over the pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F (I recommend using a digital food thermometer to test this). Once the mixture has reached 160°F, transfer it to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or the same bowl using a handheld beater) and whisk until medium-firm peaks form (about 5-7 minutes). Add the vanilla extract towards the end, mixing well to ensure it's well incorporated into the mixture.
- Decorate the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are cool, scoop out a section in the middle of each cupcake and generously fill with lemon curd. Then, top each cupcake with the Swiss meringue frosting as desired and serve! I decorated these cupcakes using piping bag fitted with a round tip, then I lightly torched them with a blow torch.
- Stored tightly in an airtight container, these cupcakes will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days or up to two months in the freezer.
- If desired, you can make the cupcakes ahead of time and freeze them undecorated for up to two months. Just be sure to pack them tightly in a reusable container or bag!
- If you torch the cupcakes using a blow torch, make sure to not to let the cupcake liner catch on fire. To be as careful as possible, you can remove the liner before torching.
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 273
- Sugar: 31.6 g
- Sodium: 46.7 mg
- Fat: 10.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 42.5 g
- Protein: 3.7 g
- Cholesterol: 70.3 mg
Keywords: cupcakes, lemon meringue cupcakes, swiss meringue, lemon curd