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Three lemon meringue cupcakes on a plate

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

  • Author: Leslie Jeon
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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. 


Ingredients

Scale

Lemon Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs (100g) 
  • 2 teaspoons (9g) vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • 1/4 cup (57g) sour cream 
  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (10g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) kosher salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) whole milk 

Lemon Curd: 

  • 4 egg yolks (80g)
  • 2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar 
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2-3 lemons) 
  • 1/8 teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, softened 

Meringue Frosting: 

  • 4 egg whites (120g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) cream of tartar
  • 1 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared liners until they are about ⅔ of the way full.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.


Notes

  • 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. 

Nutrition

  • 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