The holiday period is an excellent time to have company over, and indeed within two days we were having two different groups of friends over. I thought I would make some nice lemon cupcakes for the occasion, as there were several lemon dessert lovers amongst the guests. These cupcakes have a little something special since they are topped with a meringue that is hiding a delicious lemon curd filling. This recipe was straightforward and incredibly tasty. There was no subtleness in the lemon flavour! It was all there and these little cupcakes were a hit amongst the parties. I think that the unexpected lemon curd filling makes them even better, like a little surprise of sorts! Definitely a successful recipe that I would repeat time and time again.
Ingredients for cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake and pastry flour*
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 5 to 6 tablespoons lemon curd or lemon marmalade
Ingredients for meringue:
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line 16 muffin cups with large paper liners.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until smooth.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and lemon juice.
- Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the butter mixture in three separate additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Blend well after each addition.
- Spoon the batter into the paper liners and bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed. Note: the batter will be quite thick. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove them from the tins to cool completely.
- For the topping, preheat the oven to 375°F and place the cooled cupcakes on a baking tray. Spoon about a teaspoon of lemon curd or marmalade on top of each cupcake, keeping the filling as close to the centre as possible.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then slowly add the sugar while whipping. Whip the egg whites on high speed until they hold a stiff peak.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe swirls on top of each cupcake, making sure to completely cover the lemon curd or marmalade. Bake the cupcakes for 6-8 minutes, until the meringue browns slightly, and cool to room temperature.
Notes from Anna:
- To make room for even more lemon curdcor marmalade, you can spoon a little cake out of the centre of the cooled cupcakes.