Jul 26, 2010

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Could these cupcakes be any more adorable?  I really don’t think so! They are a lemon flavored cupcake, topped with lemon curd and then meringue icing on top, finished with a kitchen torch to give that nice brown top.  They are definitely for a lemon lover – but they are wonderful and so much fun to eat. 
I made a few changes to the original recipe – which is from Martha Stewart Cupcakes, I used Martha’s recipe for the cake and frosting, and Dorie Greenspans recipe for the lemon curd.  I did not need even half of the frosting to frost all 24 of these cupcakes – so I adjusted the recipe below to reflect that.  You also may have some lemon curd leftover – but you can easily find another reason to eat that (i.e. straight from the bowl with a spoon).  Another item to note – be very careful if travelling with these – the frosting can easily slide off the lemon curd – so don’t make any quick turns! :)



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

lemon curd:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, ,cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 4 lemons

frosting (Seven minute frosting):

  • 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 24 standard muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.

5. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

6. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

lemon curd:

1. Place all lemon curd ingredients in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir with a spatula to moisten sugar. 

2. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring continuously until the butter melts and the mixture thickens like custard, 4-10 minutes. 

3. It is cooked enough when you can run your finger along the spatula and the curd does not run back along the track you created.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl.   Cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator – place plastic wrap on surface to create an airtight seal.

seven minute frosting:

1. Combine 3/4 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, beating to combine.

3. As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream.

4. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

To assemble cupcakes:

Spread about 1 tablespoon lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip with frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Hold a small kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve immediately.

Source: cupcakes and frosting: Martha Stewart Cupcakes; lemon curd from Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

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  1. I love the toasted meringue! So adorable and beautifully assembled!

  2. These look amazing! I've filled cupcakes with lemon posset before, but would have never thought of this! Beautiful!