- 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
- 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.
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.