Who knew lemon could be better than any chocolate out there? Naysayers, you have to try this lemony combination. A buttery cupcake with flecks of lemon zest, a tart robust lemon curd studded with vanilla bean and then top it all off with a fluffy marshmallowy meringue. Win!
I made these bad boys as a Mother’s Day surprise. Just one problem when it comes to mom & her sweet tooth… she usually has to shy away from desserts due to a chocolate allergy – bummer! We couldn’t have all that on her special day, so I grabbed a bag of lemons and a lot of eggs and got to work on this epically delicious concoction.
Y’all know I’ve been in meringue heaven lately with my Robin Egg Meringues and the Tres Leches Cake with Toasted Meringue I made for Jason’s birthday. I just can’t get enough of the sweet fluffy stuff! Now I like buttercream just as much as the next gal, but this time I saved the butter for the cake batter and the results were fantastic!
The recipe came together from three different ideas I found out there. I had been dying to try this lowfat lemon curd recipe and it was the highlight of the cupcake for me with the addition of vanilla beans. The hardest part is the cramp you get from all that whisking :). I knew I wanted a light flavorful cupcake and any recipe with dairy, be it yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream, immediately gets my vote because all my favs include one of these! Finally, I wanted an airy sticky texture on my marshmallow meringue, so I found one that didn’t include water and it was just the ticket! Cheers!!
Because these all came from different recipes, I scaled and modified each one to get the right proportion of cake to filling to fluff. Here’s my recipe as always with my notes and tips in blue:
Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes Topped with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
(makes exactly 12 cupcakes…on second thought you might want to double it!)
Lemon Curd Filling
- 2/3 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- ½ c. sugar (less than the original called for – it was awesomely tart)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (yes, I’m obsessed)
In a medium sauce pan, heat the sugar, lemon juice and zest over medium heat, stirring until dissolved.
In a stand mixer, lightly whip the eggs and slowly pour the hot mixture into the egg while whipping. Beat for 1-2 minutes and strain the mixture back into the saucepan to make it smooth.
Cook on low for
ever about 10 minutes whisking continuously until it thickens and comes to a boil. (and you can’t feel your arm)
Remove from heat and stir in the bean paste. Cool completely before filling cupcakes. (makes about 1.5 cups of curd!)
Lemon Cream Cupcakes
- ½ c. butter, softened
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 c. reduced fat sour cream
Cream together the butter and sugar until light & airy. Add in the egg, lemon zest and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the wet mixture.
Spray a large muffin tin with cooking spray and divide batter evenly. (Note: these will be big cupcakes!)
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes in a preheated oven, you will start to smell them browning when they’re ready.
Cool completely before filling and frosting.
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- 4 egg whites
- 1 c. sugar
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
Combine all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Heat the mixture over a pot of simmering water, heating to 145 F (for
another eternity 10 minutes), whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and beat on low until foamy and then on high for 8-10 minutes!
To assemble cupcakes: Fit a piping bag with a long cupcake tip and fill with lemon curd. Poke the top of each cupcake and apply pressure to fill with lemon curd.
After each cupcake is filled, use a star tip (i used Ateco 1M) and working from the outside in, form a swirl.
One each cupcake is frosted, bust out your torch and lightly toast the edges.