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+ servings
lemon meringue cupcake with bite missing on wire cooling rack, with four cupcakes around, lemon slice, flowers, and empty glasses behind on marble surface

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Author: Traci
Soft, lemon-y, and oh so delicious! These Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are the perfect impressive bake to bring to any and all occasions this summer.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup buttermilk
  • 4 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon Curd

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • cup lemon juice
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 4 ½ Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature

Meringue

  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ⅔ Tablespoons water

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Heat oven to 350° F.
  • Place cupcake liners in muffin pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Spoon into muffin cups, filling each ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until done.

Lemon Curd

  • In a medium glass bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs yolks, and lemon juice.
  • Place over a pot of simmering water.
  • Cook and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Add lemon zest and butter, stirring until butter is melted.

Meringue

  • With an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
  • In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water, stirring continually until sugar melts.
  • Cook over medium heat to 246°-250° F, brushing down the sides with water twice.
  • With mixer running, stream sugar mixture into egg whites.
  • Continue beating until cooled, about 5-10 minutes.

Putting It Together

  • Core cupcakes.
  • Pipe lemon curd into each cavity.
  • Top with meringue.
  • Toast with a kitchen torch, if desired.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If you don't want to make the curd, you can use store-bought!
  • Store-bought lemon juice can be used, but it's better to use fresh, as you also will need the rind for this recipe.
 
Expert Tips:
  • The cake batter for this recipe is very thick!
  • After baking, the cupcake tops are flat. This makes for easier coring and decorating!
  • Do NOT over mix the cake batter.
  • When making the curd, the texture should be about pudding consistency. It takes anywhere from 10-25 minutes to thicken. Just be sure to use a GLASS bowl and place over a simmering (not boiling) pot of water.
  • Don't waste the egg whites from the curd! Use them to make the meringue. Save the rest for breakfast or another recipe!
  • The egg whites for the meringue need to be whipped to about stiff-peaks. Turn off the mixer and make your syrup. Once the syrup is at temperature, turn the mixer on high and slowly stream the syrup in.
  • Do NOT stir the syrup once the sugar is dissolved.
  • Also, keep a bowl of water and pastry brush nearby You will need to brush the sides of the pan down to keep the sugar from crystalizing.
  • Beat the meringue until it's completely cool. This takes about 5-10 minutes. You can feel the temperature of your mixing bowl to gage if the meringue is cool.
  • I found that piping the meringue onto the cupcake and then using an offset spatula resulted in the best way to get the meringue onto the cupcake without a mess. By just using an offset spatula, the cupcake may tear when trying to spread the meringue.
  • Toasting the meringue is optional, but highly recommended!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 351IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg