LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKES

THESE LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKES ARE MADE WITH A LIGHTLY LEMON FLAVORED CUPCAKE, LEMON CURD FILLING AND LIGHTLY TOASTED MERINGUE FROSTING! IT’S LIKE LEMON MERINGUE PIE IN CUPCAKE FORM – SO FUN!

I’ve been loving turning fun pie flavors into cupcakes! Between the Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes and now these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, these are some super fun cupcakes! I always love the surprise filling too. It’s a whole other way to add more flavor and texture to make a cupcake that much more interesting.

For these cupcakes, the base starts with my new Moist Vanilla Cupcake. You guys have been loving those cupcakes and I love how moist and easy they are to put together. For this version of them I added some lemon zest. It adds a light lemon flavor to the cupcakes, but it isn’t overwhelming.

The bulk of the lemon flavor in these comes from the lemon curd. If you’d never made lemon curd before, you have to try it. Homemade lemon curd really is so much better than the store-bought versions. A stronger, more tart flavor. Love it!

It’s also not hard to make. Just combine everything in a double boiler (or mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, as I use) and cook until it reaches 160 degrees. I use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature, but you could also just use a spoon. Run it through the curd and see if it leaves a film on the back of the spoon. If it does, it should be good.

INGREDIENTS :

Lemon Filling:
3 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. lemon zest, loosely packed
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Cupcakes:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Meringue:
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar

Preparation:

1) Make lemon filling: In small saucepan over low heat, whisk egg yolks, sugar, flour, and salt; whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest, water, and melted butter; increase heat to medium and, whisking constantly, cook until lemon filling is smooth and thick, about 7 minutes; remove from heat and set aside
2) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3) Make cupcakes: In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, lemon juice, baking powder, and salt; beat in flour until just combined
4) Divide cupcake batter between 12 cupcake liners in a muffin pan; bake 15-16 minutes until center of cupcakes firms up; remove cupcakes from oven and cool 5-8 minutes (do not turn off oven)
5) Meanwhile, make meringue: beat egg whites with salt until mixture begins to stiffen; add sugar and beat until meringue is stiff and forms pretty peaks (don’t overdo it)
6) With a sharp knife, remove center of each cupcake (about 1″ in diameter), leaving a layer of cupcake beneath cut out; discard cupcake core (or treat the weary baker to a tart little snack); fill cupcake centers with lemon filling
7) Divide dollops of meringue between cupcakes, spreading out to edges and gently tapping with back of spoon to form peaks; return cupcakes to oven and bake an additional 5-6 minutes until meringue peaks are golden brown; remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes; refrigerate an hour or more before serving – Makes: 12 absolutely delicious cupcakes