Lemon meringue cupcakes are the perfect spring dessert. Light lemon cupcakes filled with tart lemon curd and piled high with fluffy meringue frosting.
According to the calendar it is spring now.
I had to check the calendar because I definitely wouldn’t be able to tell by looking outside. This year has been especially grey and wet in Seattle. I love living here, but quite honestly I am tired of it! I need a little sunshine in my life!
Since the weather isn’t going to give me any sunshine I decided to bake up a little of my own. And I am so glad I did because these lemon meringue cupcakes are just what I needed. We all have to find our ways to cope here in the Pacific Northwest. No other flavor screams spring to me like lemon. The tart citrus flavor really wakes up your palate just like the first blooms of spring after a long winter.
Cupcakes are great on their own, but they are even better when they have filling inside. It is like a hidden flavor secret that can really take a cupcake to the next level. There are lots of fancy tools for cutting out a core from the center of the cake, but I prefer to leave all of the cake intact. Instead I use a long piping tip like this Bismarck tip to pipe filling in to the center of the cake. It fills in all the nooks and crannies of the cake.
I topped these cupcakes with a whipped Italian meringue frosting to mimic the meringue on top of a lemon pie. My grandma has made a frosting like this before, and she always called it seven minute frosting. When I worked at a bakery during college we called it white mountain because of its bright white color an glossy peaks. Whatever you call it I love this frosting! It is light and fluffy and is slightly reminiscent of marshmallow. The sweetness is the perfect topping for these tart lemon cupcakes.
If you are dreaming of Spring like I am you NEED to make these cupcakes! I promise it will make you feel a little better even if the sun isn’t shining outside.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cup cake flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- ⅛ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt then set aside.
- With a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Next add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix on a low speed. Then add the lemon juice, milk, lemon zest, and sour cream, mix just until incorporated. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Fill cupcakes with lemon curd, and then frost generously.
- In a small sauce pan combine lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and stir in butter. Allow to cool before filling cupcakes.
- In a small sauce pan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar will make a thread 6-8 inches long.
- While the sugar is cooking, begin beating the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the sugar forms a thread, increase the speed and beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
- With the mixer running on a medium speed slowly stream in the hot sugar mixture, then add the vanilla and beat until the frosting forms stiff glossy peaks.