Lemon meringue cupcakes look beautiful and taste amazing!! I used filigree cupcake wraps to give them that extra WOW!! The homemade lemon curd really ramps up the flavour and the fluffy marshmallow like Swiss meringue topping adds a decadent and delicious twist (if any of you have had marshmallow Fluff its sort of like that). I tried using Swiss meringue buttercream for the topping, but I felt it was way to heavy and completely ruined the light lemony thing I was going for. So I ditched the butter! And that makes the topping about as close to healthy as you can get right?! I also dried out some lemon zest strips in the oven and used them as a finishing touch – an inspired idea I thought! I’d love to hear your thoughts on these, let me know if you like them in the comments!!
Makes: 12, Takes: 2 hours
For the cakes:
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the lemon curd:
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
For the Swiss meringue topping:
- 3 large egg whites
- 150g granulated sugar
For the cakes, preheat your oven to 160 fan/180 conventional and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully combined.
Add the vanilla extract and beat, then sieve in the flour and fold in.
Fill the cupcake cases 2/3 full with the cake mix (a big scoop on a dessert spoon does it for me) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
For the lemon curd, zest and juice the lemons. Then add the zest, juice, butter and sugar into a bowl and place over a pan of boiling water. Heat until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally.
Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk together then add it to the lemon mixture, stirring until combined.
Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool and once cooled transfer into a sterilised jar to keep
For the Swiss meringue topping, whisk together the egg whites and the sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer until combined. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and begin to heat, whisking as you go.
The egg mixture will need to reach about 160c and all the sugar will be dissolved. I don’t have a thermometer, so when the mixture is opaque and it is uncomfortably hot when you put your finger in it, it will be ready
Transfer your bowl to your stand mixer and whip on a high speed for about 10 minutes. It will increase in volume dramatically and be glossy and fluffy.
To decorate, whilst the Swiss meringue is whipping up, cut a hole out of the top of each cupcake and fill the hole with lemon curd.
Cut the bottom half off the piece you cut out and discard (or eat!), then place the top back on the lemon curd filled hole.
Fill a piping bag with the Swiss meringue and pipe onto the cupcakes. If you like you can place them under the grill for a couple of minutes to give them a bit of colour… or you can use a blowtorch if you have one (I don’t)!!