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A lemon cupcake, filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon meringue, sitting on a pink plate.

Lemon Cupcake Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
This lemon cupcake recipe is filled with a tart and creamy citrus curd, then topped with a soft meringue frosting, making it a heavenly dessert. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest Approximately 2 lemons

Lemon Curd Filling

Meringue Frosting

  • 4 egg whites room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda until fully combined. 
  • In a separate bowl, using either a hand or a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and creamy. Crack the room temperature eggs into the butter mixture one at a time, and beat together until smooth. Stir in the vegetable oil, fresh lemon juice, milk and lemon zest to the butter mixture.  
  • Slowly begin to pour in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix it together. Mix this until it is only just combined, do not over mix.
  • Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and fill the liners until they are a little over halfway full. Pop them in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake bounces back when you press on it. 
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. Once cooled, use a cupcake scoop or spoon to remove the middle of the cupcake. Using either a spoon or a piping bag, fill the centers of the cupcake with the premade lemon curd.

Meringue Frosting

  • In a clean and dry medium sized bowl using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until you see soft peaks starting to form. 
  • Add the vanilla extract to the soft peaks and continue to beat this together until the peaks are stiff. This will take about 5 minutes. 
  • After that, gradually add the sugar until it’s all combined. Put the meringue in a piping bag and frost the tops of the cupcakes. This part is optional, but you can toast the meringue with a kitchen torch if you’d like. 

Notes

I highly recommend preparing lemon curd the day before making this recipe, which will it allow it ample time to cool and thicken. 
Storage - Keep the cupcakes in the fridge covered for up to 3 days. You can leave them out on the counter if you prefer, as long as they are left uncovered. If you choose not to frost them, the cupcakes can be frozen for up to two months. 
Please read entire post for tips, advice and ingredient discussion. 
Nutrition facts do not include lemon curd, please see lemon curd recipe for tha information. 

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
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