Lemon Meringue Cupcakes consist of three parts that create perfect harmony: moist lemon cake cupcakes, zesty lemon curd and sweet Italian meringue topping. They are great choice of dessert for every occasion.
Since these homemade cupcakes are made from scratch, it is necessary to choose which type of meringue to use. I’ve chose Italian meringue because it is the most stable of all the meringues, making it ideal as an icing, topping or component in desserts. Unlike other types of meringue, once you’ve finished beating the mix it is ready to use and requires no further cooking.
I had to finish Lemon Meringue Cupcakes without blowtorch, simply because I don’t have one. But it is easy to just put them in the oven and caramelise the top a bit under hot grill.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 14 Tbsp lemon curd
- 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 Tablespoons agave nectar or light corn syrup
- 4 large egg whites
- a few drops of lemon juice
FOR THE CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper cups*.
In a food processor, mix flour, sugar, baking powder. Add butter and beat until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add eggs, 1 at a time, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.
Fill muffin cups to the top. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean (about 15-20 min). Let cool.
FOR ITALIAN MERINGUE:
Place sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (because sugar sticks to the metal spoon), until sugar dissolves.
Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 121°C or 230°F (soft ball stage**).
Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with lemon juice until soft peaks form. With mixer motor running, pour the hot syrup into beaten egg whites in a smooth, steady stream. continue mixing the meringue until it has cooled to room temperature.
Spread about 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Curd over the top of each cupcake. Pipe the meringue on top of lemon curd. Toast the meringue with a cook’s torch or put cupcakes in a hot oven and grill until lightly golden.
*6x3cm (100 ml) or 2.5×1 inches (3.4 fl oz; 1/3 cup + 4 tsp) muffin tins
**If you don’t have a thermometer, have a bowl of very cold water next to the stove. Drop a little bit of the syrup into the cold water. It should form a ball, but it should not keep its shape when you pinch it with your fingers.