Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These lemon meringue cupcakes are filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with lightly toasted meringue – a delicious cupcake twist on a classic dessert!

I have a new found love for developing dessert-inspired cupcake recipes. It’s so much fun experimenting and finding the best way to incorporate the flavours, the textures and appearance of the dessert into the cupcake. So far we’ve had Banoffee Cupcakes and Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, and now these gorgeous lemon meringue cupcakes.

Lemon meringue cupcakes

How to make lemon meringue cupcakes

There are 3 parts to these lemon meringue cupcakes:

  1. Lemon infused cupcakes – the zest of 2 lemons is added to a simple vanilla sponge mixture. Light in texture and buttery in flavour, the sponge melts in your mouth and has a lovely citrus kick.
  2. Lemon curd filling – the middle of the cupcakes is scooped out and filled with sweet and tangy homemade lemon curd. Lemon curd is surprisingly quick and easy to make, and homemade always tastes SO much better! But if you fancy taking a shortcut or want to speed the recipe up, then you can use a jar of shop-bought lemon curd instead.
  3. Toasted meringue topping – a simple two-ingredient meringue is whisked up, swirled on top of the cupcakes and lightly toasted under the grill. You can also return the cupcakes to the oven or use a blow torch to toast the meringue. Just watch them very closely (I literally sat next to the oven!) as they can quickly burn.
Lemon curd

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
200g Stork tub
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 lemons, zest only

For the lemon curd:
4 lemons, juice only (you can use the two lemons from the cake ingredients above)
2 lemons, zest only
120g caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
20g unsalted butter

For the meringue topping:
4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. 

In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 200g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder, lemon zest and milk and fold together until smooth and combined. Be careful not to over-mix. The mixture should drop off the spoon but still hold its shape.

Divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now make the lemon curd.

In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolk. Heat gently for about 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to make thick, glossy lemon curd. Pour into a jar and leave to cool and thicken up.

Fill the cupcakes.

Make a hole in the middle of each cupcake (you can do this using a cupcake corer, apple corer, piping nozzle or teaspoon). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of lemon curd and press the cut-out piece of sponge back into the hole, trimming to fit if needed.

Now make the meringue topping.

Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on a medium-high setting until they are thick, bright white and can hold their shape. Now add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk, until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.

Spread the meringue on the top of each cupcake and put them under the grill to lightly toast the meringue. Watch them like a hawk as they can burn very easily, mine took roughly 30 seconds to brown. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 2 days.


White Chocolate and Raspberry No-bake Cheesecake

This white chocolate and raspberry no-bake cheesecake recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s light, refreshing and very moreish!

The base is made using digestive biscuits, it’s buttery and crumbly and because this is a no-bake recipe, it can skip the oven and go straight in the fridge to set. The cheesecake filling is smooth, creamy and perfectly sweet. Fresh raspberries are dotted throughout which adds a lovely sharpness and goes so well with the sweet taste of white chocolate. The final touches are a simple drizzle of white chocolate and fresh raspberries placed around the edge.

White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake slice
Top tips for making a no-bake cheesecake

If making a no-bake cheesecake makes you feel a little nervous, trust me you’re not alone! I think it’s the dreaded fear that the cheesecake doesn’t set properly and you’re left with a lovely biscuit base swimming in a puddle of runny cheesecake mixture (eeek). But fear not! This recipe has gone through a lot of trial and error and I promise it won’t let you down. Just follow the steps carefully and have a read of my top tips below to help you make a perfect cheesecake every time.

Tip #1 – Line the base of the baking tin with greaseproof paper

Lining the base will prevent the cheesecake from getting stuck to the bottom of the baking tin, making it so much easier to lift off and transfer to a serving plate.

Tip #2 – Keep the cream cheese in the fridge until you’re ready to start

In the UK our cream cheese isn’t as thick and it can loosen very quickly when mixing it from room temperature. This is why I only take the cream cheese out of the fridge, along with the cream, at the start of the recipe. By the time you need to use it, it will still be cold enough to hold its shape but not too cold that it won’t mix with the icing sugar.

Tip #3 – Add the white chocolate before the double cream

I’ve learnt this tip the hard way. I’ve found that adding the white chocolate before the cream helps prevent it from seizing and making the mixture lumpy. I’m not sure what the science is behind this but its something to do with ingredient temperature differences. Just trust me on this on

Tip #4 – Don’t skimp on the chill time

Although it can be painful having to wait, make sure you chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, or even better overnight. This will give the cheesecake enough time to set and firm up.

Tip #5 – Decorate just before you’re ready to serve

If you’re using fruit, in particular berries, decorate your cheesecake just before you’re ready to serve. This will help prevent the fruit juices from bleeding onto your lovely white cheesecake and make sure they keep fresh.

white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake

Ingredients (makes 8-10 slices)

For the biscuit base:
250g digestive biscuits
125g unsalted butter

For the cheesecake layer:
400g full-fat cream cheese
75g icing sugar
300ml double cream
180g white chocolate
200g fresh raspberries

For the decoration:
20g white chocolate
50-100g fresh raspberries

Method

Line the bottom of an 8inch round loose-bottom baking tin.

First melt the 180g white chocolate for the cheesecake in the microwave in 20 second blasts or on the hob until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Now make the biscuit base. In a separate bowl, melt the unsalted butter until it turns to liquid. Use a rolling pin or food processor to crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and mix together, coating all the biscuits crumbs in butter. Transfer the biscuit mixture to the baking tin and press into an even layer. Place in the fridge to firm up.

Now move on to the cheesecake layer. Sift the cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and add the cream cheese. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk together until smooth and free of any lumps. Pour in the white chocolate and use a spoon or spatula to fold into the mixture. Add the double cream and whisk together for a 1-2 minutes until you have a thick, smooth cheesecake mixture that holds its shape.

Take your biscuit base out of the fridge. Spoon half of the cheesecake mixture on top and spread into an even layer. Scatter the raspberries on top. Spoon the remaining cheesecake mixture on top and spread into an even layer, smoothing out the top.

Place the cheesecake in the fridge to set for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight for best results.

Decorate just before you’re ready to serve. Melt the 20g white chocolate and drizzle on top. Place the raspberries around the edge of the cheesecake. Slice into 8-10 slices and serve.

Carrot Cake Blondies

Flavoured with warming spices, filled with chopped walnuts and swirled with cheesecake – these carrot cake blondies are absolutely divine!

Why you’ll love these carrot cake blondies

  • Ease – There are no technical skills needed to make these blondies. Just mix together the blondie ingredients, mix together the cheesecake ingredients, layer them up in the baking tin, swirl together and bake. It’s that simple!
  • Flavour – warming spices, creamy cheesecake and deep caramel undertones from the blondie mixture. This is a winning flavour combination.
  • Texture – Imagine the texture of a fudgy brownie combined with the moisture of a slice of carrot cake. Dreeeeeamy! The chopped walnuts also add a lovely crunch throughout.

Top tips for baking success

Leave the blondies to COOL COMPLETELY for slicing. This is the most important step in the recipe.

The blondies will still be a little raw when you take them out the oven, don’t worry this is a good thing as they will continue to cook as they cool down. But if you try to cut into them whilst they are still warm they will fall apart and end up looking like a hot mess!

Leave them in the baking tin for at least 4 hours to let them cool down completely. Or if you’re short on time, pop them in the fridge for two hours to set up. You can always bake them the night before and leave them overnight in the baking tin covered with foil – this will give the flavours chance to develop and produce the best texture.

More blondies recipes you’ll love


Carrot Cake Blondies recipe (makes 12)

Ingredients

For the blondies:
170g unsalted butter
220g light muscovado sugar – I used Billington’s
1 teaspoon vanilla extract – I used Nielson Massey
2 medium eggs, at room temperature
200g self-raising flour – I used Allinson’s
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
100g chopped walnuts
1 large carrot (approximately 150g)

For the cheesecake swirl:
50g caster sugar
120g full-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg yolk, at room temperature

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line an 8x8inch square baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a large bowl, melt the butter either on the hob or in the microwave until it turns to liquid.
  3. Add the light muscovado sugar and mix until combined.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix again until combined.
  5. Now add the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves and fold everything together.
  6. Grate in the carrot and add the chopped walnuts. Fold into the mixture and set the bowl aside.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix all the cheesecake ingredients together until smooth. Set aside.
  8. Spoon two thirds of the blondie mixture into the baking tin, spreading it out into an even layer.
  9. Now drop spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture on top, followed by the remaining blondie mixture.
  10. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer to swirl the two mixtures together.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden on top and the edges are started to show small cracks.
  12. Cool completely in the baking tin for at least four hours, or overnight for best results.
  13. Once cool, lift the blondies out using the greaseproof paper and slice into 12.

Your carrot cake blondies will keep at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two layers of moist carrot cake, sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting, dusted and cinnamon and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. A classic bake, perfect for your Easter Sunday celebrations.

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Ingredients (makes a two layer 8inch cake)

For the carrot cake:

  • 300g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g carrots, grated
  • Zest of a large orange
  • 100g walnuts, chopped
  • 100g sultanas

    For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 75g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge
  • Cinnamon, for dusting
  • 20g extra walnuts, to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line two 8inch round baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract into a large mixing bowl and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and orange zest.
  4. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry until combined.
  5. Fold in the grated carrot, sultanas and chopped walnuts.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the two baking tins. Bake for 35-40 mins until the cakes are golden in colour and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to completely cool.
  7. Now make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter, icing sugar and milk with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth and creamy.
  8. Gently fold in the cream cheese until combined. Be careful not to overdo it, as it can quickly become runny.
  9. Sandwich the cakes together with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.
  10. Spread a layer of frosting on top, dust with cinnamon and decorate with walnuts.