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.