It’s finally summer, and the warmer weather means sneaking off for an afternoon at the pool, eating every possible meal outdoors, and finding the perfect new dessert to bring to the neighborhood block party, family brunch, or birthday celebration.
Good news, GoodCooks: we’ve got the absolute best recipe for all your summertime festivities—something light, citrusy, but still just a little bit decadent. These tender, lemon-kissed cupcakes are filled with zesty lemon curd and topped with a bright whip of frosting that’s browned meringue-style just before serving. And who can resist a recipe that allows you to use your extra-handy kitchen torch?
The secret ingredient to moist and flavorful cupcakes? A little sour cream in the batter to add a bit of zing to the sweetness of the sugar. And while you may be tempted to keep these all to yourself, we highly recommend sharing these—they’re guaranteed to make you a hit at parties, and who doesn’t want to be known for their fabulous desserts?
In addition to your kitchen torch, this recipe is the perfect opportunity to master using your candy thermometer as you perfect your meringue-making skills? Don’t have a candy thermometer yet? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, along with everything else you’ll need to make this summer season extra delicious.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- zest of 2 lemons
For the Filling
- 1 1/2 cups lemon curd
- Juice of 2 lemons
For the Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 large eggs whites, room temperature
For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake wrappers. Set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk, beat until very mixture is very light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix just until combined. Spoon into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or just until the cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center. Remove and cool completely before filling and frosting.
Once cool, use a small 1” ice cream scoop to remove the center from each cupcake.
For the Filling: In a medium, microwave safe bowl, heat lemon curd and fresh lemon juice together for 60 seconds. Whisk together until smooth. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the lemon curd into the hollowed-out center of each cupcake.
For the Frosting: In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, water, and corn syrup over medium-high heat. Once boiling, allow the mixture to boil until it reaches 230 degrees on a Good Cook candy thermometer.
As the sugar mixture begins to boil, beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Once the sugar mixture reaches 230 degrees, slowly pour the mixture down the side of the stand mixer bowl, beating on low until combined. Turn speed to medium-high, and whip until the mixture cools and stiff, shiny peaks form. Transfer immediately into a large decorator’s icing bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe icing on top of each filled cupcake. Brown the frosting with a kitchen torch OR place in the stove, under a hot broiler for 40-60 seconds. Serve within 2-3 hours for best results.