This post is sponsored by my friends at Danish Creamery, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This year, I’m receiving THE BEST gift, ever, for Mother’s Day!!!! We’re putting our home on the market and moseying on down to San Antonio, Texas!! I have always wanted to live in San Antonio, and now, we’re not just going to live there, we’re building a home there. To celebrate that and Mother’s Day (and to be efficient) I’m baking up all my ingredients to avoid having to take them on the 2 1/2 hours journey. You probably remember my telling you of a newfound love of Danish Creamery European Style Butter, I’m sure. I still have a couple of pounds of the velvety, rich butter, so I’m making good use of it with these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.
my our good news! As you know, the Soldier retired this April after serving 26 years in the Army. Since then, he’s been on the hunt for the “perfect” job. A little known fact: servicemembers have to wait six months after retiring before they’re considered for another job within the Department of Defense. Sometimes they can get a waiver, but it’s not easily obtained. Because of that, Hector decided it was time to cut the federal umbilical cord and he selected a position in the private sector. All this is to say, I’M FINALLY GOING TO SAN ANTONIO!!! My food dreams are coming true!! I’ve already scouted the nearest supermarkets (one’s less than 4 minutes away) and stores where I can buy food photography props! To say that I’m excited is an understatement!
Let’s Celebrate with Lemon Meringue Cupcakes!
In order to celebrate this fantastic news (and Mother’s Day), I do believe I need to show you how to make these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, huh? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. We’re going to make a traditional yellow butter cake, fill it with lemon curd, then top it with meringue.
Grab a bunch of lemons, some eggs, unsalted Danish Creamery butter, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, milk, vanilla, egg whites (for the meringue), and some lemon curd. To make this recipe quickly, you can most certainly use store-bought lemon curd, but my recipe is easy to make.
Mix the Yellow Butter Cupcake Batter
Cream the Butter and Sugar
Attach your paddle to your stand mixer and cream your stick of room temperature, unsalted Danish Creamery butter, granulated sugar, and kosher salt on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid) for 7 minutes.
Seriously, Friend, the color of this butter makes me swoon every time I unwrap a stick. When butter is this yellow, you know that it comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed, happy cows. Happy cows produce butter that gives these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes a gorgeous color and a divine taste. So, basically, it’s Mom in a cupcake. She’s beautiful and full of substance- you should totally write that in her greeting card. I’ll give it to you for free.
*Don’t get discombobulated with my two sticks of butter. I doubled this batch because I knew I was going to give some cupcakes to my neighbors. It was to be my, “I’m sad to leave you, but I’m so happy to be leaving this place. Here’s a treat,” treat.*
While you’re creaming the butter and sugar, be sure to scrape down the bowl and paddle a few times to create a well-mixed batter.
Add the Eggs
Add the eggs- one at a time- making sure to scrape the bowl down after you add each egg.
But, how cool is this? We went down to SA last week to look for land on which to build our home, right? Well, we found this amazing husband and wife-team of home builders and left with a good feeling about them building our home. They also had a freaking mansion of a chicken coop in their backyard. The builder, knowing I was a chef, gave us some of their eggs! Check out the color of that yolk right there! We’re still in the very early process of building, so I’ll keep you posted on how we progress.
Once the eggs have been added, crank the speed up to five and beat until they look light and airy. Lemon yellow is the color they should be- and how apropos since we’re making Lemon Meringue Cupcakes?
Finish the Cupcake Batter
Achieving a balanced cake batter is a matter of adding the dry and wet ingredients to the bowl properly. The ratio is: three parts dry to two parts wet.
Bring the batter together by adding a third of the flour to the mixer’s bowl. Mix for a few seconds- or just until the flour is absorbed- then add half of the milk. Mix again for a few second before stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl, as well as the paddle. Repeat the flour-milk-flour cycle once again. Scrape. Down. The. Bowl. I have a thing about scraping bowls.
Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until they’re golden and their tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Transfer the cupcakes from the cupcake pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
Hollow and Fill
Once your cupcakes have cooled, use an apple corer (or a pastry tip) to hollow out the center of each one. Fill that hole with a tablespoon of this Meyer Lemon Curd, or you can also use some peasant, store-bought lemon curd. Laugh, it’s a joke. Use the store-bought if you don’t have time to make your lemon curd from scratch, I’m not judging.
Prepare the Meringue Topping
Only after you’ve filled the cupcakes do you want to begin whipping your egg whites for the meringue. Meringue does NOT like to stay stiff forever. Because of that, you want everything to be ready to go once you’ve whipped it. If you need a refresher on How to Whip Egg Whites, <—click that.
When you’re ready to whip, use your hand mixer to whip the egg whites (and a pinch of cream of tartar) until they begin to foam up. Once they do, gradually add the warmed granulated sugar to the whites (while still beating). After all of the sugar has been added, crank the mixer’s speed up and whip until the whites hold a stiff peak when you lift the beaters from the bowl. This could take anywhere from 6-10 minutes.
Pipe and Torch the Meringue
Two of my favorite pastry techniques are piping and torching. I love to pipe all sorts of stuff, but I also love playing with fire- just ask Héctor. Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake. Instead of piping the meringue, you could also spoon a dollop of the meringue onto the cupcakes, then use the back of the spoon to create peaks and swirls.
After you’ve frosted the cupcakes, use a butane torch to brown the meringue. If you don’t have a torch, you can brown your Lemon Meringue’s meringue under a low broiler for a few seconds. If you choose this route, put all of the Lemon Meringue cupcakes onto a sheet pan so that you’re not scrambling to grab those little suckers before the broiler burns them.
After your Lemon Meringue Cupcakes have been sufficiently torched, garnish each of them with fresh (or glacè) lemon slices, or just leave them plain. They’re cute enough as is.
Treat Mom Well!
The cupcakes do need to be refrigerated, and since there’s butter in them, they’re going to be a little firmer than they would be if you stored them on the countertop. For my family, that’s not a big deal. But, if it bothers you terribly, let them sit out for 10 minutes before chomping into them.
The cupcakes are good for two days, at the most. Any longer than that and the meringue will begin to weep and ooze.
You won’t be able to freeze these once they’re decorated, so plan ahead. Share them with Mom, the family, your neighbors…
…or don’t. Whatevs. You made them, so you can eat them all yourself. I’ve got your back.
Pin and share this recipe, then whip up a batch for the moms in your life. Toast with one to our upcoming move and our new start in San Antonio.
Oh! And Happy Mother’s Day!
**This post contains affiliate links. To find out what that means to you, please read my disclosure page**
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
A yellow butter cupcake is filled with a sweetly-tart lemon curd and topped with a dollop of torched meringue.
- 1 3/4 cups al-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick (4 ounces) Danish Creamy unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2/3 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups Meyer Lemon Curd (or premade lemon curd)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch kosher salt
- fresh lemon slice (cut in halves or quarters)
- glacè lemon slices
Prepare the Cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cupcake pan with non-stick baking spray and line with baking cups.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the unsalted Danish Creamery butter, sugar, and kosher salt on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid) for 7 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and paddle a few times to create a well-mixed batter.
Add the eggs to the bowl- one at a time- mixing for one minute, then scraping the bowl down after you add each egg.
Once the eggs have been added, increase the speed slightly and whip the mixture until it looks light and airy, this should take about 5 minutes.
Add a third of the flour to the mixer's bowl and mix just until the flour is absorbed. Now add half of the milk. Once again, mix for a few seconds before stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl, as well as the paddle.
Repeat the flour-milk-flour cycle once again, making sure to scrape down the bowl after adding the milk, and one final time after the last addition of flour.
Once the batter is smooth, use a portion scoop to fill each cavity of your cupcake pan 2/3rds full of batter. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until they're golden and their tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before transferring the cupcakes to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
Prepare the Meringue Topping
Before you begin whipping the egg whites, place the sugar into a warm oven to heat them for 5 minutes. Warm sugar helps the meringue whip higher and keeps it stable longer.
While the sugar warms, use a hand mixer to whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed.
Once the egg white begin to foam up, gradually add the warm sugar to the whites (while still beating). After all of the sugar has been added, increase the mixer's speed and whip until the whites hold a stiff peak, about 8 minutes. Check for the stiff peaks once you hit 5 minutes.
Decorate the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake; or spoon a dollop of the meringue onto the cupcakes and use the back of the spoon to create peaks and swirls.
Once the cupcakes are frosted, use a butane torch to lightly brown the meringue. Alternatively, you can brown your meringue under a broiler- set to low- for a few seconds.
After you have torched the meringue, garnish each cupcake with a piece of lemon.
Keep the cupcakes refrigerated until ready to enjoy. Enjoy them within 2 days.
This post is a great reference for what to look for when whipping egg whites.
If you choose to brown your meringues under the broiler, put the cupcakes onto a sheet pan for easy handling.
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