Lemon Meringue Cupcake Recipe
Be warned, these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are seriously tasty
As most of the world knows the UK isn’t renowned for good, sunny weather, but so far this year the weather has been rubbish, even by our own standards. We’re currently over half way through June and I think we’ve had approximately two weeks of glorious sunshine all in, if that. So in May when we experienced a couple of days of said glorious sunshine it got me in the mood for summer, so I baked these delicious Lemon Meringue Cupcakes and Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes for my work colleagues in celebration of my birthday.
Now there are several variations for making the cake and making the meringue topping. I guess a lot of it is personal preference, but here is the way that worked well for me.
Lemon Meringue Cupcake Recipe
For the sponge:
Use all the ingredients you normally would for vanilla cupcakes, but add in the zest of one lemon (for 12 cupcakes) – you could add more lemon zest if you really like lemony flavours.
1. Beat 115g un-salted butter (at room temp) with 115g caster sugar. Beat in an electric mixer for a good few minutes until mixture turns pale.
2. Beat in two eggs, with two spoons of the 115g of self raising flour (sifted) to prevent curdling.
3. Add the lemon zest.
4. Turn the mixer to a slow setting and add the remaining flour. Stop once all the flour has been combined.
5. Bake in the oven on a medium temperature (Gas 5) for 12-15 minutes.
6. Once baked, leave to cool and once cooled use a sharp knife to cut out the middle of the cake and add a teaspoon of Lemon Curd. Replace the cut out.
Lemon Meringue Buttercream Frosting Recipe (for 12 large cupcakes)
2.5 large egg whites
25g caster sugar (for first stage)
125g caster sugar (for second stage) 50ml water
250g butter, softened
Lemon Curd (optional)
Kitchen blow torch (optional)
You will also need an electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer, and ideally a sugar thermometer (read on and you’ll see why!)
1. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and use the electric mixer to whip them to soft peak stage (where they are foamy but not holding shape). Add in the 25g of sugar a spoonful at a time and continue whipping until they reach the firm peak stage.
2. Place the 125g of caster sugar and 50ml of water in a pan and heat over a low heat until the sugar melts. Once the sugar has melted turn the heat up to medium and to a rolling boil. Boil the sugar syrup to 121c, this will take about ten minutes.
**Now, the recipe I followed didn’t give me a temperature to work to and instead said it was ready when the sugar syrup turned into a soft ball when dropped into cold water – about 10 minutes. I kept adding small amounts of the mixture to cold water but no ball formed, after a lot longer than 10 mins I tried again and thought I had the soft ball stage so continued with the process, but unfortunately I think my sugar syrup had overcooked as it turned into rock hard,
caramel-type sugar as soon as I added it to the egg whites! I’ve since found out from The Pink Whisk what temperature the mixture should be at – 121C.**
3. When it reaches 121C remove from the heat and turn the mixer (with the egg whites) back on. At a slow speed pourin the sugar syrup – be careful as it’s very hot. When fully combined keep the mixer on while the mixture cools – around eight minutes.
4. Once cool to the touch add in the room-temperature butter, a bit at a time. Don’t worry about the mixture losing its volume, just continue adding the butter with the mixer still running. When it’s all added continue to whip until it resembles whipped double cream.
5. If you want to make the topping lemony too, then add one or
two tablespoons of lemon curd.
6. Pipe or spread onto your cupcakes and if you want to give them a proper meringue finish you could use a kitchen blow torch to ‘toast’ it.
Worth noting: This buttercream doesn’t keep well so should be used straight away (although mine survived overnight in my Cupcake Courier and a two hour train journey to London, so not too bad!) There are other recipes for meringue buttercream that don’t create a sugar syrup first, but the theory behind adding the sugar syrup is that it cooks the egg white sufficiently for it to be safe and any harmful bacteria killed off.