Lemon curd cupcakes are filled with homemade lemon curd and topped with sweet, creamy lemon buttercream. Lemon lovers need this dessert!
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love lemon desserts? I’m somewhere between 10 and infinity.
Can you imagine a more adorable way to enjoy lemon and all its tart deliciousness?
The cupcake itself is lightly lemon-y and it’s filled with homemade lemon curd—although you could certainly use store bought. The frosting is a regular old buttercream fancied up a little with lemon curd.
Be careful or you’ll end up eating all that lemon frosting with a spoon. (This is an actual problem around here.)
The gorgeous dessert all that lemony goodness adds up to is nothing short of mind blowing.
Notes on making lemon curd cupcakes
When you make the lemon curd, you’ll want to be sure it thickens enough while you’re cooking. I took a picture to demonstrate:
See how the spoon is coated with lemon curd? When the curd clings to the spoon enough that you can run your finger through it without the line filling in, it’s done. The lemon curd will still seem a little runny, but it thickens as it cools.
A tip for making lemon curd: be sure to cover your curd with plastic wrap as soon as you scrape it into a bowl to cool. Otherwise your curd will develop a skin on top, and nobody wants that.
Other than the lemon curd, these cupcakes are very straight-forward to make. They’re just an extra-moist vanilla cupcake with a flavor boost from lemon zest.
To fill them, use a sharp paring knife to cut a hole about 1 inch across and 1 inch deep in the cupcakes. DON’T FORGET to reserve the cake you cut out.
Spoon or pipe the cooled lemon curd into the holes, then replace the cake in the holes to form a sort of plug. Then you’re ready to frost them!
If you love lemon like I do, then you need these sweet-tart lemon curd cupcakes soon. They’re sunshine in dessert form!
Don’t forget: If you make these cupcakes–or any IBK recipes–let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below. And post a pic on Insta too—tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see! For more recipes and fun, like us on Facebook and follow along on Pinterest!
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of 3 lemons
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice from 3 to 4 lemons
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into 8 chunks
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 8 ounces full-fat sour cream
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup lemon curd recipe above
- Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a medium mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Pour the mixture into the top of a double boiler set over just simmering water. Stir until mixture is light yellow and thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon—about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to melt each pat of butter before adding the next.
- Scrape into a clean mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, or up to 2 weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with cupcake liners and set pans aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to medium speed until very creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. (It will go flour, sour cream, flour, sour cream, flour.) Fold in the lemon zest; batter will be very thick.
- Fill the prepared muffin cups with about 1/4 cup of batter and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before filling and frosting.
- Beat the butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until very creamy. Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and the salt. Mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat in the lemon curd. Turn mixer to medium and beat until smooth. Add more milk if frosting is too thick and more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin.
- Use a small paring knife to cut a hole in the center of each cupcake, about 1 inch across and 1 inch deep—reserve the cake you pull out of the holes. Spoon the remaining lemon curd into a pastry bag or large zip-top plastic bag and pipe the curd into the cupcakes. Slice the bottom off the the cake “plugs” you cut out of the cupcakes, and place one on top of the curd in each cupcake.
- Frost the filled cupcakes with the lemon buttercream and serve.
Adapted from Peace Meals