Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Whisk zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beat until combined after each.
- Divide dough into lined molds, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.
- Finally, spread a spoonful of lemon curd in the middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star open tip (Ateco # 828 or Wilton # 8B) with frosting. Pipe frosting on each cupcake, turning the tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Hold a small kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and move it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve immediately.