The mild and sweet flavor of Meyer lemon is one of Martha Stewart's favorites; these zest-flecked cupcakes are filled with Meyer lemon curd, which peeks out from the tops. The fruit, which is actually a lemon-orange hybrid, is generally available at specialty stores in winter and early spring. If you can't find Meyer lemons, use regular lemons instead. The recipe yields a lot of cupcakes, so you may want to consider these for a bake sale or large gathering, such as a shower or special birthday celebration.
- 8 large egg yolks
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 Meyer lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 7 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Make the Lemon Curd
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Make the Cupcakes1.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line four standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.2.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.3.
In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each.4.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 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.5.
To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners' sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip (#8) with curd. Insert tip into top of each cupcake and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside, then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour (or refrigerated a few hours more) before serving.
Recipe excerpted from: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living; photos by Con Poulos and others 2009 Clarkson Potter.
This recipe originally appeared on iVillage.