Delicious vanilla cake and a lemon marshmallow frosting make these amazing lemon meringue cupcakes. Top it with a candied lemon and your guests will fall in love!
So candied anything always seemed so daunting to me. I don’t even know why – it just seems like one of those things that’s easier to buy, right? Actually, it’s not!
Turns out, candied citrus is super easy to make! All you need is equal parts sugar and water. In this case it’s 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring both to a boil and make sure the sugar is dissolved. Simmer them for 15-20 minutes, then let them dry for a minimum of 24 hours.
What’s left is sweet, sticky, chewy candied deliciousness. And obviously, it is completely optional in this recipe. But I really think it just gives these babies a little something extra, right?
If you don’t like sticky, you can coat them in extra sugar, but these are pretty either way!
The cupcakes themselves are pretty easy and straightforward, and they come out fluffy and totally delicious.
For the frosting, if you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll need a hand mixer and either a metal or glass bowl. It’s a method you might have used before when making 7 minute frosting, as it’s sometimes known. You place all the ingredients in the bowl and heat it gently over a double boiler to dissolve the sugar and whip up a very fluffy frosting.
If you’ve never tried 7 minute frosting, it’s basically like marshmallows. Super fluffy and delicious. You can leave them as is, which is a bright white, or you can burn them a little with a culinary torch like the picture. No torch? No problem. Just pop them in the oven on broil for 30 seconds. Watch them very, very closely though. You want a gorgeous brown, not a charred black.
Make these anytime you need a bright, refreshing sunny treat!
Until next time. X
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Lemon Meringue Cupcakes with Candied Lemon
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Candied Lemons (optional)
- 2 lemons, sliced thinly with the seeds removed
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape the edges.
- Gently pour in the melted butter and vegetable oil and mix until fully combined.
- Add the flour mixture and the milk in alternating batches. Mix until combined. There should be no lumps.
- Fill each liner about two-thirds full and bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the pan and let cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
- Bring a medium pot with a few inches of water to a boil.
- Place the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer and set it over the pot of boiling water, like a double boiler or bain marie.
- Whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved.
- Place the bowl back in your stand mixer and whip on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 3-5 minutes. The frosting should be thick, fluffy, white and glossy, like marshmallow cream.
For the candied lemons (optional)
- Bring the water and sugar to a boil and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add the lemon slices in a thin layer and stir to fully coat.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lemons are pale and translucent.
- Remove to a wire rack and let dry for a minimum of 24 hours.
- Coat with excess sugar, if desired.
- Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with your desired tip. I used a #2D tip in the photos.
- Pipe tall rosettes on each cupcake and char the edges just a little with a culinary torch. (You can also place the frosted cupcakes on a sheet pan and broil in an oven for 30 seconds.)
- Stick half of a candied lemon on the side of the charred frosting (optional).
- 12 cup muffin pan
- cupcake liners
- mixing bowl
- stand mixer with paddle attachment and whisk attachment
- spatula or spoon, for scraping
- medium saucepan
- pastry bag and tips (I use #2D in the photos)
- saucepan for candied lemons (optional)
- wire rack (optional)
If using, make the candied lemons at least a day or two before.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: lemon meringue cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, candied lemon, lemon marshmallow frosting