Lemon meringue cupcakes recipe

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These extravagant little lemon meringue cupcakes have a dollop of lemon curd in the centre and are topped with little crowns of crunchy meringue.

Five lemon meringue cupcakes on a cooling rack with the front one open to show the lemon curd filling
(Image credit: Getty / Brett Stevens)
  • healthy
Makes12
SkillMedium
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories278 Kcal14%
Sugar32.4 g36%
Fat9.4 g13%
Saturated Fat2.6 g13%
Protein4.5 g9%
Carbohydrates44.1 g17%

This lemon meringue cupcake recipe is one of our favourite cupcake options, with secret lemon curd centres and meringue icing on top.

They feel like such a fancy cake, but they're actually pretty simple to make - easier in fact, than making meringues. The only specialist equipment you need is a cook's blowtorch to give the icing a nice brown crust for a bit of crunch. If you don't have one, check out our tip for a trick to get this effect anyway. Unlike cupcakes topped with regular frosting, these are best eaten on the day they are made, for the best texture. This recipe makes a dozen and if you don't want to eat them all at once, you can freeze half the batch before you add the filling and topping. 

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 120g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon curd

For the meringue icing:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven 180C/Gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases.
  2. Sift self-raising flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the grated lemon zest and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add 100g of the flour, then 60ml milk, and beat. Add the rest of the flour and beat. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the cupcakes comes out clean. Leave on a wire rack to cool.
  4. Once cooled, use a knife to cut a circle in the center of the cupcake - make sure you don’t cut the bottom of the cupcake, however. Remove the sponge and add a teaspoon of lemon curd into each cupcake. Replace the sponge-like ‘lid’ on top of the lemon curd.
  5. To make the meringue topping, preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Place the caster sugar in the center of a baking tray. Place in the oven for 8 minutes or until the edges of the sugar brown slightly.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the three egg whites together to form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks. Add the grated zest and continue to whisk until fully combined.
  7. Pipe the meringue topping onto the cupcakes using a large piping bag fitted with 12mm (½in) plain piping tube. Use a mini blow torch to gently toast the meringue topping, taking care not to burn it.

Top tips for making lemon meringue cupcakes

Lime curd works well too, for an even zestier twist.

How do I make my meringue light and airy?

A good tip here is to make sure your eggs are at room temperature before you beat them. If you normally keep your eggs in the fridge, take them out a full hour before you need them. Separate them while they're still cold (it makes it easier), then allow the whites to come up to room temperature before you use them.

What can I use if I don't have a mini blowtorch?

You can lightly toast the meringue under the grill instead. Make the topping slightly rounder and flatter, otherwise you will just get the tips browning. Take the grill pan out of the grill and place the cupcakes on a baking tray. Slide this onto the floor of a hot grill and check them every 30 seconds. Watch them very closely so they don't burn. 

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Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.