Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Lemon Curd (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- 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 incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
- If using lemon curd, spread 1 tbsp of lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Then top with frosting. Hold a small kitchen torch 3-4" away from surface of frosting and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over.
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running add remaining 2 tbsp sugar, beating to combine.
As soon as sugar syrup reached 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.