The mild and sweet flavor of Meyer lemon is one of Martha’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.
Meyer Lemon Cupcakes
Yield: 42 Servings
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 Meyer lemons)
7 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
lemon curd (see link below for recipe)
3 cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar 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.
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.
To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners’ sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and 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: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living; photos by Con Poulos and others 2009 Clarkson Potter.