These lemon curd cupcakes are for all you lemon lovers out there! Cram packed with beautiful lemon flavour and lemon curd at every opportunity, these cupcakes are truly a lemon lover’s delight! First is the deliciously lemony cupcakes filled with a tangy homemade lemon curd. This is topped with a glorious sweet lemon buttercream swirl and the extra treat of more lemon curd drizzled on top. Totally scrumptious and dreamy!
Bright sunshine flavours!
The cold and often wet first months of the year can leave many people feeling as dreary as the weather itself here in the UK. I often find myself dreaming of warmer days in the coming months myself. And, of course, hoping for some sunshine too!
For me, lemons are the perfect sunny, mood-lifting flavour, a perfect reminder of sunny days! And when you can have lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling, really is there anything not to like?
What ingredients do I need to make lemon curd cupcakes?
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in the tangy lemon cupcakes.
- Lemons: I use the zest and juice of the fruit when making these beauties. Remember to zest BEFORE juicing to make life so much easier for yourself!
- Butter: I use unsalted butter in this bake to make both the cupcakes and the icing. Use butter at room temperature for best results.
- Eggs: helps with the structure of the cupcakes.
- Flour: I use self raising flour to make these cupcakes, so I do not add any additional raising agent. If you do not have self raising flour, you can use the same amount of plain (all purpose) flour and add 1½ tsp baking powder to the mix.
- Lemon curd: any lemon curd will do, but if you wish to make your own, you can find my recipe for it at the bottom of this post and linked in the recipe card.
- Icing (powdered) sugar: for sweetness in the icing.
What equipment do I need to make lemon cupcakes with lemon curd?
- Cupcake tin*: you will need 12 hole cupcake/muffin tin to make these cupcakes in.
- Cupcake cases*: to bake the cupcakes in. I like to use larger cupcake cases, which are more muffin sized, rather than fairy cases, which are smaller.
- Digital kitchen scales*: my preferred method of measuring ingredients is to weigh them out using grams rather than cups. I do, however, provide cup measures for my recipes too, if you prefer working with this method.
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantities such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). A set of baking measuring spoons are far more accurate than using everyday eating spoons, so it is a small investment well worth making.
- Stand mixer*/Electric hand mixer*: to mix up the cupcake mixture and buttercream with.
- Zester*: to zest the delicious rind off the lemons.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the dry ingredients, ensuring it all mixes together evenly.
- Spatula*: for mixing and smoothing the cupcake batter and icing, plus scraping down the bowl as you mix.
- Ice cream scoop*: useful to scoop out the lemon cupcake mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
- Corer*: used to remove the middle of the cupcakes before filling. If you do not have this tool, you could easily do this with a regular knife too.
- Piping bag*: used for piping the lemon buttercream icing onto the cupcakes.
- Piping nozzle*: I used a 1M nozzle here, to create a beautiful lemon frosting swirl.
How to make lemon curd cupcakes
There is a little more to making these cupcakes, but they are worth the effort! First, make the lemon curd, if using homemade. Make and bake the lemon cupcakes, and once cool hollow and fill with lemon curd. Then time for the lemon buttercream, and after swirling it on top, drizzle over some extra lemon curd. Then time to sit back and enjoy your creations!
For the cupcakes
Step 1: Line the cupcake tin with cupcake cases then set it aside. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F whilst preparing the cupcake mixture.
Step 2: Tip in the caster sugar into a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Zest both lemons directly into the bowl, holding the zester near the bowl so the oils of the lemon get in the mixing bowl too (this adds to the lemon flavour). Stir to combine the lemon zest and its oils with the sugar. Add the butter to the bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well until combined before adding in the next egg. Scrape down the bowl then mix again to ensure everything is well mixed together. Sift in the flour, and beat to combine.
Step 4: Divide the cake mixture equally between the cupcake cases. I prefer to use an ice cream scoop, so I get even amounts of mixture in all the cases. However, you can use two spoons too if you prefer. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the cupcakes are springy to touch and a wooden skewer inserted in the lemon cupcake comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the buttercream and decoration
Step 1: To make the lemon buttercream, first beat the butter thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Add in the sugar and beat well, then spoon in enough lemon juice to help it come together. Beat the buttercream for a few minutes until the icing is light and fluffy. Stir vigorously with a spatula (this helps get rid of the air bubbles in the buttercream). Transfer the lemon frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (I used a Wilton 1M nozzle).
Step 2: Once the cupcakes are cool, cut a hole out of the middle of each cupcake. I use a corer to do this, but a small sharp knife will work just as well. Fill the hole with some lemon curd, tapping the cupcake gently on a table to encourage the curd to settle into the cupcake better. Top up with more curd as needed. Once the lemon curd cupcake has been filled, pipe a buttercream swirl on the cupcake. Drizzle over a little more lemon curd to finish. The cupcakes are done! Enjoy!
What can I do if I have run out of cupcake cases?
If you have no more cupcake cases left, you can make your own. Find a glass that fits snugly in the cupcake tin. Press a square of parchment around the base of the glass to shape it to a size that will fit in the tin. Then place the freshly shaped “cupcake case” in the cupcake tin and continue with filling it and baking as per the recipe.
How do I know when my lemon cupcakes are baked?
The lemon curd cupcakes are done when they have risen, are firm on top, and are springy when lightly pressed. You could also use a wooden toothpick or wooden skewer, poked into the middle of the cupcake, to test it. If doing this, you should have nothing come out sticking to the toothpick/skewer if the cupcake is baked. I prefer using a wooden tool as I find crumbs can sometimes slip off a metal skewer, so it does not accurately show me if my cakes are done.
How long do these cupcakes last and how do I store them?
These cupcakes lemon curd should be stored in an airtight container and will be fine kept in a cool dark spot for 2-3 days.
Can I make these lemon curd cupcakes gluten free and dairy free?
I have not tried it myself, but I am confident it would work! To make this lemon cake with lemon curd cupcakes gluten free, replace the self raising flour with a suitable gluten free flour blend. To make them dairy free, you will need to substitute the butter in the cupcakes and the buttercream. Please check the label if using store bought lemon curd, or substitute a dairy free butter if making your own at home.
Can you freeze lemon cupcakes?
Absolutely! Most cupcakes freeze well for up to three months. However, I would recommend freezing the lemon cupcakes unfilled and undecorated, and doing these things once the cupcakes have been defrosted instead.
How to freeze cupcakes
Remember to freeze these cupcakes before they are decorated. To freeze the cupcakes, it is really important to make sure they are completely cool. Wrap each cupcake in cling film and place it in a sturdy airtight container before placing the container in the freezer. I prefer placing the cupcakes in a container as it will help protect the cupcakes from bumps and knocks when in the freezer.
How to thaw lemon cupcakes
Cupcakes thaw very quickly. Depending on the temperature of the room, they can normally be completely thawed in just a couple of hours. To thaw these cupcakes, just remove them from the container and unwrap them from the cling film. Place each cupcake on a cooling rack, brush off any ice crystals on them and cover with a clean tea towel while they defrost.
Additional tips for making this lemon curd cupcakes recipe
- Use fresh lemons for easiest zesting. As lemons age, the skin loses its firmness and dries out, becoming harder to zest.
- Zest the fruit directly over the mixing bowl. This ensures any oils from the lemon also find their way into the bake, giving extra beautiful lemon flavour!
- If your lemons are a bit too firm to juice, you could try rolling them on a table to release the juices before cutting and squeezing. I also like to microwave my lemon for a few seconds, as this helps it release its juices a lot more easily too.
- For a really beautiful light buttercream, beat the butter for a good few minutes until really pale and light in texture. Add in the icing (powdered) sugar in two goes, stirring through before beating (to avoid the sugar cloud!), then beat again until light.
- Vigorous stirring of the buttercream after it has been beaten will not deflate the buttercream, but it will help get rid of any air bubbles in it. This means when piped, the buttercream will be smooth and light, without little pockets of air.
- When filling the lemon curd cupcakes, there is no need to warm up the lemon curd. Just give it a good stir to loosen, then fill the cupcakes. However, I do find a few seconds of warming before doing the drizzle on the buttercream is very helpful to getting a smooth, lump free result.
If you have any other questions about this cupcake recipe, please leave me a comment below, I will do my best to help you. And if you do make this recipe for easy lemon curd cupcakes, please leave me a rating and review below. I would so love to hear from you! Additionally, you could also post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. Please do, you know I would love to see it!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
Do check out these other yummy recipes on my blog too:
Easy lemon curd recipe: this easy lemon curd is sharp and tangy and beautifully creamy and rich. It is sure to brighten up anyone’s day! It is perfect for filling cakes, cupcakes and tarts, for topping waffles and pancakes or even swirled into ice cream. Yum!
Chocolate fudge cupcakes: my chocolate fudge cupcakes are delicious light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes topped with the most INCREDIBLE chocolate fudge icing and sprinkled with more chocolate to finish. Truly, a chocolate lover’s dream cupcake!
Banoffee cupcakes: if you are a banoffee fan, then this one is for you! A beautiful biscuit base followed by a light and fluffy banana cupcake with a hidden caramel centre. A rich caramel buttercream swirl follows, sprinkled with grated dark chocolate and drizzled with even more delicious caramel. Perfect for banoffee pie lovers everywhere!
Lemon curd tarts: a delightfully joyful bake, these lemon curd tarts are sure to make you smile! A beautiful buttery mini shortcrust pastry shell filled to the brim with a bright and zingy lemon curd. The whole thing just melts in the mouth and is pure sunshine in a mouthful!
And that’s it from me for today! Happy baking, my friends! x
Recommended equipment I used *
|Cupcake tin||Cupcake cases|
|Digital kitchen scales||Measuring spoons|
|Stand mixer/Electric hand mixer||Zester|
|Ice cream scoop||Corer|
|Piping bag||Piping nozzle|