I admit it. I love lemons. Especially Meyer Lemons. I’m not sure when the love affair began. I think it was the first time I tasted the lemons from one of the many fruit trees my Father-in-Law had in his backyard. These lemons are a cross between a traditional lemon and a sweet tangerine. Originally from China, these little gems were imported to the US in the early 1900’s and used mostly as ornamental trees in gardens. Now of course, they are all the rage in a variety of different recipes. Thin-skinned and delicious, Meyer lemons provide both tangy and sweet citrus notes to whatever you’re making! When they are in season, I can’t get enough! They are my favorite! I even have a dwarf Meyer lemon tree in our back yard, but nothing beats the lemons from my Father-in-laws tree. Last year, I took lemons from his tree to make lemon curd. I shared half of it with him and he asked several times for more of “that lemon pudding.” Sadly, I never got the chance to make more for him. Last week my husband harvested about a dozen lemons from his tree and I used them to make these cupcakes AND a batch of lemon curd! (I also made ice cream, but that’s another post!) The lemon curd as a filling for these incredible lemon cupcakes makes them extra special.
I think Dad would have approved.
A perfect lemony balance of tart and sweet! These are a delicious and a sweet reminder that spring is just around the corner!
Meyer Lemon Cupcakes
3 cups All-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup whole milk, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Lemon Cream Icing
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line 2 cupcake pan cups with paper liners. (24 cupcakes total)
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 full minute before adding the next egg.
Mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts and the lemon zest.
Gently beat a third of the flour into the butter mixture.
Add half the milk and half the lemon juice.
Continue to add another third of the flour, then the remaining milk and juice.
Finish with the last third of the flour and beat until just combined; do not over mix.
Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter ¾ full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.
When cupcakes are completely cool, use a melon baller to scoop out the center section of each cupcake.
Fill each hollowed out section with Lemon Curd (for a sweet alternative, you can use raspberry jam or blueberry preserves)
Put the cupcakes in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes (or overnight) and then frost them!
To make the icing: Beat the heavy cream in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer on low until the cream begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice, a little at a time, beating after each addition, until fully incorporated.
Increase the mixer speed to high, and beat until the icing forms soft peaks, about 5 minutes. Spread on the cooled, filled cupcakes.