Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are made with a light lemon cake, lemon curd filling and lightly toasted meringue frosting! It’s like Lemon Meringue Pie in cupcake form!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes recipe

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

I’ve been loving turning fun pie flavors into cupcakes! Between the Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes and now these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, these are some super fun cupcakes! I always love the surprise filling too. It’s a whole other way to add more flavor and texture to make a cupcake that much more interesting.

For these cupcakes, the base starts with my new Moist Vanilla Cupcake. You guys have been loving those cupcakes and I love how moist and easy they are to put together. For this version of them I added some lemon zest. It adds a light lemon flavor to the cupcakes, but it isn’t overwhelming.

The bulk of the lemon flavor in these comes from the lemon curd. If you’d never made lemon curd before, you have to try it. Homemade lemon curd really is so much better than the store-bought versions. A stronger, more tart flavor. Love it!

How to Make These Lovely Lemon Cupcakes

It’s also not hard to make. Just combine everything in a double boiler (or mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, as I use) and cook until it reaches 160 degrees. I use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature, but you could also just use a spoon. Run it through the curd and see if it leaves a film on the back of the spoon. If it does, it should be good.

Best Lemon Meringue Cupcakes recipeEasy Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

The curd will thicken up in the fridge and then be ready to add to the cupcakes. I like to press some clear wrap onto the top of the curd to keep it from developing a film on top as it cools.

Making the meringue is somewhat similar to the curd in that you also use a double boiler (or the same mixer bowl/pot set up). Once the egg whites reach the right temperature, it’s whipped on high speed until a fluffy meringue forms. If it seems intimidating, just think of it like whipped cream. 🙂 Aside from heating the egg whites, the whipping of them is just like whipped cream. Easy, peasy!

Putting everything together is mostly a breeze too. Cut the center out of the cupcake, fill it with lemon curd and then add the meringue frosting. Finishing them off is where it can get a little tricky. If you want to add the lemon slices, I suggest adding them first, then toasting the meringue. The slices are tough to get into the frosting after it’s been toasted.

To toast them, I used a kitchen torch. It’s easy to use, but you have to be careful with it. It can easily light the cupcake liners on fire. Several of mine did. They blow right out easily, but just keep your fingers safely out of the way.

These cupcakes were a hit! Light, super moist, and full of the best parts of lemon meringue pie – the lemon filling and the toasted meringue! They make a super cute presentation and are something a little fun and different to enjoy. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Favorite Lemon Meringue dessertclose up of Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


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image of inside of Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Recipe

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are made with a light lemon cake, lemon curd filling and lightly toasted meringue frosting! It’s like Lemon Meringue Pie in cupcake form!


Ingredients

LEMON CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water

LEMON CURD

  • 6 tbsp (90ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup (104g) sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp (56g) unsalted butter

MERINGUE FROSTING

  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and egg to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the lemon curd, combine all the ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon.
9. Pour the lemon curd into a small bowl and cover with clear wrap pressed against the top of the curd to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool and firm, 3-4 hours.
10. When you are ready to build the cupcakes, make the meringue frosting. To make the meringue, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla extract and egg whites in a large mixer bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan or pot of simmering water. You can also use a double boiler.
11. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm, to 160 degrees on a thermometer, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
12. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.
13. To put the cupcakes together, use a cupcake corer (or a knife) to cut a hole in the center of the cupcakes.
14. Fill the center of the cupcake with lemon curd.
15. Frost the cupcakes with the meringue frosting. I use Ateco tip 808.
16. Finish off the cupcakes with a slice of lemon, if you like, then toast lightly with a kitchen torch.
17. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.


Keywords: lemon cupcakes, lemon cupcakes recipe, easy cupcakes, easy cupcakes recipe, lemon cake recipe, lemon cake, lemon curd recipe, lemon curd uses, lemon dessert recipe

Enjoy!

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Lemon Meringue Cupcakes - light, fluffy and moist lemon cupcake with lemon curd filling and meringue frosting on top!

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Recipe rating

64 Comments
    1. Lindsay

      Mini cupcakes might be a little hard to fill, but you could try it. I’m not sure of the baking time, but likely around 8 minutes.

  1. Carolyn

    I made these for Easter dinner so made the afternoon before and by morning the meringues had all collapsed off the top. They were fine for about 5 hours, as I checked them before bed and they were in the fridge the whole time. I didn’t toast mine as I wanted to keep the beautiful white colour and texture on top. Is it the toasting that keeps the meringue from running off? They still taste great but are a mess to look at.

    1. Lindsay

      No, the toasting shouldn’t make a difference. Did you use a thermometer when cooking the meringue on the stove? It’s possible that it was a little undercooked or a little under whipped.

  2. Claire

    Hi there! I love your recipes so much, the lemon meringue cheesecake is always a hit! I am hoping to adapt this recipe for a relative who is dairy free. I’ve heard using margarine is okay for the butter, but what can you recommend for the milk in the cupcake recipe? Thanks so much! 

    1. Lindsay

      Glad to hear you enjoy the recipes! I can’t attest to the margarine, so I’m not sure if the results will be exactly the same. As for the milk, I’d try a dairy free milk. It won’t have as much fat in it, so it could affect the texture of the cupcake a bit.

  3. Nora

    Hi Lindsay, recipe looks great! I have some cake flour that I’d like to use up. Do you think that would work with this recipe?

  4. Rebekah

    Can’t wait to try these, my son requested lemon meringue cupcakes for his birthday. He wants sprinkles on them though. Do I have to torch the tops?

  5. Diane

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE. Would it be possible to use the same ratio of ingredients to make a cake? Or do I need to tweak it a little bit especially the baking time? Thank you!!

    1. Lindsay

      You can make it as a cake. You can double the cupcake recipe for a cake, like I did in this cake. You will need a little more lemon curd. I’d suggest looking at this recipe, where I use lemon curd in a cake. The ratios are a little different, but it’ll give you the right amount for having two layers of curd. For the meringue, I haven’t done a whole cake in that, so it’s harder to advise. You could probably double or triple it, depending on how much frosting you want. Plus, you might want to considering making some buttercream to create dams between the cake layers to hold the lemon curd. The meringue won’t be strong enough for that. I hope that helps!

  6. amanda

    If I make them the day before, do I put them in the fridge or leave them out? Should I wait on doing the frosting part until the day of? What do you recommend? Im not a huge baker so any suggestions will help. Thank you

  7. Wendy

    I made them.  They are delish and very appealing!  Thank you for this recipe of pure springtime.  A couple things to point out:  The batter is runny, don’t let it scare you, they bake up beautiful.  My cupcakes never got golden brown, so don’t wait for that, they are done baking before they turn golden. I don’t have a cupcake corer, I used a melon baller , it worked just great.  I have a lot of trouble with meringue–I can’t explain it, I follow each recipe exactly and it never turns out fluffy.  I need a meringue lesson. 

  8. Erin

    These are amazingly delicious cupcakes, thank you for sharing the recipe for all of us to enjoy!
    Question with the meringue though, even though I whipped it to a stiff peak it still relaxes quite a bit and starts drooping down the edges. What could I be doing wrong here?

    1. Lindsay

      Hard to say exactly. A few possibilities are to make sure the bowl that you’re making it in is completely grease free before you start. You can rub it down with lemon juice to be sure. Another possibility is that the egg whites could be over whipped. As soon as they get to stiff peaks you want to stop mixing. Overmixing can cause it to be a little bit droopy.

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  9. Jan

    I stuck them under the broiler for a few seconds, till they started to smoke and brown.  Fast way to do the all at once.

  10. Kendall

    Planning to make these this weekend for a party. I was thinking of pressing a mixture of graham cracker crumbs and butter into the bottom of the cupcake paper (like a mini graham cracker crust), then pouring cupcake batter over it. 
    Do you think this would work? Tips on executing this would be great!

    Thanks! 

  11. Becca Dixon

    i used a boxed cake mix and store bought lemon curd, but found this recipe when i needed one for meringue frosting. worked like a charm! it holds up really well, even though i couldn’t get it to stiff peaks. delicious too! i had extra, so i piped that onto a baking sheet and made meringue cookies. thanks for the great meringue recipe!

  12. Jazlynn

    Just wanted to say I’ve used this cupcake recipe SEVERAL times, and it is always a HIT! I do add a bit extra lemon zest. Additionally, if you roll the zest around in the sugar and let it sit for a few minutes prior to adding the other ingredients, it helps the flavor pop!

  13. Angel

    Hi! I made your meringue frosting and immediately put the cupcakes into the fridge once frosted. I used a large pastry tip but, unfortunately, the frosting flattened out quite a bit and lost most of the textured design from the tip I used. Any idea what would cause that? I thought maybe that I refrigerated the cupcakes but just saw that was how you instructed it be stored. I’m wondering if I beat the heated egg white mixture too long??? The frosting piped BEAUTIFULLY and tasted absolutely AMAZING but just flattened out with time. Thank you!

    1. Angel

      I forgot to mention on other weird thing. The first 3 cupcakes that I frosted (with an admittedly less wide base of frosting) flattened out less than those with a wider base of frosting (i.e. the frosting covered more of the cupcake top).

    2. Lindsay

      Hmmm, hard to say for sure. It could be that it was whipped for too long – you want to stop when it’s hit stiff peaks.

      1. Angela Bruck

        I tried making this again last night and the same thing happened, only worse this time. Was making cupcakes for a customer so this is very frustrating and money/ingredients wasted. 🙁

      2. Lindsay

        I’m sorry to hear that. I’d suggest looking up some tips on making meringue and seeing if you can figure out what’s happening.

  14. Alta

    My curd didn’t seem to set up. Its kind of runny. I made it according to the directions. Is there something I can do without having to make a whole new batch?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not really sure that there’s a way to firm it back up at this point. You could try cooking it a little longer next time to get it a little thicker.

      1. Claude

        Also ended up with a thin curd despite having brought it to 160°F and several hours in the fridge…

  15. Ting Tan

    Dear Lindsay,

    I can’t wait to make your lemon meringue cupcakes this Tuesday.  Can you let me know if the eggs and butter for the cake, lemon curd and frosting need to be room temperature?

    Thank you.

    Ting

  16. Heather

    Your recipe looks lovely! Can you advise please – are the temperatures quoted for your lemon curd and heated meringue in farenheit or centigrade? Many thanks in advance for your assistance ☺️ ????

  17. Melissa

    Yum!  Wow, Lindsay, you are super busy in the kitchen.  It seems like just about every day you have a new recipe up on your blog!  Wherever do you find the time to do that?  

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks Melissa! I usually post 3 times a week. With it being my full-time job, it certainly keeps me busy!

  18. Ashley

    Hi Lindsay – where can I find that awesome cupcake corer, the one I got from the store isn’t great. Thanks!

      1. Alison

        I have made these a few times and they are absolutely beautiful. They are so light and fluffy and taste amazing. I’m just wondering is it possible to make it as a cake instead of cupcakes as I want to make it as a birthday cake for someone.

    1. Cass

      Amazing recipe! It was a hit. Taste just like a lemon meringue pie!
      Can’t figure out why the Meringue melted when in room air for a bit. I know it’s a refrigerated product however wondering what I did wrong. 
      IMG_5009.jpg

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12