I’m going to go ahead and admit right now that I get cupcake cravings. Often. Maybe it’s the single-serve portion size, the frosting-to-cake ratio, or simply the fact that there’s so many varieties and decorating options, but I just love them!
Recently the craving hit again, but we were out of a few key ingredients to make what I originally wanted..s’mores cupcakes! Excitement took over as I remembered that we still had some lemon curd in the freezer, leftover from a previous brunch recipe. (Homemade lemon curd topped pancakes with fresh raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. To answer your question – yes, they were delicious!)
Then my brain starts thinking.. hmm.. lemon curd.. what’s in our cupboards that I can combine with this? Well, more lemon of course, and coconut! Perfect for a springtime cupcake recipe.
Since there’s just two of us here, I only made a half batch of these. I still had a LOT of extra lemon curd, but not enough butter to frost more than a half dozen or so cupcakes. Like many, I’ve been on the hunt for the ideal vanilla cupcake recipe, and I think I may have found one that’s pretty close.. although I added lemon zest to the recipe, so I’ll have to make them again without the lemon at some point before I can really make a decision. The recipe used oil instead of butter, which I think might be the key to keeping them moist. (Have you noticed how many white cake recipes are really dry?!) My favorite chocolate cake recipe – the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake – also uses oil, so I think that might be the key!
To make these cupcakes, I simply mixed up a half batch of the vanilla cake recipe (below) and added zest from one lemon to the batter. After I baked the cupcakes and let them cool, I put a few large spoonfulls of lemon curd into a pastry bag with a wide tip, and filled the cupcakes with about a TB of lemon curd. Stick the pastry tip about 1/2-3/4″ into the cupcake and then gently squeeze the filling into it. You’ll see the cupcake top “rise” as it is filled! Then I frosted them with a basic white frosting, and topped them with some untoasted/unsweetened coconut flakes. (The same kind I used for the Samoa Cake, but untoasted.)
Here’s a few recipes:
* Frost as desired when fully cool.
I’ve been using this recipe for years!..I can’t even begin to tell you the various uses for lemon curd.. For example, we’ve used it as a topping for pancakes (instead of syrup,) as a filling for stuffed braided bread, incorporated it into whipped cream frosting for a lemon whipped cream frosting, and now to fill cupcakes! Don’t be afraid to make the full batch here, and use it for other recipes besides a cupcake filling. Last time I made it, I froze half of it to use later.
Gourmet | January 2001
yield: Makes about 1 1/3 cups
active time: 20 min
total time: 1 1/4 hr
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour. (Can keep chilled in the refrigerator 1 week.)
For the frosting, I just used a basic ratio.. for every 1 cup of powdered sugar, I added: 1-TB softened unsalted butter, 1-TB milk, 1-tsp vanilla extract, and then mixed all ingredients together until smooth. Easy!
There you have it, lemon cupcakes stuffed with lemon curd, topped with vanilla frosting and coconut flakes. My only regret is that we don’t have any left!