Monday, March 15, 2010

February's Cupcake of the Month: Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

I was torn between this recipe and Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. I even seriously contemplated buying a kitchen torch. But then Tina's comment on the Streusel Cupcakes post led me to Jenny's Friends Who Bake blog, which documented their success with Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. I was particularly excited to hear their success with halving the recipe as the standard recipe yields 42 cupcakes, which is a bit much, even for me. This recipe yielded 18 standard cupcakes.

'Tis the season for copious amounts of usufruct lemons in this neck of the woods. The lemon curd recipe below is also halved, but really, you could make vats of this stuff and you will find a use for it. In fact, I'm tempted to make another Spanish Lemon Cake, if I can wrangle up sufficient Spaniards.

I was a tad concerned about the book's note that "Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to one hour (or refrigerated for a few hours more) before serving." One hour? For a recipe that yields 42 cupcakes? Jeez. Tina over at Friends Who Bake reported that she left some cupcakes unrefrigerated overnight and they still tasted fresh in the morning and she had a few in the fridge after 24 hours and thought that they tasted even better. Phew! I left mine about 12 hours on the counter after filling and they were wonderful according to a panel of independent taste testers.

In the photo above you may notice that my curd didn't make perfectly circular puddles on top like the pictures in the book and the pictures over at Friends Who Bake. I think my problem was that I made the curd way in advance and did not stir it up before putting it in the pastry bag. But they tasted awesome anyway.

Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat


  • 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 T finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 C less 2 T (a.k.a. 14 T - halving recipes is hard) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature (the original recipe called for 7 eggs - I erred on the side of 1/2 an egg too many)
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting

Lemon Curd

  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/3 C lemon juice
  • 1 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature

1. Make the lemon curd at least two hours if not two days in advance. Combine whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least two hours (or up to two days).

2. Preheat oven to 325. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.

3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and 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.

4. Fill each lined cup three-quarters full with batter. Bake, rotating halfway through, 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.

5. To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners' sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler an 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 one hour (or refrigerated for a few hours more) before serving.

Previous Cupcake of the Month:
January's Cupcake of the Month: Streusel Cupcakes

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Rebecca said...

Those look awesome. Did you use meyer lemons or regular lemons? I never see Meyer lemons here.

Sarah said...

I believe these were just standard lemons. Really, they were whichever lemons the people around my friend Bridget's house grow. There were Meyer lemons at the grocery store the other day, but I was all about using the free fruit I had on hand. Any suggestions for what to do with the remaining two cups of lemon juice would be greatly appreciated.

Rebecca said...

Wow, two extra cups of lemon juice! That's a lot of lemons. I'm always partial to lemon poppy seed cake/muffins.

tina_bakes said...

Hi Sarah, great recipe, huh?? I'm glad your independent taste testers like them ;-)

your post is making me want to bake this again!! thanks for mentioning us at Friends Who Bake, we're always happy to share!!

ps: i so love the streusel cupcakes we baked 2 weekends ago. thanks for your post on that!!

jenny_bakes said...

Sarah, glad to know that you enjoyed this bake, as did we. I'm with Rebecca; lemon poppy seed muffins are simple to make and always a delight!
Thanks for visiting FWB; we hope you'll bake along and share the experiences with us!