Sick of winter yet? I certainly am. I’m ready to trade in these single-digit temperatures for a nice warm 70 degree breeze, and bundling up in 7 layers just to take out the garbage for swinging gently on the porch swing drinking lemonade. Looking for something cheery to help chase away the winter blues, I decided to make lemon cupcakes. But, these aren’t JUST lemon cupcakes. Inspired by my good friend Amber and a lemon cupcake with lemon curd filling and lemon buttercream frosting that she had at Magnolia Bakery, I decided that I just had to make my own version of them. Bright and zesty, these cupcakes certainly help bring a little spring cheer, even if it’ll still be a few months before the weather catches up!
For the lemon curd:
I used my go-to lemon curd recipe, and I detail the steps to make it here.
For the cupcakes:
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- Lemon zest from one lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
For the vanilla bean-lemon buttercream frosting:
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk.
Add the butter into the sugar mixture and beat until light and crumbly.
Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Add in the flour and egg mixtures, half at a time, until well-blended.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners.
Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Using a piping bag with a large tip, pipe lemon curd into the center of each cupcake, being careful not to fill them too full.
To make the frosting, cream together the butter and shortening. Beat in the lemon juice, then gradually beat in the powdered sugar, half at a time. Add in the vanilla bean, and beat until well-combined.
Frost with the buttercream icing.