How about a little sunshine today? We can all use a little of that, right? And when the sunshine comes in the form of a cupcake, it’s even better. There’s a fresh dusting of snow on the ground this morning, and I am so over it. I don’t want to see a dusting, a flurry or anything that even resembles a snowflake from this point on. So these lovely little lemon cupcakes filled with bright meyer lemon curd and piled high with light, fluffy mascarpone frosting are how I’m dealing. They’re my way of sprinkling a little warmth and sunshine over winter, over this week and anything else you think needs it.
The one thing I love about winter is the citrus, especially meyer lemons. The smell alone will put you in a good mood. I’m telling you, if you see them in the grocery store just go for it – it’s intoxicating. They are so fantastic to bake with and meyer lemon curd = sunshine in a bowl. I still dream about that Meyer Lemon Mascarpone Cake Roll…
I had cupcakes on the brain this weekend. Then again, when do I not… And lemon cupcakes sounded like they might be just the thing to lure Spring to show up a little sooner, so it was on. The cupcakes themselves are a major win. They are packed with meyer lemon zest and the sour cream in there is the magic ingredient that keep them unbelievably delish. I would say that other word that starts with an m, ends with a t, has 5 letters and is often used to describe cake. But truth be told, that word makes me cringe so delish will have to do for today.
To make this whole situation even better, I made a batch of meyer lemon curd, aka sunshine, to fill the cupcakes. Now my big trick that makes life much easier when filling cupcakes is to freeze them for a few hours before you fill them. I actually suggest making these cupcakes and curd a day ahead of time. This way you can freeze the cupcakes overnight and the curd has lots of time in the fridge.
The other thing I must let you in on is how I fill the cupcakes, a question I am asked quite often. People always want to know how this all happens. “Is there a special tool you use?” I use a pastry tip. Yup, what you need you might already have. I like tip #807 – the top of it. And once again just to make sure you didn’t miss it, it’s much easier if the cupcakes are frozen.
Now that we’ve taken care of that, it’s time to hit them with some luscious mascarpone frosting. It’s light, packs just the right amount of sweetness, and all those swirls piled up high tell you to just dive in. First you get the flavorful cupcake, then the bright meyer lemon curd peeks through and last, you get the smooth mascarpone frosting that balances out the lemon beautifully. After a few bites, you might just forget all about winter!
- 5 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 3 meyer lemons
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 & 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
- zest of 2 meyer lemons
- 3/4 cup meyer lemon juice
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar and lemon zest till light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Add vanilla bean paste.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl.
- Add dries to mixture alternating with sour cream.
- Fill cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes rotating once halfway through.
- Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened - this generally takes 6-8 minutes. Do not boil.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Once curd is cool, cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate till ready to use.
- Whip heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar till stiff.
- Fold into mascarpone. Use right away.