How to make lemon cupcakes with a creamy and tangy lemon curd heart and a light and fluffy mascarpone whipped cream frosting. This recipe is easy to make and perfect for enjoying the citrus season!
Lemon curd cupcakes
If you like lemon desserts then you absolutely must try this delicious and tasty lemon cupcake recipe filled with a creamy lemon curd heart and topped with a light and fluffy mascarpone frosting.
Lemon curd is a lemon-flavored filling made with eggs, butter, sugar, and lemon juice, that is usually used to garnish a lemon tart, but it can also be used as a cake filling, as in this recipe for a lemon cupcake.
These cupcakes are moist and it's just my basic vanilla cupcake recipe that I flavored with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice for a delicious tart flavor.
Topped with a mascarpone whipped cream frosting for an alternative to Italian meringue or lemon buttercream frosting. This creamy frosting is perfect for balancing the lemony flavor of the lemon curd.
This easy lemon cupcakes recipe is perfect for all lemon lovers, a perfect dessert for any occasion or just to enjoy the citrus season.
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are the ingredients you will need to make these delicious lemon cupcakes at home and possible substitutions, scroll down to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that is well softened, take it out in advance or warm it up a bit in the microwave before starting the recipe.
- Sugar: preferably granulated sugar and not flavored to preserve the flavor of the lemon.
- Eggs: at room temperature, run them under hot water for a few moments to bring them back to temperature more quickly.
- Vanilla and salt: essential for flavoring and bringing out the flavors.
- Milk: preferably buttermilk for softer cupcakes. You can replace it with half-skimmed milk or plain yogurt.
- Flour: Wheat flour like cake flour or all-purpose flour, which you can substitute with a gluten-free flour blend to make a gluten-free version.
- Baking powder: measure the quantity with a scale, To use baking soda instead, reduce the quantity indicated in the recipe card.
- Lemon flavor: essential to flavor the lemon cupcakes recipe with zest and fresh juice of an untreated and organic lemon if possible. You can replace it with bottled lemon juice.
As an option, lemon curd is added to the heart of the cupcake after baking when they are completely cooled, it brings a delicious lemon and creamy flavor, perfect in this recipe.
Mascarpone whipped cream frosting is one of my favorite frosting recipes to fill and decorate layer cake recipes and cupcakes. Made with only 3 ingredients, mascarpone cheese, full heavy cream and powdered sugar.
It's a light textured frosting that adds a touch of freshness, perfect for softening the acidity of the lemon, but it's a rather fragile cream that requires refrigeration.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make lemon cupcakes with lemon cream and mascarpone frosting
1 - Cupcake batter
- Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C and set up a cupcake or muffin tin or à mini cupcakes pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl mix and sift together the dry ingredients, flour, salt and baking powder.
- In another bowl, beat butter with the powdered sugar and lemon zest with an electric whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix again with electric mixer to incorporate.
- Finish by alternately mixing in the milk and lemon juice mixture and the flour mixture, mixing each addition with a rubber spatula.
- Fill cupcake cases ¾ full with an ice cream scoop and bake for 18-20 minutes until slightly puffed and golden on top.
- Let them cool a bit in the pan before removing them from the pan and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
2 - Lemon cream
- Whisk together sugar and eggs in a large bowl until fluffy.
- Add lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and mix.
- Cook the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat while whisking until the cream becomes thicker.
- Remove from heat, add butter and mix well to incorporate into the cream.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely.
- Using a cupcake remover, remove the heart of the cooled cupcakes and fill them with lemon cream.
Tip: You can make the lemon curd several days in advance, it keeps well in the fridge in a glass jar with an airtight lid.
3 - Mascarpone whipped cream
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, the cold heavy cream, mascarpone, and powdered sugar.
- Then beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes until the frosting is thick and firm.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip with all the frosting.
- Decorate the top of the cupcakes, add a lemon slice, sprinkle with lemon zest, and enjoy!
Tip: Be careful not to overwhip the frosting or it will be grainy, always mix at medium to slow speed and watch the texture.
At room temperature: Store lemon cupcakes without the frosting at room temperature for up to 5 days, placed in an airtight container box with a tight-fitting lid.
In the fridge: Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in a storage box or under plastic wrap.
In the freezer: You can also store the cupcakes without the frosting in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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More lemon recipes
- Key lime pie
- Lemon meringue tartlets
- Lemon pound cake
- Lemon poppy seed pound cake
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Lemon Muffins
- Lemon Cream Pie
- Lemon poppy seed muffins with sugar icing
- Lemon meringue cake
- Lemon curd tart
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