I've had my eye on this recipe for a long time, months actually. Always wanting to try it, but never finding the opportunity or guts to attempt the recipe since it was in the "Fancy Cupcakes" section. Intimidating right? Maybe not so much, but if you're having the same doubts, then have no fear, because these are a lot easier than they seem.
During the cooking process, I briefly forgot about my cupcakes in the oven and left them in a few minutes too long. They weren't burnt, but I like to take my cupcakes out of the oven a little early so that they are still soft and fluffy rather then the dense and hard texture these cupcakes took on.
The most advanced part of this recipe was the 7 Minute Frosting. I will add a separate post on that later on.
I've made lemon curd before. It involves a lot of steps but it's well worth the effort since I absolutely love all things lemon, especially lemon curd. This recipe called for a lot of butter, which gave it less of a tart taste and more of a creamy taste.
I would recommend cutting the frosting recipe in half since after I finished piping it on the cupcakes I had more than half the batter left in the bowl, and a lot of frosting still in the bag.
After piping on the frosting, you use a kitchen torch to brown the frosting. Don't own a kitchen torch? Neither do I. I used the broil setting in my oven. Place the cupcakes on the shelf level closest to the top, and let the flames do their magic. But don't leave them in the oven for too long! Just about 30-45 seconds, or else you will burn your cupcakes. The entire time I was stressed I was going to ruin them (some of them did catch on fire, like a marshmallow), but they ended up alright.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 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.
To finish, spread 1 tablespoon lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip with frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Hold a small kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve immediately.