This Coconut and Lemon Curd Cupcakes recipe topped with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream frosting is a sweet dream come true. The beauty is the lemon curd and buttercream can be made a day in advance. This recipe takes a little TLC, but believe us when we tell you, it’s worth the little extra effort for these delectable cupcakes and frosting.
The fresh homemade lemon curd in the middle of these cupcakes is just the perfect surprise as you take your first bite. Lemony, creamy, slightly sweet. And combined with the light and moist coconut cake of the cupcake. Heaven.
Piping the buttercream frosting adds a gorgeous touch to these cupcakes, but of course, you can also apply it with a knife, spoon, or anything else you find to help you top these gorgeous little cakes of perfection!
Are these not things of beauty, or what? But you know what they say, beauty is only skin deep. Just wait until you bite into one to discover the real beauty of this Coconut and Lemon Curd Cupcakes recipe!
The Loon proclaimed this to be the best cupcake he as ever eaten. And trust me, he’s eaten a lot of cupcakes, so that’s really saying something! Don’t forget, you can make the Lemon Curd and Buttercream frosting a day in advance! Enjoy
Coconut and Lemon Curd Cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut plus 1 cup, lightly toasted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Lemon Curd ingredients and recipe below
- Vanilla Meringue Buttercream frosting ingredients and recipe below
FOR THE LEMON CURD
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice strained
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
FOR THE VANILLA MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- 9 large egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar plus another 1 2/3 cup
- 2 tsp corn syrup
- 3 cups unsalted butter, at room temp, cut into chunks 6 sticks / 1.5 lbs,
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
MAKE THE LEMON CURD
- In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 7 - 8 minutes (having a 2nd pair of hands helps on this. Use oven mitts, if too hot to hold).
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until incorporated.
- Cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on top of the curd and refrigerate until chilled.
- The curd will keep for about 1 week in the fridge.
MAKE THE VANILLA MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- (Be sure to have all the ingredients measured and ready to go because this comes together quickly)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the metal whip attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy.
- Continuing to beat, start adding the 1/2 cup sugar in a very slow, steady stream.
- When the egg whites are at medium peak, turn the mixer to low speed to continue stirring the meringue while you boil the sugar syrup.
- In a saucepan, stir together the 1 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water.
- Add the corn syrup and then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally at first until the sugar is dissolved.
- Fit the pan with a candy thermometer and boil until the syrup reaches 245° F (118° C) or the "firm ball" stage.
- Immediately return the mixer to high speed and whip the whites to firm peaks, about 1 minute more.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed, and very carefully, in a steady stream, pour the sugar syrup into the meringue, trying not to let the syrup touch the sides of the bowl or the whip.
- Continue beating the meringue on medium-low speed until the mixture cools down a bit, about 15 - 20 minutes. It will expand.
- When the bottom of the bowl is nearly room temp, slowly start adding the butter in pieces.
- Once all the butter has been added, turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the mixture is creamy. At first, it will look chunky, as if it has separated, but keep whipping until the buttercream becomes smooth.
- Use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day: IMPORTANT: Bring to room temperature before using.
MAKE AND ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 350° F (180 C).
- Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners, or grease with butter and dust with flour.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add the vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Beat in the 1 cup coconut.
- Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
- Continuing to beat on low speed, add the buttermilk, and then add the remaining flour mixture.
- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full. (You may have a little batter left over, for baking additional cupcakes).
- Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 18 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Using a paring knife, create a hollow about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep in the center of each cupcake.
- Fill each hollow with a spoonful of the lemon curd.
- Spread the filled cupcakes with a thick layer of the frosting (or pipe it on with a piping bag).
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup toasted coconut.*
- *To toast coconut, spread it in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake at 325 F, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 5 - 10 minutes.