Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup vegetable oil

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the meringue:

2 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

1 tablespoon limoncello or other lemon-flavored liqueur (optional)

6 to 7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until combined. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  2. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them to just below the rim. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  3. Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and gradually beat in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; beat until stiff shiny peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  4. Combine the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, the corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture registers 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes; remove from the heat. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites; increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue is fluffy and cool, about 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe onto the cupcakes; set aside at room temperature to firm up, about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, limoncello and food coloring in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Microwave 1 minute, then whisk again until the sugar dissolves; let cool about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dip the meringue-covered tops of the cupcakes into the glaze, letting the excess drip off. If the glaze gets too thick, microwave 20 seconds.

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