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Lemon Meringue Chick Cupcakes

Easter is here! While most Easter recipes use decorated eggs, I decided to make these spring-inspired Lemon Meringue ‘Chick’ cupcakes. They look super cute and taste of lemony freshness.

I saw these cupcakes on a Youtube video by ‘Cupcake Jemma’ and they looked so cute I couldn’t resist making them! The recipes are from different sources, but the design look is inspired by her.

If you break these down, you have a. lemon cupcakes b. lemon buttercream c. lemon curd and d. meringue kisses. Lemon curd and meringues are make-ahead recipes so these can be made well in advance, which is a great thing. The cupcakes and buttercream are really easy recipes with basic ingredients, hence prepping and making these do not take a lot of your time and efforts. Yay 🙂

Lemon zest adds another level of flavour to the cupcakes – the natural oils from zest will impart way more flavour than you’ll get from juicing. It’s really important to zest the lemons properly – you need only the thin coloured skin and not the white bitter pith inside.  A Microplane zester works best here, I use this zester and it works like a charm.

The recipe actually makes 15-18 cupcakes depending on your tray and how much you fill into each. I’ve divided the recipe by one-third to make 6 cupcakes here.

Ingredients –

Lemon Cupcakes (divide recipe by 3 for 6 cupcakes)
215 g flour
132 g sugar
60 ml vegetable oil (4 tbsp)
60 g butter
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, at room temperature – (comes to about 3 tbsp)
170 ml milk ( ¾ cup)
1 tbsp yoghurt
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice

Lemon Buttercream (sufficient for frosting 6 cupcakes)
50g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
100-120g icing sugar sifted
1-2 tsp lemon juice

Lemon Curd (recipe here)

Meringue Kisses (recipe here)

For decoration of meringue – orange & black gel food colours (or you can use royal icing instead)

Procedure –

Lemon Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line a 12-muffin tray with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
3. Add the butter and mix till you get a crumbly texture.
4. In a separate bowl, add the milk, yoghurt, oil, vanilla & egg and mix slightly.
5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry slowly and mix until well combined. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix.
6. Scrape the bowl once and mix again for about 30 seconds.
7. Using an ice-cream scoop or 2 spoons, scoop the batter equally into the tray. They should fill a little more than half.
8. Bake the cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
9. Remove from the pan and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Lemon Buttercream
1. Using a hand mixer/electric mixer/whisk, beat the butter for about 5-7 minutes till smooth and pale.
2. Now gradually add the icing sugar to butter while beating it. Ensure all sugar and butter is mixed well.
3. Add lemon juice 1 tsp at a time and beat the mixture until light and fluffy. You can add more lemon juice or icing sugar depending on the consistency of the frosting – if it’s too dry add a teaspoon of lemon juice, if it’s wet, add a tbsp of icing sugar and go from there.

Prepare lemon curd & meringue cookies as per instructions in their recipes. You can make these couple days in advance. You’ll need only about a ½ cup of lemon curd for 6 cupcakes.

Assembly –

1. Pipe the eyes and mouth on the meringues and let them dry. Don’t they look like little chicks 😀

2. Frost the cupcakes with buttercream with a spatula. Flatten the top a little.
3. Using a piping bag with a small cut on the end, pipe the lemon curd on the buttercream such that it looks like a drizzle.
4. Place the meringue chicks on top of the lemon curd.

The look of the cupcakes is inspired by Cupcake Jemma

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