Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes have a light lemon cake, graham cracker base, lemon curd filling and toasted meringue frosting.

Lemons always remind me of warmer weather, so they are the first thing I want to bake with in the summer, but I also love baking with them in the winter to remind me of summer.

This cupcake recipe is for the true lemon lover. It’s loaded with lemon flavor in the cupcake itself, but the lemon curd filling gives a burst of sweet tang that you’ll love.

There are several steps to this recipe, but we’ll step you through them so you can have a perfectly delicious homemade lemon meringue pie cupcake.

a lemon cupcake on a table with lemon

About Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes:

  • Flavor: Sweet & tangy lemon. That is the main flavor of this cupcake recipe. The tang mostly comes from the lemon curd inside, but the fluffy meringue topping helps to counter that tang with sweet.
  • Texture: This cupcake is super soft. You’ll get the firmer graham cracker crust on the bottom, but the cupcake is moist tender and the curd & meringue are smooth. It’s a fantastic texture combination.

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcake Layers:

There are 4 parts to this cupcake recipe. That may seem overwhelming, but I’m here to give you tips for each one. You can do this!

Graham Cracker Crust

The graham cracker crust is a simple, traditional recipe. If you have a food processor it is extremely easy to mix. If you don’t, you can pound cracker crumbs in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin.

Homemade Lemon Curd

Making homemade lemon curd can be tricky, but having a double boiler helps. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own by putting about an inch of water in a saucepan over medium heat.

Allow the water to simmer, then place a heat-proof bowl (preferably glass) over the pan so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. This will heat the egg mixture slowly so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.

It takes a lot of whisking, but take your time and it will be delicious.

piping lemon curd into the center of a cupcake

From Scratch Lemon Cake

For the best textured cake, you only need one large bowl, but follow the instructions carefully. Be sure to mix the butter, sugar and cream for the full amount of time. Then add the remaining ingredients in the order the recipe states.

cupcake batter on graham cracker crusts in a muffin pan

Meringue Frosting

The meringue also needs a double boiler, but make sure it is cleaned well from making the lemon curd.

Just as with the lemon curd, you’ll need to continue mixing often.

piping meringue on top of a cupcake

Use a torch to toast the meringue frosting. If you don’t have one, you can place the cupcakes in the over in broil for 2-3 minutes. Watch them carefully though… they burn easily.

half of a lemon meringue cupcake on a table

Recipe Shortcuts

This is a delicious, 100% from scratch recipe, but everyone needs a shortcut at one point or another. Here are a few ideas:

  • Skip the graham cracker crust base. It’s delicious, but the cupcake will still be good without it.
  • Use a lemon cake mix in place of the homemade cake. The box cake mix will make more than 12, so you’ll have some batter leftover to do something with.
  • Buy store bought lemon curd. This is my favorite shortcut since lemon curd can be tricky to make. You can find lemon curd in the baking aisle or by the jams and jellies.
  • Use a simple Cool Whip topping in place of the meringue.

You can use one of these shortcuts…or use all of them to make your own version of this recipe.

Storage Instructions

The lemon meringue pie cupcakes are best eaten the same day, but can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Store any leftover lemon curd in the fridge for up to a week.

a lemon meringue cupcake on table with graham cracker crumbs
a lemon meringue cupcake on table with graham cracker crumbs

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

4.25 from 12 votes
Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes have a light lemon cake, graham cracker base, lemon curd filling and toasted meringue frosting.
Servings 12
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the graham cracker base:

  • 5 ounces graham crackers 1 pack
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For the lemon curd:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest ~1 lemon
  • ¼ cup lemon juice ~2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg

For the cake:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest approximately 3 lemons
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon plain yogurt or vanilla
  • ¼ cup lemon juice about 2 lemons

For the meringue:

  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites approximately 180 grams
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

Make the graham cracker crust:

  • Add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until you have a fine powder. Then add the butter and honey along with the cracker crumbs to a medium bowl and mix until it looks like wet sand. Set aside.

Make the lemon curd:

  • Rub the lemon zest into the sugar using the back of a spoon or your hands. This will help coat the sugar with the essential oils in the lemon zest, giving it an extra lemony flavor.
  • Make a double boiler by adding about ½ inch of water to a small pot and bringing it to a simmer. Combine all the ingredients for the lemon curd in a heat proof medium bowl and set it over the pot of boiling water.
  • Whisk for 5-7 minutes until it thickens. Set aside and let it cool.

Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 335 °F.
  • Rub the lemon zest into the sugar using the back of a spoon or your hands.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and cream for 2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until there are no pockets of flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the yogurt and lemon juice and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Add approximately 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker base to each cupcake liner. Use a flat surface the size of the mold or smaller to press on the base to pack in the crumbs.
  • Add the cake batter filling each mold ¾ of the way.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely.

Make the meringue:

  • Make a double boiler by adding about ½ inch of water to a small pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add the sugar and egg whites to a heat proof bowl. Mix often for 6-8 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and beat at medium high speed for 6-8 minutes or until it has cooled completely and has stiff peaks.
  • Add the vanilla and salt and beat again.

Assemble the cupcakes:

  • Remove the center of each cupcake using a spoon, apple corer or the larger side of a piping nozzle and fill it with the lemon curd.
  • Pipe the frosting on top using a large cake decorating tip. Wilton 1M or 2D works great.
  • Use a torch to toast the meringue frosting. If you don’t have one, you can place the cupcakes in the over in broil for 2-3 minutes. Watch them carefully though… they burn easily.
  • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

Cupcakes are best eaten the same day, but can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store any leftover lemon curd in the fridge for up to a week.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 12 cupcakes, with 1 serving being 1 cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 597IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 413
Keyword from scratch cake, lemon cupcakes

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