Its no secret that citrus flavours are my favourite, and not too long ago I had a ‘thing’ for lemon curd- in that I HAD to find ways to put it in anything and everything! I was also having a thing for baking… and well voila!
These are more like a traditional British fairy cake – a little daintier than your average cupcake but you can of course use the same method for bigger cupcakes by increasing the amounts.
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes or 20 fairy cakes)
130g unsalted butter or baking fat softened and cut into small pieces
2 eggs lightly beaten
130g caster sugar
180g self-raising flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp baking powder (for extra rise!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs milk
Zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
For the filling
Lemon curd – Let’s not mess around, grab a jar out of the fridge!
For the frosting
NB. I don’t like having more frosting than cake – but feel free to make more frosting if you prefer!
160g unsalted butter softened and cut into small pieces
330g icing sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
Splash of milk
3-4 tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice
A few drops of natural yellow food colouring (optional – but if using don’t go too mad, no one wants to eat a luminous cake!)
Mini meringues, candied or fresh lemon peel to decorate
- Oven – preheat your oven to 180 degrees or Gas mark 4 and line your muffin (12) or fairy cake (20) tin with paper cases
- Butter and sugar – beat your butter and caster sugar using a stand or hand held mixer on medium speed until you get a pale and fluffy consistency (don’t rush this bit!)
- Eggs and flour – stir the vanilla extract into the eggs and add the baking powder to the flour. Pour half the eggs into your mixing bowl and beat on a low setting. Slowly add half the flour until mostly mixed – and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients
- Milk and zest – Now add the milk and lemon zest and combine
- Bake – divide the mixture across your paper cakes, I recommend using a lever handles ice cream scoop so you know each one is the same and you don’t get any dips on the side of your cases. Bake on the middle self for 10-18 mins until golden brown
- Cool – transfer onto a wire rack to cool
- Frosting – Using your whisk attachment, whisk the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl (careful now this gets messy!). Add the lemon juice and loosen with milk as required. Now add your colouring if using, one drop at a time until you get a pale pastel yellow. Whisk well to get a fluffy soft frosting.
- Filling – Stir the lemon curd to loosen it a bit. Now using a small sharp knife, a cake corer or even an apple core gently core each cake about half way. You don’t need the middles so you are welcome to eat them to keep you going… Now spoon (or pipe) a generous dollop of curd into each hole
- Decorate – pipe on your frosting and decorate as desired