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Lemon meringue cupcakes

Vegan, quick & easy.

Say hello to the most scrumptious cupcakes known to man.

Zesty, light and perfectly sweet lemon meringue cupcakes, with a vanilla sponge, a homemade lemon curd core, topped with a swirl of whipped vegan meringue frosting.

This recipe is in collaboration with Kitchenaid.

To make this recipe, I used my Kitchenaid ‘Citrus Juicer’ attachment.

This is a genius attachment as you can get all the juice from the lemon within seconds! 

It doesn’t only squeeze the fruits, it also filters out the pips.

It’s the perfect attachment for making these lemon meringue cupcakes, lemon loaves, grapefruit and orange drinks. In fact, anything involving citrus fruits. 

Read more about the attachment here

These zesty and perfectly sweet cupcakes are super fun to make, perfect for the whole family to get involved in making, delicious, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee on a summers afternoon!


These are a must-make if you citrus, like me!

Notes*

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc. You can also buy it in a carton.

What vegan block butter to use?

As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.

What condensed milk should I use?

My two favourites are Natures Charm Coconut Condensed Milk and Carnation Oat based condensed milk. Both are vegan and can be found in supermarkets and online. 

Preparation- 30 minutes

Baking time- 18-20 minutes

Makes- Around 10

Level- Easy

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Ingredients for the cupcakes

  • 240ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 210g of self-raising flour
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g of sunflower oil 
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon

Ingredients for the lemon curd filling

  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour + 1 tablespoon of water
  • 35g of dairy-free butter / margarine
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 50ml of lemon juice
  • 30g of vegan condensed milk (see notes*)
  • Pinch of turmeric

Ingredients for the meringue

  • 200ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vegan gelatine (I use Vege Gel)
  • 40ml of water
  • 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar

(Alternative buttercream ingredients and method below)

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Method (cupcakes)

Step 1- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan, and line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake cases.

Step 2- In a small bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.

Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.

Step 3- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Mix well to combine.

Step 4- Add the oil to the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine. Fold in the lemon zest.

Step 5- Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a smooth batter.

Step 6- Fill the cases 3/4 full with the delicious batter.

Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

Step 7- Pop the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.

You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

Step 8- Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 

Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

Method (lemon curd)

1. In a small bowl, add in the corn flour and water. Stir together into thick paste.

Add the cornflour paste, dairy-free butter, sugar, lemon juice, condensed milk and a pinch of turmeric into a medium sized saucepan.

2. Place the saucepan on the hob and heat over low / medium, stirring constantly, preferably with a whisk to help break up any lumps. After around 5-8 minutes the lemon curd will thicken. If the curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk. 

Pour the curd into a heat proof jar or bowl, cover and place aside to cool down. 

You can either put it in the fridge or keep it at room temperature to cool. Before you use it, give it a good stir as it will have thickened.

Method (toasted meringue frosting)

1. Measure out 200ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine), pour into a medium sized saucepan and reduce on a low/medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir constantly throughout. Once it’s reduced, weigh out to make sure it has reduced to 100ml. You want the aquafaba to reduce to half of the original mixture.

2. Pour the chickpea brine into a medium sized mixing bowl along with the cream of tartar and whisk together for 10-15 minutes until soft peaks form. I use a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer with a balloon whisk attachment. A electric hand whisk will work great too.

3. Place the sugar, vegan gelatine and water into a small sauceppan and bring to boil. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to burn. Try to avoid mixing it as it can effect the sugar. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. When it comes up to 120 degrees c, take it off the heat, and pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl and whip the meringue until stiff peaks. Whilst its whipping, it’ll cool down.  It will take around 5-10 minutes on high speed to get to stiff peaks. 

Transfer meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip nozzle.


4. Assemble the cupcakes by coring each cake and filling with the lemon curd filling.


Add a swirl of meringue onto each cupcake.


You can toast the meringue using a kitchen blow torch, be very careful!

Alternative method (buttercream)

Ingredients:

  • 180g of dairy-free block butter
  • 80ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)
  • 130g of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste / 1/2 a vanilla pod

Method (buttercream)

1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Pour in the aquafaba and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Add in the icing sugar. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it’s thick and creamy. 

Your Swiss meringue buttercream should be thick, very creamy and silky smooth. If it feels too heavy, add chunks more butter / splashes of aquafaba until its very light.

3. Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip nozzle. I use a Wilton 2D piping tip.

4. Pipe a swirl of buttercream on top of each cupcake. 

5. Top with a lemon segment and some fresh lemon zest.

Serve these cupcakes fresh or store in a sealed container in or out of the fridge.

If using tmeringue, §                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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7 Comments

  1. Natalie
    May 1, 2019 / 4:13 am

    I love lemon meringue desserts! These cupcakes look so delicious!

    • The Little Blog of Vegan
      May 12, 2019 / 1:24 am

      Same here, cant beat them! x

  2. Constance
    October 25, 2019 / 9:55 am

    This looks delicious! Is the dose of cream of tartar really 1.5 tablespoons? It seems a lot as I find the taste of this ingredient very strong.
    Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    • The Little Blog of Vegan
      March 1, 2020 / 1:55 am

      Hello, I use that amount as it makes for a very stiff meringue. It doesn't really alter the taste if you use a good quality vanilla extract, like vanilla bean paste 🙂 x

  3. Unknown
    November 22, 2019 / 10:30 pm

    The quantities for the cream of tartar seem quite a lot, is this what gives the frothy-ness? Other recipes I’ve seen are for teaspoons not tablespoons

  4. Teachermmk12
    February 29, 2020 / 8:39 pm

    What gives you lemon curd the yellow color?

  5. Carol
    January 12, 2022 / 8:24 pm

    I made these and the cupcakes turned out brilliantly. I tried the buttercream for the frosting. It tasted very nice but it didn’t look great. It was nice and light but it looked liked it had split as I could see the aqua faba ‘leaking’ through. Is this because I didn’t mix it enough with the vegan bloc or too much?
    Thanks
    Carol

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