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Perfect mini lemon cupcakes
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Mini lemon cupcakes with lemon curd and Italian buttercream

Soft mini lemon cupcakes topped with a homemade lemon curd and a light and creamy vanilla bean Italian meringue buttercream.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time9 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, easy homemade crust, Italian meringue buttercream, lemon cucpakes, lemon curd, mini cupcakes, mini dessert
Servings: 14 cupcakes


  • A stand mixer or a hand mixer


For the mini cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup +2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp water

For the lemon curd

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp butter

For the Italian meringue buttercream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla beans


For the cupcake

  • Start by preheating the oven to 350F and lining 14 mini cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder and the salt together and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the granulated sugar, egg white, and oil together until incorporated then add in the milk, the lemon zest and the water. Mix one more time until combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 14 cupcake liners and bake for 9 minutes.
  • For the lemon curd- As the cupcakes are baking, we will make the lemon curd.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolks over medium-low heat. Once the mixture starts to thicken remove it from the heat.( the time will depend on the temperature of your ingredients)
  • Add in the cubed butter and quickly whisk it in. (I usually use a hand blender to make my life easier.)
  • Place the lemon curd in a shallow bowl and cover it with plastic wrap making sure it touches the curd. This will keep it from forming a film on top. Let the curd cool completely in the fridge to thicken.

For the Italian meringue buttercream

  • While the cupcakes are cooling, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar and the water to a boil. Let the mixture boil for about 4-5 minutes or until the bubbles slow down a little.
  • When the sugar water is almost done cooking, start beating the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer.
  • When the hot sugar syrup is done cooking, pour it very slowly on the side of the stand mixer in a gently stream. Beat for another 5-7 minutes of until the mixing bowl doesn't feel hot to the touch anymore.
  • When the mixing bowl doesn't feel hot anymore, slowly add in the cubed room temperature butter while continuously whipping up the meringue.
  • Don't worry if the meringue gets a little soupy. Continue whipping the meringue at high speed until it thickens and becomes perfectly creamy. Add in the vanilla beans and mix everything one last time.

Putting it all together

  • Using your favorite piping tip, pipe the Italian meringue buttercream around the outside of the cupcake and fill up the center with the lemon curd using either a piping bag or a ziplock bag.


Both the Frosting and the Lemon Curd  can be made up to two days in advance. 
  • Make sure to let your Italian meringue buttercream get to room temperature before whipping it again to use it.