Limoncello & Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

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After my recent adventure making homemade limoncello out of Buddha’s hand citron, I was left with a large bottle of limoncello and wondering what to do with it. I’m not a big drinker but I love baking, so of course my first thought was, “what can I bake with this?” My second thought was that February was quickly disappearing and I had yet to make a cupcake of the month. And so, the limoncello cupcake idea was born!

A quick Google search led me to one recipe that several bloggers tried out. It adds the wonderful flavor of sweet Meyer lemons to the limoncello to make a great lemon cupcake. It seems that it originated from Tartlette (if you like food pictures, check it out – she is an amazing photographer!) so I’m giving her credit, although I did change the recipe a tad. The cupcakes are a bit denser than I usually like, but after filling them with an amazing Meyer lemon curd and topping with a light cream cheese lemon frosting, I really can’t complain.

I’d actually never filled a cupcake before, although it turns out it’s ridiculously easy (cut a hole, fill it in, top with frosting – see pictures at the end of the recipe). Now I want to make lots of filled cupcakes – with caramel, ganache, etc., the possibilities are endless!

Plus, I was able to try out my new cake stand that I randomly bought at Target. Ah, the dangers of being a food blogger; splurging on good food and kitchen accessories. Have you splurged on anything lately?


Limoncello & Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

Adapted from Tartelette

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 oz  cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 T limoncello (see how I made it here)
  • 1½ C unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 C Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of one Meyer lemon

For the Meyer lemon curd:

  • Zest of 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 C Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 C sugar

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 T  limoncello
  • 1/2 t Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/8 t Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 1/8-1 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted

Prepare the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven and line a cupcake tin with liners.

Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar together at medium speed until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate between each one. Add limoncello and mix for one more minute.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. In alternating increments, add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix in lemon juice and zest. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for around 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool.

Prepare the Meyer lemon curd:
While cupcakes cool, prepare curd. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and additional egg yolk. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Meyer lemon zest, juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer and beat a little of lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook for around 5 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.

(Note: if the egg does curdle a little, simply press finished curd through a fine mesh sieve to remove egg.)

Prepare the cream cheese frsoting:
On medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add limoncello, Meyer lemon juice and zest and beat for another minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Beat until everything is incorporated and frosting is smooth. Add more powdered sugar to taste  and to increase volume.

(Note: I used 1 1/8 cup powdered sugar and was only able to frost 9 cupcakes with it. I didn’t use an exorbinant amount of frosting, so if you want more, I suggest using more sugar or increasing all ingredients by a little.)

To assemble:

Using a large pastry tip or a small melon baller, cut a hole into each cupcake. Fill with Meyer lemon curd, then top with frosting (I used a Wilton 1m star tip).

27 Responses to “Limoncello & Meyer Lemon Cupcakes”
  1. Christine @ Nourish the Budding Lotus writes:

    Those are beautiful! I was wondering the same thing when you made the Limoncello. I don’t drink anymore, but used to live in Italy and would delight in a little Limoncello here and there. I never thought of cooking with it though. Now it makes that Buddha Hand recipe all the more tempting!
    I love that you filled the cupcakes with the Lemon Curd. Looks amazing!
    Christine @ Nourish the Budding Lotus recently posted Fig Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies

  2. Wheels writes:

    I’m glad you posted pictures of the filling because I was curious! Also, did Russ get to get the extra cupcake that came out to make room for the filling?

  3. Tricia Norris writes:

    These look amazing, and your pictures are beautiful. I, too, have been afraid of a filled cupcake…but I think you have inspired me! Anything lemon I love. Thanks for sharing!
    Tricia Norris recently posted Applesauce and my new pot

  4. Celia writes:

    So happy you decided to use your limoncello this way – and to share! I loooove filled cupcakes; I’ll often make minis so I can get cake, filling, and frosting in one delicious bite…

  5. Carina - Kitchen Groovy writes:

    Oh, these look so wonderful!!! Lemon is my favorite flavor and I haven’t tried lemon flavored cupcakes. They look tantalizing and makes me dream of spring!!!

  6. Kimberly(unrivaledkitch) writes:

    these look so wonderful. I love lemon and lemonchello

    these photos are fantastic… i want to pick a cupcake up and eat it! well done :)
    Kimberly(unrivaledkitch) recently posted Some of the most important people in my lifeMy sisters baby shower the menu revisit

  7. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom writes:

    Nice twist on a lemon cupcake. I bet the liquor gives these a kick.
    Angela@RecipesFromMyMom recently posted Comfort from béchamel-sauced eggs

  8. Jennifer (Delicieux) writes:

    There is nothing better than lemon desserts or cakes. Your lemon cupcakes look delicious. I love the Meyer lemon curd filling. Yum!
    Jennifer (Delicieux) recently posted Chocolate Orange Cake

  9. torviewtoronto writes:

    beautiful and looks delicious

  10. Felice - All That's Left Are The Crumbs writes:

    I can’t believe I am still looking for Meyer lemons. I would love to try this recipes, and I guess I could use regular, but it wouldn’t be the same. My latest splurge is a tagine.
    Felice – All That’s Left Are The Crumbs recently posted To Try Tuesday – Banana-Cappuccino Chip Blondies

  11. Lucy writes:

    These are so pretty! I love the idea of filling cupcakes with caramel as well – sounds irresistible.

  12. Medeja writes:

    They look very delicious and decoration is very cute :) great recipe

  13. Tiffany writes:

    Seriously everything about these cupcakes is awesome! Butter, cream cheese, and buttermilk!?!?! Meyer lemon curd!?!?! BUTTERCREAM! :) LOL. I haven’t splurged on anything lately… which makes me think, perhaps I should!
    Tiffany recently posted Grilled Asparagus with Walnuts and Tangelo

  14. Elyse @The Cultural Dish writes:

    oooo I LOVE anything lemon and especially limoncello! :)

  15. Danae (The Busty Baker) writes:

    These look divine! I’m obsessed with Meyer Lemon flavor now!! I just wish I didn’t use all my curd in the tart I just made. Oh well, I’ll just have to go buy some more lemons! :)
    Danae (The Busty Baker) recently posted Meyer Lemon Tart

  16. Kita writes:

    Oh what pretty little cupcakes! I just had a lemon dessert last night and I didn’t think I would be a fan, but I really liked it, so now I want to try some other new lemon flavored things!

  17. carine writes:

    they look so cute and so tasty! I love lemon cakes, eating them doesn’t feel guilty to me..haha
    carine recently posted Dad-Happy Birthday

  18. C&C Cakery writes:

    I love this cupcake so very much. Lemon curd is my absolute favourite – as is limoncello! You’ve won my heart! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!
    C&C Cakery recently posted Cthulhupalooza II- Son of Cthulhupalooza

  19. Joy writes:

    This looks wonderful.
    Joy recently posted Composition

  20. Homemade Hostess Cupcakes | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    […] found that cutting out a hole in the middle of the cupcake with a paring knife (like I did with the limoncello and meyer lemon cupcakes – I used those pictures here because I didn’t take step by step pictures with the homemade […]

  21. Christa writes:

    A medium Vodka dry Martini – with a slice of lemon peel. Shaken and not stirred.

  22. Candied Meyer Lemon Peel | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    […] lemons in half and juice (reserve for other use, like vegan Meyer lemon cupcakes or limoncello & Meyer lemon cupcakes). Using a sharp paring knife, remove flesh from skin and discard (leave white pith attached to […]

  23. Apple writes:

    Made these today, very disappointed with the consistency and density. They were like fairly tasty, anemic hockey pucks. Not worth the effort.

  24. Stephanie writes:

    @Apple – I’m sorry to hear that! I wonder what went wrong. I remember really enjoying these cupcakes…

  25. Violet writes:

    I made these and quite tasty but how do I make them less dense…

  26. Amanda writes:

    I just made these today. Un-be-freakin-lievable. It helps that I love lemon curd and, well, pretty much all lemon desserts. I had no problem with the cake or curd. My frosting was pretty runny, but I just popped it in the fridge for a bit and re-whipped it and it seems to be fine now. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m making a bunch of cupcakes for a baby shower in a few weeks, so I’ve been testing a bunch. This one is definitely on the menu. I’m also adapting your salted caramel. :D Thanks again!

  27. Julie writes:

    These cakes look amazing! How do you manage to bake them, without looking brownish and dry. I have just made your Salted Caramel cup cakes, which were lovely but the texture did not look like these ones. I am in the UK, so could it be down to our flour?

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