Vanilla Cupcakes with a Lemon Curd Filling


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened, plus more for tins
2 3/4 cups flour , plus more for tins
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Lemon curd filling (see recipe below)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare the muffin tins by brushing the sides lightly with melted butter and dusting with flour. You can also use a butter/flour baking spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and continue to mix at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the mixer and the paddle once or twice. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

Continue to beat on medium-low speed; alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Scoop the batter into tins until each is just over 3/4 full. Bake in oven until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes, rotating tins after about 15 minutes.

Lemon Curd Filling


1/2 cup lemon juice
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter , cut into pieces
Combine the lemon juice, egg yolks and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan, and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until hot, about 10 minutes. As the lemon mixture gets hot, it will begin to thicken. Once thick (it should coat the back of the spoon), reduce the heat to very low and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring continuously.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and butter until the butter has melted and is incorporated into the lemon mixture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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