Easy Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes

Need a quick, delicious dessert for a special occasion? Or just craving a delicious lemon treat? Here is an easy recipe, that’s partially homemade, but will taste completely homemade: Meyer Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes with Meyer Lemon Buttercream Frosting!

lemon cupcakes with frosting and lemon zest
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This is the perfect recipe if you need a dessert in a pinch! It was one of my besties birthdays so of course, I wanted to whip up something delicious to celebrate. We were going out to lunch and I had the morning to pull something together. Ever since I made the Meyer lemon curd for my Cream Puffs, I’ve been wanted to make something else lemony.

My first thought was Lemon Macarons. Without taking too much time going into details, let me just say it was a disaster! LOL! I need to try those again soon, but they weren’t happening for the birthday lunch. Plan B: Quickie cupcakes with lemon curd filling and homemade lemon buttercream frosting. Like I said, “mostly” homemade, fast, and delicious.

Ingredients for these Easy Cupcakes

  • white cake mix
  • eggs
  • water
  • lemon zest
  • lemon juice
  • unsalted butter, room temp
  • powdered confectioners sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • salt
  • sugar

How to Make these Lemony Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Place the batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 16-18 minutes.
  4. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before filling or frosting.
lemon curd cupcakes with buttercream lemon frosting

How to Make Easy Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  1. Place the butter into a mixer bowl and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and incorporate it completely after each addition. Next, add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and beat until everything is creamed together and smooth.

How much of this recipe is homemade?

The lemon curd and the lemon buttercream frosting are both homemade. The “almost homemade” part comes from the cupcakes. I used a basic box mix. I already had the lemon curd chilling in the fridge and I decided to cheat on the cupcakes and use a boxed mix. I also knew I didn’t want 24 cupcakes at home (because I would eat them all), so I just used half the mix and made up the rest! It made 12 cupcakes. I took 8 for the lunch and saved 4 for me (hey, I’m not crazy!).

lemon curd filled cupcakes with lemon zest

How quickly does this come together?

You could easily have these cupcakes complete in an hour and a half. As I mentioned, I made the lemon curd first since it needs to set in the fridge for an hour (recipe below). So, while it is setting, you can whip up the cupcakes and frosting. Cool the cupcakes in the fridge after 10 minutes on the counter and they will be ready to frost faster (since they need to be cool).

lemon curd filled mini cupcakes

A Quick Tip for this Lemon Recipe

The last tip before the recipes, I zested and juiced 4 Meyer lemons for all of these recipes at the very beginning and set it all aside. It made each step with lemon juice or zest so much easier! Of course, if you don’t have Meyer lemons, regular lemons will work just as good.

lemon curd filled cupcake

Easy Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes

A quick and easy recipe to make lemon curd filled cupcakes that are full of lemon flavor!
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Cool, Fill & Frost: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • cupcake pan and liners
  • (2) frosting bags
  • frosting tip
  • zester
  • stand mixer or hand mixer

Ingredients

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 cup white cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 dash salt
  • lemon zest for garnish

Instructions

Lemon Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
    cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  • Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Place batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 16-18 minutes.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before filling or frosting.

Lemon Buttercream

  • Place the butter into a mixer bowl and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and incorporate it completely after each addition.
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and beat until creamed together and smooth.
  • After cupcakes have completely cooled, place the lemon curd in a pastry bag with a round tip attachment. Insert tip into the top of the cupcake and squeeze in curd, about a tablespoon. You will a cupcake expand slightly and it will start to ooze out the top a little. Don't worry, you are covering it with frosting!
    lemon curd filled mini cupcakes
  • Place frosting in a different pastry bag, use your favorite tip and frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle with lemon zest and enjoy!

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

lemon curd in the middle of a lemon cupcake

How to Make Lemon Curd

Below is the recipe for Homemade Lemon Curd. It’s so easy to make and so worth it! You might get a few cooked egg pieces if your heat is too high, don’t worry, this is why you send it through a fine-mesh sieve before you chill it. Once the mixture gets thick, take it off the heat right away!!

homemade lemon curd in a jar with a spoon

Homemade Lemon Curd

Make this easy lemon curd recipe and you will never buy storebought again!
5 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • fine mesh sieve
  • small saucepan
  • whisk
  • plastic wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Instructions

  • Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs in a pan on the stove. Cook over low heat (so you don't cook the eggs!), whisking constantly until thickened. Once the mixture has started to thicken, add the butter pieces a few at a time, whisking constantly until melted in.
    adding butter to lemon curd
  • Keep whisking until curd is smooth and thickened, and coats the back of a spoon with no movement. Remove from heat immediately.
    lemon curd when done on stove
  • Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. If you did get any cooked egg pieces these will strain out so don't panic.
    lemon curd through mesh sieve
  • Put plastic wrap directly on the top of the lemon curd so a film doesn't form on top. Chill in the fridge until cold, at least 1 hour. Store in a sealable container in the fridge and it will last for at least a week!
    lemon curd with plastic wrap for chilling

Video

Notes

  • Lemon curd can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once you are ready to use it, remove from the freezer and allow the curd to thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

What makes these cupcakes “easy”?

I used a box cake mix for the cupcakes and I’m not sorry about it. Sorry, not sorry ?! Just add egg, water, lemon juice and lemon zest to the mix and you are ready to go! This is a “recipe” because you are only using some of the mix to make a small batch. And you are adding lemon juice and lemon zest to make them even better.

What to do with the extra cake mix?

You may be thinking…what should I do with the rest of the cake mix? I’ll tell you! You can always make more of these Easy Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes…OR…you can make mug cakes! Mug cakes are perfect for those nights when you want something sweet but don’t want a lot. Mug cakes are the best and so easy to make.

All you have to remember is 3-2-1!

3 tablespoons of cake mix

2 tablespoons of water

1 minute in the microwave

I added sprinkles to the cake mix before microwaving and I also made a quick cream cheese frosting for the mug cake (obviously ?).

1 tablespoon cream cheese

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Sprinkles are optional but recommended

Stir cream cheese in a small bowl until it’s smooth and warms up a little, add powdered sugar until combined and add to mug cake!

If you love Lemon Desserts, check out some of my other Lemon Recipes

lemon curd filled cupcakes and lemon curd filled cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting
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Did you Make these Easy Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes?

Did you try this recipe? If you make these cupcakes, tag me on Instagram or Facebook and show me what you made! And, if you would like even more fun and delicious recipes in your inbox, sign up for my email list and I will keep you updated. Lastly, don’t forget to PIN this recipe for later and follow me on Pinterest as well.


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