Coconut Lemon Crunch Cupcakes

Not being able to decide between triple lemon ice cream, a concoction of lemon ice cream swirled with lemon curd and lemon crunch pieces, and a frozen coconut bar one night, I made the hard decision to eat both simultaneously. I thought about transalting it into a cupcake...yum!

This is a moist lemon cake filled with lemon curd, topped with coconut marshmallow frosting, and sprinkled with crunchy lemon cookies.  The play on textures - from moist cake to smooth lemon curd to fluffy frosting to crunchy topping - makes these slightly addictive.

The cake recipe is from Hello, Cupcake! I've had trouble lately with overcooking cupcakes. I don't know what the deal is but I think an oven thermometer is in my near future. This was the second lemon cupcake I overbaked. I threw out the first one, which was a recipe from the Middle Eastern Hershey's website containing sweetened condensed milk, thinking that the recipe was bad. But after overcooking these too, I think my oven is the problem.

I've made a couple lemon curds lately, namely one from Martha Stewart's lemon meringue pie cupcakes and one from Baked Explorations' lemon drop cake. The lemon curd recipe here, from Epicurious, is so far my favorite. It is intensly sour and sweet. Another winning point is that this verison uses the entire egg rather then just the yolks. All the ingredients go in one saucepan and get cooked until thick, no seperating or tempering involved. Super easy.

Coconut marshmallow frosting - let's talk. Four things - butter, marshmallow, powdered sugar, coconut extract. Freakin' amazingness. Have you ever had a certain frozen supermarket coconut layer cake in a square-ish shape? That is this in frosting form. Eat it with a spoon.

Crunchy lemon topping? Crunch is satisfying. I used store-bought cookies. They get crushed and toasted. The more the better. Press it into the frosting.

Lemon Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ounces cream cheese at room temp
4 tbl salted butter at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin cup with 12 paper liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg on medium-low speed, mixing just until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk in three seperate additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

Lemon Curd

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the butter pieces and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until the curd is thick enough to hold the marks of a whisk and the first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes. *Note - I actually had to boil my lemon curd for a few minutes until it was the thickness I desired for this recipe. Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

To fill cupcakes use a cupcake filler tip attached to a pastry bag filled with lemon curd. Alternatively, cut a cone-shaped piece out of the middle of each cupcake, add about a tablespoon of filling, and cover with the top of the cone-shaped cut out.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Coconut Marshmallow Frosting

1 stick (8 tbl) salted butter at room temp
8 ounces marshmallow cream
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1 cup powdered sugar

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and marshmallow on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the coconut extract and beat until combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until combined. Turn mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy. Frost cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Lemon Crunch Topping

10 medium sized lemon cookies, homemade or store-bought (I used Pepperidge Farms)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.

Put the cookies in a lare plastic sealable bag and crush until crumbs remain. Alternatively, use the food processor and pulse until crumbly. Spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet in an even layer and toast until golden, tossing halfway through. This takes about five minutes total but watch carefully to prevent burning.

1 Response to Coconut Lemon Crunch Cupcakes

June 16, 2011 at 6:17 AM

These cupcakes look like a burst of summer! :D

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