Sometimes mistakes turn into great things. This is one of those times. I was attempting something completely different, I was trying to make fluffier, lighter financiers, but they turned out too light when I first tested them. I needed a solution to my problem. And then I remembered cupcakes. As it happens, I had plenty of paper molds at home, and I thought to myself the planets are aligning. Suddenly my financier frustration became cupcake hope.
This is the lightest, moistest, most delicious lemon cupcake you will ever try. It’s incredible. And it’s all thanks to the egg whites: beat egg whites to be more precise. It’s a game changer. And the brown butter. Always the butter. You know I live in France, right? We can’t go without butter long. 😊
I took these (some, because some had to stay at home!) to a dinner party I was invited to, and they were a success. Two of my friends had had their birthdays recently so we even sang happy birthday and blew out candles. They could be a cute mini birthday cake. 😊
They are super easy to put together: basically, just mixing ingredients together, plus the beaten egg whites. No fuss, no complications. Perfect. I strongly recommend to make these ASAP.
Makes 20 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
Powdered Sugar 140 g
Almond Flour 80 g
All-purpose Flour 75 g
Baking Powder 2 g
Butter 100 g
Honey 25 g
Lemon Zest 2 u
Salt 5 g
Egg Whites 215 g
Sugar 40 g
For the Meringue Frosting
Egg Whites 150 g
Powdered Sugar 300 g
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340 F). Line a muffin tray with muffin papers.
Brown the butter over low heat (this is called “beurre noisette”, because of the hazelnut color the brown butter) and pour over the honey. Keep aside.
Mix the powdered sugar, the almond flour, the flour, the baking powder and the salt.
Whisk the egg whites until there are no visible bubbles, and then add the 40 g of sugar. Continue to whisk until the whites hold stiff peaks.
Add half of the dry ingredients and fold in gently, then add the rest and repeat. Add the brown butter/honey mixture plus the grated lemon zest and again fold in gently. We don’t want to lose the airiness of the meringue.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag and fill in the muffin molds until about 2 cm from the edge. You can do this using a ladle if you don’t have a piping bag. It works perfectly. Just be careful not to spill batter onto the tray because it will burn in the oven!
Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden. To test insert a cake skewer or a knife in the middle of the cupcake, if it comes out dry, they are ready to come out of the oven. Let them cool down on a cooling rack.
For the Swiss Meringue Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the egg whites and the powdered sugar. Heat over a double broiler (indirect heat) while whisking from time to time. The mixture should be about 60 degrees: sugar has dissolved completely, there are almost no bubbles and the surface it’s kind of white. YOU DON’T WANT TO COOK THE EGG WHITES.
At this point transfer the bowl to your stand mixer and whisk at high speed until the meringue holds stiff peaks. It should be shiny 😊.
For the Finishing Touches
Now transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a tip and pipe out a tall swirl onto your cupcakes. You can either burn the meringue if you have a blow torch or you can grate some lemon zest on top for decorating purposes. Or go white 😊 Up to you.