Meyer lemons are a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon and they have a unique flavor that I just love. They are readily available in California where I live and in some specialty stores, but if you can’t find them, just substitute regular lemons. The cream cheese in this recipe makes the cake dense and moist and offsets the acidity of the lemon.

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Lemon Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup store-bought lemon curd


  • cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups store-bought lemon curd
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Candied Meyer Lemon Wheels


Make the Frosting

Combine the cream cheese and 1 cup lemon curd in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Chill until ready to frost the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Make the Cupcakes

Whisk together the flour, lemon zest, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on mediumhigh speed, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese and reduce the speed to low. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the butter and cream cheese mixture in three batches, beating until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Set the tin on a wire rack to cool completely before removing the cupcakes.

Spoon the 2 cups lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Dust the cupcakes lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the top of each cupcake and fill with a bit of lemon curd. Frost the cupcakes and top with a candied lemon wheel.

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