Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lemon Chiffon Layer Cupcakes

This is a repost of a recipe from my other, short-lived blog. I've decided to focus on masquerading domesticity here, so now it will be a one-stop-shop for all my baking cleverness! So here you go!

These are lemon chiffon cupcakes, with a layer of lemon curd in the middle and topped with vanilla glaze and a homemade candied lemon peel!

Lemon love!

Lemon chiffon layer cupcake

So they weren't perfect! I'd never made chiffon cake before and it wasn't that difficult. But I wasn't really sure what to expect when I baked it into a cupcake. First I knew I wanted to slice them in the middle so I could add the layer of lemon curd, so I baked them without wrappers which is ALWAYS a headache! Never have I ever baked a cupcake or muffin where I didn't murder at least 3 before they came out of the pan when they had no wrappers.

Also I expected they would behave a bit more like an angel food cake which creeps up the side of the pan then keeps going. As you can see here, they didn't do that.

And, my vanilla glaze recipe was wrong wrong wrong, so I ended up adding too much milk. I adjusted the recipe below though so you can make a proper vanilla glaze.

Candying the lemon peel was fun though, if not a little stressful! If you're going to take on all parts of this cupcake, I suggest making the candy lemon peel first, then the lemon curd, then the cupcakes and finally the glaze.

Lemon Chiffon Layer Cupcakes

Candied Lemon Peel

Peels of two lemons (a lemon zester is really the only way to go for this!)
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Additional sugar for decorating

Lemon peels
  1. Place lemon peel in large saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Boil for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  4. In medium saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water.
  5. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture reaches thread stage, 230 degrees F (108 degrees C) on candy thermometer, or small amount dropped in cold water forms a soft thread.
  6. Stir in peel, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Lift lemon peel from saucepan and drain.
  8. Roll peel pieces, a few at a time, in remaining sugar.
  9. Let dry on wire rack several hours. I attempted to "train" my peels into corkscrews by wrapping them around toothpicks, it was semi successful.
    Candied lemon peel
  10. Store in airtight container until ready to use...or just eat
Lemon Curd Filling 
From Double Batch

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
Grated zest of three lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. Whisk together the whole eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice , and lemon zest together in a medium sauce pan, NOT over heat yet.
  2. Turn burner on low and gently heat the mixture, whisking until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Make sure not to boil the mixture.
  3. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl.
  4. Stir in the butter until melted and cover the curd with plastic wrap touching the surface of the curd.
  5. Refrigerate until cold.
Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes
Adapted from

3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (Martha says about 4 lemons, I got this from 2)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks, vegetable oil, 1/3 cup water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
  6. Add cream of tartar and increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.
  7. Gradually add remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add egg white mixture to batter in thirds and fold to incorporate.
  9. Spoon into cupcake pan, about 2/3 full. Hint: I use a cookie scoop for this, the kind with the arm that scrapes the spoon, it's awesome.
  10. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and the tops are golden, about 25 min. Check often!
  11. Let cool on a wire rack.
  12. Loosen the edges with a knife before turning out
Vanilla Glaze 
Adapted from

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter
  1. Mix together confectioners sugar and salt.
  2. Add milk and extract.
  3. Melt the butter and add to rest of ingredients, mix until creamy
  4. Slowly add more milk if necessary, but don't thin too much!
  1. Slice cupcakes in half horizontally, from left to right (or right to left, you get it)
  2. Spoon a layer of lemon curd onto bottom and replace top
  3. Drizzle with vanilla glaze and top with a candied lemon peel

Lemon chiffon layer cupcake

Traveling lemon curd and vanilla glaze

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