Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes Recipe

Last updated on March 11, 2024

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes are a delicious treat, featuring a moist and fluffy lemon cake topped with a tangy and creamy lemon curd frosting. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, a tea party, or a simple indulgence.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes and can be prepared in approximately 45 minutes.

In this article, I will show you how to make Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.

What is Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes?

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes are a type of cupcakes inspired by the famous British chef and author Nigella Lawson. They are made with a simple lemon cake batter that is baked in muffin tins and then topped with a homemade lemon curd frosting that is rich and smooth. The lemon curd frosting is made with butter, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and zest, and it has a bright and refreshing flavor that complements the cake. The cupcakes are decorated with some lemon zest or candied lemon peel for extra zing.

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Other Cupcakes Recipes to Try

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes stand out for several reasons:

  • Ease of Preparation: The recipe involves simple steps and common ingredients, making it accessible for everyone.
  • Vibrant Lemon Flavor: The dual use of lemon in both the cake and frosting delivers a burst of fresh citrus taste.
  • Perfect Texture: Achieving a moist and fluffy cake paired with smooth and creamy frosting creates a delightful eating experience.
  • Flexibility: The recipe is adaptable, allowing variations with different citrus fruits or frosting bases to suit personal preferences.
  • Versatility for Occasions: These cupcakes are suitable for any event, from a morning treat to an elegant dessert.

Ingredients Needed to Make Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes

To make Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes, you will need the following ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 125 g (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g (3/4 cup) of caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125 g (1 cup) of self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the lemon curd frosting:

  • 75 g (1/3 cup) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g (3/4 cup) of icing sugar, sifted
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) of lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus more for decoration
  • Optional: candied lemon peel for decoration

Instructions to Make Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes Recipe

To make Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes, follow these steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the muffin tin

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) or 350°F (320°F fan).
  • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Step 2: Make the batter

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Sift the flour and baking soda together and fold into the butter mixture with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the milk and lemon zest and mix well until combined.

Step 3: Bake the cupcakes

  • Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin, filling each case about two-thirds full.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let them cool completely before frosting.

Step 4: Make the frosting

  • To make the lemon curd frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the lemon curd and lemon zest and beat until well incorporated, about 1 minute.

Step 5: Decorate and enjoy

  • Spoon or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with some more lemon zest or candied lemon peel if desired.
  • Enjoy your Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes!

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes

What Do I Serve With Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes?

When presenting Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes, consider these enhanced pairings to elevate the overall tasting experience:

  • Classic Beverages: A steaming cup of Earl Grey tea or a robust espresso beautifully complements the cupcakes’ lemony zest, offering a balance of flavors.
  • Refreshing Drinks: Opt for a chilled glass of homemade lemonade or creamy milk to contrast the cupcakes’ tanginess, providing a refreshing palate cleanser.
  • Gourmet Toppings: Garnish with a mix of fresh berries such as raspberries or blueberries and a dollop of whipped cream for a burst of freshness and a silky finish.
  • Luxurious Add-ons: For an added crunch and richness, sprinkle finely chopped almonds or dark chocolate shavings atop the cupcakes before serving.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes

To ensure your Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes turn out impeccably, incorporate these advanced baking insights:

  • Ingredient Temperatures: Utilize room-temperature butter and eggs to achieve a cohesive batter, facilitating a smoother and more uniform texture in both the cake and frosting.
  • Batter Consistency: Mix the batter just until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, avoiding overmixing to prevent the development of a dense texture.
  • Portion Control: Fill muffin cases to about two-thirds of their capacity to ensure a perfect rise and shape, preventing overflow and misshapen cupcakes.
  • Baking Precision: Keep a vigilant eye on the baking process, starting to check for doneness at the 15-minute mark. The ideal cupcake is moist with a slight bounce back when lightly touched.
  • Cooling Process: Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before applying frosting to prevent it from melting, ensuring a pristine and appealing finish.

Variations of Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Explore these inventive twists to personalize your Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes for any occasion or preference:

  • Convenience Option: For those pressed for time, opt for high-quality store-bought lemon curd, available in most grocery stores, to simplify the recipe without compromising on taste.
  • Citrus Varieties: Experiment with different citrus fruits such as lime, orange, or grapefruit to introduce unique flavors. Match the quantity of juice and zest to that of the lemon for a consistent outcome.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Incorporate poppy seeds for a subtle crunch, or add a hint of coconut or almond extract to the batter for a layer of complexity and aromatic depth.
  • Frosting Alternatives: Substitute the traditional butter in the frosting with cream cheese, mascarpone, or whipped cream for a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • Colorful Presentation: Introduce natural or food-grade coloring to the frosting for a visually striking effect, choosing shades that complement the occasion or season.

How do I Store Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes Leftovers?

Here’s how to properly store the leftovers:

  • Room Temperature Storage: Keep the cupcakes in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days. Choose a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight to prevent the frosting from melting.
  • Refrigerated Storage: For longer preservation, place the cupcakes in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will stay fresh for up to a week. To prevent the cupcakes from absorbing odors, ensure the container is sealed properly.
  • Freezing for Extended Storage: For storing beyond a week, individually wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap to protect against freezer burn. Then, place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months, maintaining their taste and texture.
  • Thawing Instructions: When ready to enjoy, thaw the cupcakes at room temperature for about an hour or leave them in the refrigerator overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain their moisture and texture.

How do I Reheat Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes Leftovers?

Reheating your cupcakes correctly can help restore them close to their original warmth and texture, making them just as enjoyable as when they were first baked:

  • Thawing: If your cupcakes have been frozen, allow them to thaw completely either at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. This step ensures even reheating.
  • Oven Reheating: Preheat your oven to 150°C (130°C fan) or 300°F (270°F fan). Place the cupcakes on a baking sheet and warm them for 5 to 10 minutes. This method is ideal for retaining the cupcakes’ moisture without drying them out.
  • Microwave Reheating: For a quick warm-up, place one or two cupcakes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, or just until they are warmed through. This method is best for individual servings and when you’re short on time.

Nutrition value per cupcake (based on 12 servings):

  • Calories: 262 to 337 kcal
  • Fat: 14 to 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 to 42 g
  • Protein: 3 to 4 g


Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice Instead of Fresh Lemon Zest and Juice?

Yes, you can use bottled lemon juice in place of fresh lemon zest and juice when making Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes, although fresh lemon zest and juice are recommended for the best flavor. Bottled lemon juice can provide the acidity needed for the cupcakes and frosting, but it may lack the bright, fresh flavor that zest brings. If using bottled juice, consider adding a small amount of lemon extract to enhance the lemon flavor.

How Do I Ensure My Cupcakes Are Moist and Fluffy?

To ensure your cupcakes are moist and fluffy, follow these key tips:

  • Use room-temperature ingredients to ensure they mix evenly.
  • Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly until light and fluffy to incorporate air into the batter.
  • Avoid overmixing the batter once the flour is added, as this can develop the gluten and make the cupcakes dense.
  • Bake the cupcakes just until a skewer comes out clean to avoid drying them out.

Can I Make Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes Gluten-Free?

Yes, Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes can be made gluten-free by substituting the self-raising flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend. Make sure to check that the blend is a 1:1 substitute for regular flour. Additionally, ensure all other ingredients used are gluten-free, especially the baking powder if your blend does not include it.

What’s the Best Way to Store Lemon Curd Frosting?

The best way to store lemon curd frosting is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be kept for up to a week. Before using, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften, which will make it easier to spread or pipe onto the cupcakes. If the frosting has become too stiff, you can briefly beat it with an electric mixer to restore its creamy texture.

Final Words

Nigella Lemon Curd Cupcakes are a delicious treat that you can make easily and enjoy anytime. They are moist and fluffy, with a tangy and creamy lemon curd frosting that is irresistible. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, a tea party, or a simple indulgence. Try them today and let me know what you think!

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading and happy baking!

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