Pipe Dream #34: To Be Bismarckian – Lemon Curd Cupcakes

I just made up the word ‘Bismarckian.’ adj. possessing skills enabling the creation of filled donuts, cupcakes and other confections.

I can handle filling baked goods. Savory meals, though? I think it would be really hard to stuff calzones or make chicken kiev. For some reason, now all I can think about is one night a couple of years ago when I tried making basil and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts. The chicken turned out fine, but the writhing of my internal organs due to excessive internal “vapors” was something to behold. Perhaps it was not the chicken breasts that resulted in what has become my most embarrassing moment, but I haven’t made a stuffed meal since. Telling.

So these are summer in a cupcake. No, really. When I bit into one I thought, “This reminds me of sprinklers and hot tar and sweat.”

Ok, so I exaggerate. They actually reminded me of lemons and vanilla and perfect boiled buttercream.

To fill them, I used the “cone method,” which is ideal for chunkier fillings. In my case, I filled them with lemon curd, which isn’t chunky at all. I didn’t have a piping filler at the time. It was tragic.

I picked some flowers from my mum’s garden to garnish them with. I thought the rustic slather of buttercream showcased them nicely. A regular cupcake bouquet, this is. A profusion of cupcake flowers.

You can find a vanilla cupcake recipe here. I’ve posted a really great lemon curd recipe below (requires no straining!), but you can always use store-bought lemon curd and save yourself the trouble of standing over a pot of boiling butter and lemon zest for a million minutes. I’m just giving you the facts.

Be summery and vapor-less,


Lemon Curd

Adapted from Fine Cooking

Yields 2 cups.

3 oz. (6 tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.

Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

3 Responses to “Pipe Dream #34: To Be Bismarckian – Lemon Curd Cupcakes”

  1. 1 tim June 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

    luv it! Some of the most beautiful youve made. These defiinatly had my mouth watering. Were all of the flowers edible as well? Can I pay you to make a set of these for me? I’m beyond just reading about these. I simply must taste them! thanks , Tim

  2. 2 sannekurz June 16, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Bismarck being a very conservative polititian of his time certainly would have not made as amazing cupcakes as those…but the flowers as decoration in my eyes totally match the Zeitgeist during the ‘Bismarck being Reichs-Chancellor’ aera… Great pictures…yummie food… Thanks for sharing.

  1. 1 Pipe Dream #202: To Stop the Show – Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake | piping dreams Trackback on June 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

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