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My gluten free lemon meringue cupcakes are the perfect citrus bake, with a zesty lemon sponge, lemon curd filling and meringue top.
They're gluten free, coeliac-safe and also easy to make dairy free too.
Like my other gluten free cupcake recipes, all these need are a few storecupboard ingredients.
Both the sponge and the meringue topping are easy to make and the result is these delicious, dessert-like cupcakes.
I used the same recipe base as my gluten free lemon drizzle cupcakes but the lemon curd filling just tips these into first place for me.
The printable recipe card is below but first I'll run you through ideas for ingredients substitutions and tips for making these lemon meringue cupcakes.
Ingredients and substitutions
There's a full printable recipe card below with all in the ingredients and quantities you'll need.
But here's a few notes on certain ingredients and any ideas for subsitutions:
- Caster Sugar - I always use caster sugar when baking cakes. In the US I think it's called 'superfine sugar 'or 'baker's sugar' instead.
- Unsalted Butter - If you want to make this recipe dairy free you can substitute this for something like Stork Baking Block instead.
- Eggs - You'll need 5 eggs in total for this recipe. Two for the cake and three (whites) for the meringue. Make sure you save the leftover yolks to add to an omelette so you don't waste them!
- Lemons - I only use the lemon zest in this recipe but you can still use the lemons for juice after - try adding them to hot heat, or using them in a yummy salad dressing.
- Self Raising Gluten Free Flour - I always use FREEE by Doves Farm but you can use any self-raising gluten free flour blend for this. If you don't have self-raising flour, simply add 1.5 tsp of baking powder to a plain or All Purpose gluten free flour blend instead.
- Xanthan Gum - This is essential in gluten free baking to help with the texture. It's not 100% necessary in cakes (you can't make gluten free bread or pastry without it!) if you don't have any but I find it improves the texture a lot.
- Milk - Again, if you're dairy free you can use any unsweetened dairy free milk instead. I find gluten free cake batter needs a little more moisture than the 'normal' stuff.
- Lemon Curd - Most supermarket lemon curds are gluten free and I used around half a jar for this recipe. I absolutely love the M&S Sicilian Lemon Curd but any supermarket version will work perfectly.
- White wine vinegar - You'll need to add this to your meringue to help stabilise the structure so the meringue doesn't collapse. If you don't have any and don't want to buy a whole bottle, you can work without it. This just helps a lot!
Can this recipe be vegan?
Because of the lemon curd and meringue, I haven't found a workaround if you needed to make these gluten free cupcakes vegan or egg-free.
That being said, I've seen people make wonderful meringues with chickpea water (aquafaba) so there could be some experimenting to be done!
If you give this a go, please let me know in the comments below how you got on.
Do I need any special equipment?
To make these cupcakes you only need a few basics.
Of course you need cupcake cases - I love yellow ones to go with the lemon theme but any colour will do.
You'll also need a cupcake tin and I recommend using an electric mixer to save your arms.
This is the cordless mixer I use and I absolutely love it because I can wander round the kitchen with my mixing bowl!
You don't have to use a blowtorch to finish off the meringues - you could try putting them under the grill to get that torched look.
Otherwise they'll taste perfectly wonderful, they'll just be a pure white colour.
I was gifted a blowtorch for Christmas and it's been really fun to experiment with!
That being said, be careful of the paper cake cases as I accidentally set fire to a few when practising... oops!
My gluten free lemon meringue cupcakes recipe
This recipe makes 12 lemon meringue cupcakes but trust me - you'll want to make more!
The cupcakes are made in two stages, first baking the cake and then the topping.
But if you want to you can make the cupcakes first and do the meringue topping at a later point if you're pushed for time or trying to get ahead.
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
For the cupcakes:
- 125 g caster sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter, (softened)
- 2 large eggs
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 125 g self raising gluten free flour
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tbsp milk
- Approx 12 teaspoons lemon curd
For the meringue topping:
- 3 egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 180'C (170'C fan) / Gas 4. Fill a 12-hole baking tin with cupcake cases and set aside while you make the cake batter.
- Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. (TIP: If the butter is hard, zap it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before adding it to the mixing bowl to make it easier!)
- Crack the eggs into the mixing bowl and add the lemon zest. Beat again for 30 seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula.
- Sift in the self-raising gluten free flour and xantham gum, add the milk, and then beat together with the electric whisk until everything is fully combined. You want a fairly thick batter which looks light and fluffy.
- Spoon the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases and then place in the centre of an oven and bake for 20-22 minutes. The cupcakes are done when they are well-risen, golden on top, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Take the cupcakes out of the oven, set to one side to cool slightly and turn the oven down to 110C / Fan 90C / Gas Mark ¼.
To make the meringue topping:
- Add the egg whites to a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until they start to form stiff peaks (aka when you can turn the bowl upside down and they won't budge!).
- Add the white wine vinegar to the egg whites and then add the caster sugar 1 tbsp at-a-time while still whisking, until they form glossy peaks. You'll know it's done when you rub a tiny bit of the mixture between your fingers and it doesn't feel grainy.
- Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1M nozzle (or nozzle of choice!).
Fill and top the cupcakes:
- Using a sharp knife, cut a small well in the centre of each cupcake. Fill with lemon curd (around 1 tsp per cupcake).
- Pipe the meringue onto the top of the cupcakes in swirls and then place in the oven for a further 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool before eating. If you like, you can finish them off with a quick blast of the blowtorch - just mind the cake cases don't set fire!
- These cupcakes will keep for around 3 days in an air-tight container.
- You can also make and freeze the cakes BEFORE making the meringue topping and filling them with lemon curd if you need to save some time. Simply defrost then continue as instructed above.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 4g
Need some more gluten free baking inspiration?
Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free baking recipes on the blog?
Give some of these other gluten free bakes and creations a try and see what you think!
There are plenty to choose from depending what sort of dessert you fancy:
And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
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