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Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes

Mom would have loved these lemon honey chiffon cupcakes, and not just because I made them. She loved lemon. She had a go-to lemon chiffon cake recipe that she always made for parties, potlucks and picnics, one of those cakes that you poke a skewer all over, creating holes for glaze to soak into. Cake mix was her friend, so for sure her recipe came from a box.

Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes

Peek-holes cut out of each lemony cupcake hide spoonfuls of honey lemon curd that add a tart creamy lemon pop . Because there is no frosting on top, you see the yellow curd peeking out,  but even with that hint, the punch of lemon is a mouth-pleasing surprise.

Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes

Chiffon cakes, like these cupcakes, are made with vegetable oil instead of butter. Also, the eggs are separated: the whites whipped to soft peaks lighten the batter and help it rise. The egg yolks and oil keep the cake moist and tender.

stiff egg whites for Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

Made with whole wheat flower and honey, these cupcakes have a wholesome quality and subtle rustic sweetness. They feature an unexpected lovely mysterious fragrance too, from lemon olive oil standing in for the usual chiffon cake vegetable oil.

Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes

Mom kept a dwarf lemon tree on her back porch, the house key hidden on one of the branches. If I could, I’d help myself to some of those lemons right now, because for Mother’s Day I’m baking these lemon honey chiffon cupcakes, with love.

Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes recipe details:

  • Make Honey Lemon Curd first. You will have egg whites leftover from making the curd: these cupcakes call for 2 yolks and 3 whites so you’ll need one of those whites. (I always freeze unused egg whites, to use later in chiffon cupcakes, meringues or as a glaze. Let thaw before using them. Figure 2 tablespoons of egg whites roughly equal 1 egg white.)
  • This recipe uses white whole-wheat flour, plus a small percentage of arrowroot flour to soften the mix. I think Mom would appreciate the earthier whole grain quality. If she wanted them more like cake mix she (or you) could substitute 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour instead of the whole wheat and arrowroot mixture.
  • Arrowroot is completely tasteless, gluten-free, easy to digest, and works very well in baked goods, as in these honey lemon cupcakes. I use arrowroot, the white powder made from a tropical root plant, whenever a recipe calls for cornstarch. As a thickener, say in sauces, arrowroot becomes clear when cooked. And because it’s not a corn product–that’s good enough for me.
  • Recently I demonstrated these cupcakes at a cooking class. As I was cutting out the holes for lemon curd, my assistant handed me a clever cute push-button strawberry huller. The tool neatly and quickly removed the perfect amount of cake. A curved serrated grapefruit knife works well too.
  • The easiest way to fill the centers of the cupcakes is with a pastry bag. You can also drop the lemon curd in with a spoon. If you wish, using a fine sieve, sprinkle confectioners’ (powdered) sugar lightly over the cupcakes.

Piping lemon curd into Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes

Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcake with powdered sugar

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes
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Lemon Honey Chiffon Cupcakes
Small holes cut out of each lemony cupcake hold a spoonful of honey lemon curd that brings a tart pop of creamy lemon. These cupcakes freeze very well.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot or cornstarch (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon Real Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I used lemon olive oil)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 egg yolks , reserve whites
  • Zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Honey Lemon Curd
  • Powdered sugar , if desired (see note)
Instructions
  1. Line 12 to 14 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Sift the flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the oil, honey, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, and vanilla.
  4. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until the whites almost form firm peaks. To prevent overwhipping, remove from the mixer and finish whipping by hand. Do not whip until the egg whites are dry.
  6. Stir about 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Divide into lined muffin tins.
  7. Bake until the cupcakes are light golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with a finger, 15-20 minutes. Cool.
  8. Cut a small hole out of the top of each cupcake. (see note) Fill the hole with Honey Lemon Curd.
Recipe Notes
  • Make Honey Lemon Curd first. Refrigerate or freeze the unused egg whites until you need them for these cupcakes. If the whites are frozen, let thaw. (2 tablespoons of egg whites roughly equals 1 egg white.)
  • Arrowroot lightens the whole wheat flour.
  • If you wish, sprinkle confectioners’ (powdered) sugar lightly over the cupcakes using a fine sieve.

8 comments

  • Yum! I love anything lemon and sweet together. Now I wish I had one of those for breakfast… Reply · 5 May, 2015

    • Letty

      I have eaten them for breakfast too. Whole wheat, honey, eggs, lemon curd and olive oil all sound like breakfast to me. Reply · 5 May, 2015

  • Teri Thomas

    Your photos keep getting better and better! Yummm! Reply · 5 May, 2015

  • Sweet story and delicious looking! Reply · 5 May, 2015

  • That curd is so much nicer than frosting. GREG Reply · 6 May, 2015

  • My mom loved lemon too. She probably even made the cake your mom loved. I’m so glad I got to eat one of these luscious lemon cupcakes. They were scrumptious! Reply · 8 May, 2015

  • Dennis Halloran

    Our Family Home had a big yard and we had one or two of every kind of fruit tree. The prolific Lemon tree was first outside the entrance to the cellar, precursor to Mom’s dwarf Lemon Reply · 18 May, 2015

  • […] Lemon Honey Chiffon Cakes If you really adore lemon, this one’s for you…especially when small crevices in each moist and tender lemony cupcake are filled with a whole spoonful of honey lemon curd for a tart, mouth-pleasing surprise. […] Reply · 9 August, 2016

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