Lemon Cloud Cupcakes
1 package (18.25-ounce) yellow cake mix, Betty Crocker®
11⁄4 cups lemonade, Minute Maid®
1 cup lemon curd, Dickinson’s®
1⁄4 cup canola oil
1⁄4 cup finely shredded lemon zest
8 drops yellow food coloring, McCormick®
3⁄4 cup whipped cream cheese, softened, Philadelphia®
6 egg whites
1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar, McCormick®
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon lemon extract, McCormick®
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty-four 2 1⁄2-inch muffin cups with paper baking cups and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, lemonade, 1⁄4 cup of the lemon curd, the oil, lemon zest, eggs, and yellow food coloring; beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups; cool on wire racks.
For lemon filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add the remaining 3⁄4 cup lemon curd and beat until well mixed. Make a 1⁄2-inch slit in the top center of each cupcake. Place lemon filling in a medium zip-top bag; press out air and seal bag. Cut a small hole in a corner of the bag. Pipe lemon filling into slits in cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For meringue, in a large clean bowl and clean beaters, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and lemon extract, beating until stiff peaks form. Top each cupcake with a spoonful of the meringue. Place 12 of the cupcakes on a baking sheet, spacing evenly. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and meringue. Cool on a wire cooling rack.