Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

These cupcakes will be filled with a lemon curd and topped with a blackberry cream cheese frosting.
I got a request to make these for a gluten-sensitive bride-to-be for her bridal shower. 
This is/was my first attempt at making a gluten free cupcake and I did A LOT of research.


I used the base as a “cake mix” but the cake mix only comprised of: Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Cornstarch, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Flake Salt, & Baking Powder. It was cheaper for me to buy 2 boxes of this mix than the ingredients separately. The bag of Xanthan gum alone was 12 bucks & that was the smallest I saw. Yikes! So, I got the mix and did my doctoring up and here is the lemon cupcake.

Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes (or cake)
Yields 36
A gluten-free recipe that can be used for cakes or cupcakes.
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  1. 2 boxes Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix*
  2. 1 cup butter, unsalted & softened
  3. 5 eggs
  4. 2 cups buttermilk
  5. 1/2 cup lemon juice
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  8. 1 package lemon pudding
  9. zest of 4 lemons (about 5 tablespoons)
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. 2. Line cupcake tins.
  3. 3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter until soft.
  4. 4. Add cake mix & pudding mix and blend completely.
  5. 5. Add eggs, buttermilk, lemon juice, milk, extract & zest and beat until completely blended. Note: batter will be thick.
  6. 6. Scoop batter into lined cups (3/4) and smooth top.
  7. 7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
  8. 8. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to cool.
  1. * This cake mix can be found in Walmart for just under $3.00 a box - SCORE!
Food Geek Mom
They aren’t the most picturesque looking cupcakes plain so I didn’t snap a picture for y’all. Mine will be filled and topped and those recipes will follow as well as pictures on the final product. 


The cupcakes were “cored” and filled with a lemon curd. I used The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe with a few small adjustments and the curd (have I mentioned how much I hate the word curd?) tastes way too yummy! Might be the fact that I actually followed a recipe and used whole eggs, real butter, & white sugar: stuff my body hasn’t eaten since before my lifestyle change.

Lemon Curd
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  1. 3 lemons
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
  4. 4 extra-large eggs (or 5 large eggs)
  5. 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/8 teaspoon mango powder*
  1. 1. Zest 3 lemons.
  2. 2. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  3. 3. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
  4. 4. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture.
  5. 5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt.
  6. 6. Mix until combined.
  7. 7. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low to low-medium heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. **
  8. 8. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  1. * Mango powder is not necessary but I wanted to make sure the curd stayed tart since the cupcake and the frosting was sweet.
  2. ** I use an electric stove (+gasp+ I know) and I started mine on 2, but it was taking long so I moved it to the 4 setting and it took about 10 once i moved it to that spot. The curd will be thickened but still fluid. It will stick nicely to the back of a spoon. When it's cooled, it thickens up very nicely. I did keep in a thermometer and pulled it off at about 165-170 degrees.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Adapted from Ina Garten
Food Geek Mom

With the curd made, I moved onto the frosting. The request was for a cream cheese based frosting as opposed to buttercream. I love buttercream. I dont think most people know a GOOD buttercream – they just think of the crap that comes on cakes from supermarkets that are labeled buttercream (which contains no butter nor any cream oddly). Buttercream is made with butter and it is glorious and luxurious and I dont know how anyone who likes butter at all can not like real (like mine) buttercream. 

I digress. So I had to make a cream cheese based one which I dont like to work with. I find those  frostings softer and dont hold as well so I needed more powdered sugar to make them nice and pretty. To frost a cake, the recipe as typed would be lovely. to glaze over a cupcake, also perfect. For making picture perfect party cupcakes, not so much. to the recipe below, I added at least 1 more cup of powdered sugar to get it to perfect piping consistency and still once it warmed too much in my hand, it was loose. It did yield a nice crust though so note that if adding teh extra sugar – if you want to decorate them, work fast as they crust quickly.

Blackberry Cream Cheese Buttercream/Frosting/Icing
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  1. 1 package 8-ounce cream cheese
  2. 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  3. 1 pint blackberries, pureed and strained (approximately 1/4 cup)
  4. 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  5. pinch of salt
  6. ~4 cups powdered sugar
  7. 1/8 teaspoon mango powder*
  1. 1. Beat cream cheese and butter until light & fluffy.
  2. 2. Add blackberry puree** and mix until well combined.
  3. 3. Add most of the powdered and beat until combined.
  4. 4. Add more powdered sugar until desired sweetness consistency is reached.
  5. 5. Let it beat on medium for 3-5 minutes until well beaten and fluffy.
  1. * This adds tartness without much flavor so it cuts the sweetness down a bit more.
  2. ** In a food processor, puree the blackberries. Then put the puree into a fine mesh strainer and get all the liquidy goodness out of those blackberries. Discard the remnants in the strainer.
  3. Also note I also added an extra cup of powdered sugar to reach the consistency I wanted.
Food Geek Mom
With my 3 recipes completed, it was time to assemble. I use an apple corer and “cored” the cupcakes. I filled them with the curd and replaced the top (although i “thinned” the top out first). Then I piped on the frosting and topped with a blackberry & a lemon slice.

And now for the pictures I know y’all are waiting for.

Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes all ready to go for the client

Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Cross-section of the cupcake. Yum!

Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

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