The Frosting Swap That Elevates Fruity Cupcakes In A Pinch

Unfrosted cupcakes on wire rack
Unfrosted cupcakes on wire rack - ThreeRivers11/Shutterstock

Icing and frosting (yes, there's a difference between the two) are the traditional ways to finish off a batch of homemade cupcakes. But when it comes to fruity cupcakes, there's an easy swap that will allow the baked treats to really stand out. Instead of icing or frosting, go with a dollop of meringue on top of each lemon, strawberry, or other fruity cupcake you want to bake to satisfy your sweet tooth.

In case you don't know, meringue is an airy combination of egg whites and sugar that makes for a much lighter topping compared to icing and frosting. It's traditionally used on baked goods, like lemon meringue pie, and also serves as a dessert on its own. Meringue is also an essential component of our lemon meringue cupcakes created by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye. The use of meringue icing will provide a much lighter consistency, so you won't feel guilty when taking a bite, and it's toasted with a blowtorch to give it a golden-brown flare, similar to the meringue on baked Alaska. It also shouldn't be quite as sweet as store-bought icings if you prefer more balance in your desserts.

Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Add Vanilla Extract Or Lemon Zest To Elevate Fruity Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon meringue cupcakes on rack
Lemon meringue cupcakes on rack - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

To make meringue frosting according to recipe developer Jennine Rye's guidance, you'll just need egg whites and granulated sugar. After the two ingredients are combined, the only other addition is the optional use of cream of tartar. It's not required with our recipe, but it does stabilize the egg whites and results in a glossy meringue to go on top of your cupcakes. To elevate the meringue topping, add a splash of vanilla extract or lemon juice and zest to lean into the flavors further. And if you want to use meringue icing on strawberry or raspberry cupcakes, add a touch of red food coloring for a colorful cupcake.

If lemon cupcakes won't satisfy your craving, Tasting Table has a few other recipes that can adapt to use the meringue icing. For example, bake these strawberry lemon cupcakes and replace the icing with meringue. Our chocolate raspberry cupcakes can also be paired with the meringue icing for anyone who prefers chocolate cake with a touch of fruity flavors. And although we've been focused on cupcakes, try this strawberry sponge cake recipe and make a larger one-layer cake, then replace the homemade icing with the light and fluffy meringue topping.

Read the original article on Tasting Table