Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pineapple Meringue Cupcakes

To download a copy of the recipe for Pineapple Meringue Cupcakes, click HERE.

Although last week’s recipe was for a delicious dessert pastry, if there’s one thing I’ve learned while doing this site, it’s that people have a special fondness for sweet treats. This week we’ll do another, a very special cupcake that was inspired by my favorite dessert.

Pineapple Meringue Cupcakes, modeled after lemon meringue pie, not only have a fresh-made pineapple custard as the filling, but also have it incorporated into the cake itself. They’re also topped with a homemade meringue that is lightly browned to get the texture, taste and appearance just right. And if you’re thinking something so good must be terribly difficult to make, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find they’re not at all hard to do.

 Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:

  • To address the obvious question, to make lemon meringue cupcakes, just use your favorite lemon pudding instead of making the pineapple pudding.

  • When making the meringue, a stand mixer is strongly recommended. Even with the stand mixer’s larger motor, the whisking takes several minutes; doing it with an electric hand mixer will take a good bit longer. (Don’t even think about making the meringue manually with a hand-held whisk. While a whisk can do a good job of beating simple egg whites until they’re fluffy, preparing a meringue requires a lot more whisking power than that.)

  • While we’re on the subject of the meringue, anyone who loves lemon meringue pie has sometimes had to endure day-old meringues that are rubbery and tasteless. It’s worth noting that the topping in this recipe, a meringue adapted from Food Network Kitchens’ recipe for Lemon Meringue Frosting, retains its flavor and soft texture even days after being made. I recommend that portion of the recipe also be kept as a useful, stand-alone meringue.

  • When filling the cupcake liners and applying the meringue to the cupcakes, putting the filling or meringue in a pastry bag or a plastic food bag with the corner removed can make the task much easier.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

Since we’ll be using the custard both as the filling and as an ingredient in the cake, let’s make that first.

Drain two 8 ounce cans of crushed pineapple in juice well, retaining the juice. Set the pineapple aside.

Dissolve 1 packet (1/4 ounce) of unflavored gelatin (Knox or similar) in the juice.

Put two egg substitute eggs in a bowl. Add 2/3 cup sugar, 1-1/2 Tbsp flour and ¼ tsp salt, and 1/3 cup of skim milk and mix well to combine.

Heat one additional cup of skim milk in a double-boiler.

When the milk is heated, add the egg mixture to it, stirring constantly until thickened into a custard.

Pour the custard into a large bowl, add the gelatin mixture, and let cool thoroughly.

When the custard mixture has cooled, add the pineapple.

Gently fold 1-1/3 cups of fat-free whipped topping. Refrigerate for several hours (overnight is best) until the custard is firm.

Now we’ll make the cupcakes:

Begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees.


Blend 7 Tbsp of softened, firm textured butter substitute with 2/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Add 2 egg substitute eggs and mix well.

Sift 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt into the bowl and mix to combine.

Mix in 1 cup of the custard and 1 tsp vanilla.

Put cupcake liners in a cupcake baking pan. Fill each of the cupcake liners 2/3 full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray half-way for even baking. Set aside and let cool completely before frosting.

While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the meringue frosting.

In the bowl of a double-boiler, mix 4 large egg whites, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, a pinch of cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Set the bowl onto the double boiler and continue mixing until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat at high speed until the meringue holds stiff peaks. (This will take several minutes.)

To prepare the cupcakes:

Preheat the broiler to high.

Using a small knife, cut a core from the top of each cupcake to make a space for the filling. There should be room to put a generous teaspoon of filling inside the cupcake. Retain the cores.

Fill each cupcake with the custard.

Cut the top off of each core and use it to plug the opening in the cupcake. (Set the rest of the core aside for snacking!)

Cover the top of the cupcake with meringue frosting.

Place the frosted cupcake under the broiler only long enough for the meringue to start to brown, about 2 – 3 minutes.

To download a copy of the recipe for Pineapple Meringue Cupcakes, click HERE.

I think you’ll agree these are not cupcakes-as-usual!

Visit again next week for another tasty, kitchen-tested recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. I am going to try these out! Will make a really nice change to the usual icing on cupcakes!

    1. Thank you, Julie! The meringue really is a good, low-fat icing that's easy to make. I also like that this one doesn't get rubbery and tasteless after a couple of days the way some meringues do. Glad you like them. :-)