These chilled, cream-filled cupcakes fit right in with our summer hibernation.

110 plus-degree temps have driven us inside, I’m on a lemon kick and I had a tub of mascarpone just waiting to be worked into something creamy.

Plus, I’ve needed an excuse to whip up some of the vanilla cupcakes my sister and I made a few months back.

Katie and I filled our first batch of vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd, which is awesome and rich.

Although I didn’t venture far from the vanilla-lemon theme, the lemon mascarpone cream makes for a cool summer alternative.

The mascarpone is sweet and light, made even creamier with whipping cream.

As with most whipped cream-based frostings, mine didn’t stand up to the summer heat for long.

I opted to fill, rather than frost, most of the cupcakes. For neatness. And for fun.

And because I love filled foods. Like Twinkies. Yeah. I do really love Twinkies.

On the heals of my lemony cream butter cake, a lemon cream-filled cupcake tempted me back to the refrigerator again and again.

And again. 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Cream Filling

cake recipe adapted from Ming Makes Cupcakes

For cupcakes —

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, cut into 8 tablespoons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature

For lemon mascarpone filling —

  • 1/2 (8 oz) pkg. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice from 1/4 of a lemon, or about 2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the cupcakes —

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With mixer on medium, beat in butter, a tablespoon at a time, until butter is thoroughly blended with flour mixture. After all the butter is added,  continue beating until the flour-butter mixture pulled together into a soft ball that mostly held together around the beater paddle.

Beat in sugar until well-blended. With mixer on low, add eggs, vanilla and milk. Beat until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners, distributing mixture evenly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached.

Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 2 minutes, then carefully remove cupcakes from pan. Allow to cool completely on rack.

To fill cupcakes — when cupcakes have cooled, cut a small cone-shaped hole from the top of the cupcake that extends most 0f the way — but not all the way – to the bottom. Fill hole with the lemon mascarpone filling. Trim the pointed end from the conical “plug”  and discard (or eat). Place the top of the “plug” over the filling, creating a neat cap that (mostly) hides the lemon mascarpone.

Chill filled cupcakes. Can be served chilled, or, for a more creamy center, allow cupcakes to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

For the filling —

Beat the mascarpone cheese, butter and zest until creamy. Beat in lemon juice, whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. Beat on high until thick and creamy. Mixture will be soft. Refrigerate filling in bowl for about 45 minutes, until thickened. Beat once more, until fluffy. Fill cupcakes.