Preheat the oven to 175°C on fan-bake. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake cases.
In the bowl of an electric beater, place the sifted flour, Chelsea Caster Sugar, softened butter, lemon zest, eggs and milk and beat on a low speed for 2 minutes until combined. Increase the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
Quarter-fill each case with the mixture and make a small well in the centre. Fill the well with a teaspoonful of the lemon curd and cover with more of the cupcake mixture so the cases are three-quarters full.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden, puffed and spongy to the touch.
To make the lemon buttercream, beat the butter until smooth and pale. Add the Chelsea Icing Sugar half a cup at a time, with the lemon juice and enough of the hot water to make a creamy mixture, beating well between each addition. Beat until the buttercream is fluffy and lemon-scented.
To make the candied lemon zest, use a zester to cut thin strips of skin from the lemon or peel with a knife. Scrape any remaining white pith from the zest, then cut it into thin strips. In a small pan, combine the sugar and water. Add the lemon peel and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and is syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Cool the cupcakes before topping with the lemon buttercream and decorating with the grated white chocolate and candied lemon zest, if using.
Did you know?
If you want to make your own lemon curd, use the following recipe.
¼ cup each: lemon juice, Chelsea Caster Sugar, ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 1 tablespoon water, 1 egg yolk
Place the lemon juice, sugar and water in a small pan and gently heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add the combined cornflour and water and cook for a further 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk. Chill until the curd has cooled and thickened.