growing up in hawaii was amazing. one of my favorite things about it was the fact that we had such easy access to delicious fresh fruits like apple bananas, pineapples, guava, papaya, and lychee. another one of my favorites was lilikoi or passion fruit. my best friend had lilikoi trees in the forest behind her house and i remember picking them and then our mouths puckering up from the tartness of the lilikoi.
i also remember it being such a treat when my mom or dad would come home with homemade lilikoi butter (essentially passion fruit curd). it was sweet yet tart and beautifully creamy and scrumptious. i usually just spread some on toast or sometimes i would sneak a spoonful. yum!
last time chris and i were home, we bought some lilikoi butter and that is what inspired these lilikoi cupcakes. unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to find fresh lilikoi here in dc but i was able to find some passion fruit concentrate in the international section of the grocery store.
here’s the breakdown of this lilikoi cupcake: it’s a white cupcake, filled with passion fruit curd topped with lilikoi swiss meringue buttercream and a drizzle of more passion fruit curd.
these cupcakes are super lilikoi-y (if that’s even a word) which i love and just reminds me so much of being at home. its tropical flavors transports me to the beautiful hawaiian beaches – ahhh, so nice.
so if you want a little taste of hawaii, i would highly recommend making some of these lilikoi cupcakes and actually if you want to just make some of the lilikoi butter/curd you could do that too. i had some extra and ate it on crackers, english muffins, really anything i could find that could act as a vehicle for getting the lilikoi goodness into my mouth. haha. enjoy!
first make the passion fruit curd. it’s just like making lemon or lime curd but with passion fruit juice instead. you want to make it ahead of time so it had enough time to cool. i actually made it the night before i made the cupcakes, allowed it to cool in the fridge overnight and then put it in a squeeze bottle. this makes it super easy to fill each cupcake.
then bake up a batch of white or vanilla cupcakes.
now using the cone method, fill each cupcake with the lilikoi curd.
repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled. then move on to the lilikoi swiss meringue buttercream. i just used the same buttercream base as i do for all of the swiss meringue buttercreams i’ve made before and then added some lilikoi concentrate.
pipe or spread the buttercream on the cupcakes. i used a large open star tip to frost these cupcakes.
finally drizzle some of the lilikoi curd onto each cupcake.
and the cupcakes are dunzo and ready to eat!
Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Cupcakes
Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Curd
- 1/2 cup passion fruit concentrate/juice/puree
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 box white cake mix plus ingredients called for on the box
Lilikoi Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 3/4 cup passion fruit concentrate/juice/puree
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- To make the lilikoi curd, bring a pot of water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. In a mixing bowl that fits on top of the pot (without falling in or touching the water), whisk together the lilikoi juice, sugar, and egg yolks.
- Place the mixing bowl over the pot of simmering water, and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (about 15-18 minutes).
- Remove the mixing bowl from the heat. Gradually whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until it has all been incorporated into the lilikoi curd.
- Strain the curd into a clean bowl or jar.
- Press a piece of plastic wrap down against the surface and refrigerate.
- To make the cupcakes, prepare and bake cupcakes as directed on the box.
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
- Using the cone method, use a small paring knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake.
- Add some lilikoi curd to the cupcake and replace the top portion of the cone, slicing off the tip to leave room for the filling.
- To make the lilikoi buttercream, combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer – don’t worry, it will come together!)
- Blend in the passion fruit juice until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pipe frosting on to cupcakes as desired and garnish with a drizzle of lilikoi curd.
Printer Friendly Recipe: Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Cupcakes