To make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter, sugar, zest and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Turn the speed down to low. Alternate adding in the dry ingredients with the milk ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients are just absorbed. Do not over mix.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centers are springy. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Strawberry Cream Filling:
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla.
- In a saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the milk and egg yolk mixture and lemon peel. whisk over a medium flame until the mixture thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Spread into a shallow dish and press plastic wrap into the cream to prevent skin from forming. Cool completely.
- Once cooled whip the heavy cream and confectioners sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the custard until fully combined. Fold in the diced strawberries.
Frosting and assembling the Cupcakes:
- Whip the remaining heavy cream and confectioners sugar until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a pastry bag with a star tip or any tip you prefer.
- With a knife, hollow out the center of each cupcake. With your hands break the center pieces apart into crumbs. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- Spoon some of the strawberry cream into the center of each cupcake. Smooth the cream with a spatula or a knife so that it is flush with the cupcake.
- Pipe a swirl of whipped cream covering the strawberry cream. Decorate with the cupcake crumbs and fresh strawberries as desired.