1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins
with 18 paper liners (leaving 6 spaces empty) and spray the liners with the baking spray.
together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
3. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer
fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale yellow, 5 to 6 minutes. Add one egg at a time and continue to beat on medium speed, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla and orange zest
and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the orange juice
; mix together to incorporate. Add another third of the flour and the rest of the orange juice, mixing to combine. Add the rest of the flour and mix just until combined; be careful not to over-mix the batter.
4. Divide the batter
evenly among the 18 paper liners, about 1/4 cup in each. Bake, rotating the pans midway, until lightly browned around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the cupcakes to a wire baking rack to cool completely.
5. For the meringue
frosting: Heat 1/2 cup water, the sugar and salt in a small saucepan
until a candy thermometer inserted in the mixture registers 240 degrees F. In the meantime, put the egg whites and lime juice in a medium bowl and start beating with the whisk attachment until they reach soft peaks. Carefully pour the hot sugar syrup
in a thin steady stream into the egg whites as they're being whisked. Keep whisking until the egg whites are stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes; the bottom of the bowl should have completely cooled at this point. Add the lime zest and whisk
just to combine.
6. To assemble the cupcakes: Scoop out about a teaspoon of cake
from the middle of each cupcake using a melon baller
or a teaspoon measuring spoon. Spoon about a teaspoon of jelly
in the middle of each and cut up some of the cake scraps to cover the holes. Pipe or dollop
the meringue frosting on top.