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up close picture of lemon cupcakes topped with frosting swirl and a lemon wedge
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Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes are the ultimate dessert for lemon lovers. These easy to make treats are bursting with lemon flavor, with the most perfect lemon buttercream frosting.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcake recipe, lemon dessert
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Author: Lisa Longley

Ingredients

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 2 cups cake flour see note for alternative
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Lemon Frosting

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk (I used skim, but a higher fat content milk will also work)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Instructions

Lemon Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Fill two muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter with the sugar until it becomes light and fluffly, about 3 to 6 minutes. Then mix in the vanilla, and then the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the mixing bowl and mix for an additional 30 seconds until everything is combined.
  • Add in half of the flour mixture and mix until it has just started to combine.
  • Add in the milk, lemon zest, and the lemon juice, mixing on slow. The mixture may look curdled, but that is okay. Now add in the rest of the flour mixture, mixing on slow until everything is just combined. Scrape down the sides, and beat for a few more seconds, being careful not to over mix.
  • Add the batter to the muffin liners, filling them 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are lightly golden on the top and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin tin for 2 minutes before transfering them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Frosting

  • In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar.
  • Add in 4 tablespoons of the milk, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Beat until well combined, scraping down the mixing bowl as needed.
  • Add in the reamining sugar, and beat until combined. Add the additional milk if the frosting is too thick.
  • I used Wilton's 1M Open Star tip to frost the cooled cupcakes.

Video

Notes

For the best results with this recipe we recommend that you purchase cake flour. In a pinch, you can replace the 2 cup all purpose flour with 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup corn starch. Please be sure to fully incorporate the two before using them in this recipe.