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Lemon Cupcakes

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4.32 from 69 votes

These easy Lemon Cupcakes are so fluffy, moist, bursting with lemon flavor, and topped with a refreshing lemon buttercream frosting. They have the perfect balance of zing and sweetness that any lemon lover will love!  

PIN these Lemon Cupcakes to try later!

Frosted lemon cupcakesPin

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2022 hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours and Rebecca from Devour Dinner.  This week is sponsored by Rodelle and La Tourangelle. I may have received product samples from these sponsors to help in the creation of my recipes. All opinions are my own. Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts!

This Lemon Cupcakes Recipe will be sure to satisfy your lemon cravings and they are the easiest to make. They are incredibly moist, fluffy, and soft. Made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest that provides the perfect amount of tanginess in each bite. 

Bring these cupcakes to BBQs, summer gatherings, picnics, potlucks, birthday parties, or any occasion! This recipe yields 12 cupcakes so I always recommend doubling up on the batch- they will go very quickly. These cupcakes are so simple and made with easy ingredients that you most likely already have. 

If you love lemon desserts you’ll love my Lemon Pie, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

bite of lemon cupcake with frostingPin

KEY INGREDIENTS

Flour: be sure to accurately measure the flour correctly. I use all-purpose flour but if you wanted a healthier alternative you can use whole wheat flour.

Lemon juice and zest: the superstar ingredient! You can’t leave this one out. Make sure to use lemon juice from fresh lemons- the bottle stuff won’t work as it will make the flavor taste different.

Milk: whole milk is preferred but you can use low-fat or reduced milk. The milk adds moisture to the cupcake batter making them extra soft and tender. 

Sugar: you’ll need a cup of sugar to add sweetness to the cupcakes. 

Butter: unsalted is best so you can control the saltiness. Be sure the butter is at room temperature so it incorporates into the other ingredients.

Vanilla extract: I used Rodelle pure vanilla extract and the vanilla enhances all of the flavors in the batter. The vanilla complements the lemon and adds a warm aroma. 

Egg: adds richness and binds the ingredients together. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature for best results. 

lemon buttercream frosting in a bowlPin

HOW TO MAKE LEMON CUPCAKES

BEAT BUTTER AND SUGAR. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed until light and fluffy. Be sure to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
 
ADD EGGS. Add the eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
 
WHISK FLOUR MIXTURE. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
 
COMBINE MIXTURES. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat just until combined. Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon juice and continue to beat, then add the remainder of the dry mixture. Beat until ingredients are combined and smooth.
 
FILL CUPCAKE LINERS. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to fill the liners about 3/4 full.
 
BAKE. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
 
MAKE FROSTING. Beat the butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat at low speed until combined. Increase the speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes, or until the frosting seems light and fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, frost as desired and enjoy!

lemon cupcakes in cupcake panPin

RECIPE TIPS AND VARIATIONS

Use fresh lemon juice! This is the most important tip. The bottled lemon juice won’t taste the same. Fresh lemon juice from lemons always provides better flavor.

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This will ensure a smooth and velvety batter and the ingredients will incorporate easily. 

Add fresh blueberries to the batter or garnish the tops if you want to make Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. You can also add fresh raspberries to make Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

If your frosting seems too thick, add more lemon juice. If it seems too thin, add more powdered sugar. 

Make ahead. If you want to make these cupcakes ahead of time you can. Bake according to the recipe and let cool completely. Place them in an airtight container or large heavy-duty ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. You could also refrigerate for up to 5 days. Frost when ready to serve. 

Add sprinkles for a fun and colorful garnish! 

Make these into miniature cupcakes by baking them in a mini cupcake pan. Adjust the baking time to 15-20 minutes. 

close up of frosted cupcakes with lemon zest on topPin

LEFTOVERS AND STORAGE

To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours. After that, transfer to a refrigerator to store for 3-4 days. They may seem dry once they are chilled so it’s always best to eat them fresh. Let the cupcakes sit out for at least 5 minutes to come to room temperature before eating for the best flavor and texture

To Freeze: you can freeze the baked cupcakes without frosting for up to 3 months. Place cooled unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container or heavy-duty ziplock bags. When ready to frost, you can frost them frozen or you can let them thaw. Just be sure they are completely thawed before serving. 

birds-eye view of lemon cupcakePin

Monday #LemonWeek Recipes

unwrapped Lemon CupcakePin

OTHER DELICIOUS LEMON RECIPES 

cupcakes with frostingPin

CAN’T GET ENOUGH

Subscribe and I’ll send all my newest and FREE recipes to your inbox!  You can also keep up with me on PinterestInstagram, and  Facebook. If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram so I can see and feature you!

 

Pin

Lemon Cupcake Recipe

These easy Lemon Cupcakes are so fluffy, moist, bursting with lemon flavor, and topped with a refreshing lemon buttercream frosting. They have the perfect balance of zing and sweetness that any lemon lover will love!  
4.32 from 69 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cupcake recipe, lemon cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk (whole milk preferred)

Lemon Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Instructions

To make the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 12 liners, set aside. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed until light and fluffy. Be sure to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat just until combined. Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon juice and continue to beat, then add the remainder of the dry mixture. Beat until ingredients are combined and smooth.
  • Use a cookie scoop or spoon to fill the liners about 3/4 full.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

To make the frosting

  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat at low speed until combined and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula often.
  • Increase the speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes, or until the frosting seems light and fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, frost as desired and enjoy!
Find Kathryn's Kitchen Blog on Instagram!Mention @Kathryns.Kitchen.Blog or tag #kathrynskitchen!

Notes

Recipe Notes:
To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours. After that, transfer to a refrigerator to store for 3-4 days. They may seem dry once they are chilled so it's always best to eat them fresh. Let the cupcakes sit out for at least 5 minutes to come to room temperature before eating for the best flavor and texture
To Freeze: you can freeze the baked cupcakes without frosting for up to 3 months. Place cooled unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container or heavy-duty ziplock bags. When ready to frost, you can frost them frozen or you can let them thaw. Just be sure they are completely thawed before serving. 

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Recipe Rating




41 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Can I have another? But really. Everything about this recipe is spot on. So moist and full of flavor.

  2. 5 stars
    Love that you boosted the zest and juice — because the more lemony, the better! The crumb is amazing!

  3. I was so ready to make this recipe and then I see that you need milk for the cupcakes which is not listed in the ingredients, one could say it’s my fault for not reading the whole thing bla bla bla bla but who ever reads that bs? Long story short, you need to fix the recipe

  4. 5 stars
    This is my first batch of from scratch cupcakes. I have been wanting to use Meyers lemons in something special. I used them in this recipe for Easter. I did not have granulated sugar, so I substituted 1 cup of agave nectar. Because it was a liquid I used 3 tablespoons less of the whole milk. My daughter whi is the baker in the family loved them. They turned out wonderful.
    My grandchildren put green dyed coconut over the yummy lemon buttercream frosting. Then they put Peeps and little chocolate eggs on top for a cool Easter dessert.
    I am going to make another batch but because I don’t have enough Meyers lemon left, I am going to supplement with orange.

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you so much for your review and comment, Ruth! I love how you improvised with the agave nectar and added the coconut and peeps on top for Easter, such a great idea! Thank you for trying my recipe and I’m so glad you all loved them!

  5. I followed your recipe to the letter,but found it makes closer to 24 cupcakes, not 12. You may want to make a correction.