Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting combines the most delicious lemon-y cupcakes with decadent buttercream frosting. This recipe uses two large lemons, some cake flour, and then there is butter, of course.

Side shot of my hand reaching for a lemon cupcake that has a bite out of it, on a white tray with other cupcakes.

There is a story to this recipe. It all starts with my Perfect Lemon Cupcakes, and my younger brother’s birthday.

Rob, my little bro’ (who is 51, BTW!) loves lemon desserts. So his wife sent me a picture of her oldest daughter in the kitchen, making lemon cupcakes for his birthday dessert. She looked so adorable in her little apron, with the lemon zester. 😀 I asked her how the cupcakes turned out, and she said they tasted ok, but took forever to bake. For some reason, they weren’t getting done in the center. So I glanced at the recipe, and decided that there was probably too much wet ingredients in proportion to the dry. When this happens, the center just doesn’t get completely done.

I was pretty bummed out that my cupcake recipe was sort of a bomb. For my brother’s birthday!

Side shot of one lemon cupcake on a small cake plate, with other cupcakes in the background.

RECIPE MAKEOVER!

THIS recipe was developed based on the old one, but tested until I got it right. I also had a couple of “outside” testers too! I did several things to make this all happen.

  • I changed the flour to cake flour, making it softer and fluffier, instead of dense.
  • Instead of using melted butter, I creamed the butter and sugar together.
  • Instead of just one egg, I added an egg white to add to the airiness.
  • I also increased the dry ingredients and decreased the wet ingredients, to guarantee that the center would get completely done.

I made the lemon buttercream EXACTLY the same. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

Overhead shot of a lemon juicer next to squeezed lemon juice, and a zester next to a lemon, all on a wooden background.

A few TIPS for lemon cupcakes:

  • When creaming butter, make sure you use a standing mixer or hand mixer.
  • You should start with two large lemons. But have another on hand just in case they don’t yield enough juice.
  • All-purpose flour works for this recipe, but cake flour makes it even fluffier.
  • Don’t over-fill the cupcake liners. Fill just 2/3 full.

Storing/Freezing:

  • The cupcakes (without frosting) freeze well for up to three months.
  • Store these in the refrigerator for best results, especially in warmer months. Place on your counter a couple of hours before serving.
Overhead shot of 1) lemon cupcake batter in a mixer, and 2) cupcake batter in liners in a cupcake tin.

Moral of the story. ALWAYS test a new recipe until you get it just right, especially when it involves baking, where precision is key.

I wish I could send these cupcakes to Rob and family, to make up for the recipe that wasn’t “just right”. But by the time they got up north, they might not be too tasty anyway! Happy Belated Birthday, Robbie! (P.S. Sorry for the trouble, Janene and Olivia…) Mwah!

Overhead shot of a bunch of lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream.

Tools/products I used to make these perfect lemon cupcakes.

Enjoy, friends!

Side shot of my hand holding one lemon cupcake, with lemon cupcakes in the background.

Make these cupcakes next: Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Side shot of my hand reaching for a lemon cupcake that has a bite out of it, on a white tray with other cupcakes.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting combines the most delicious lemon-y cupcakes with decadent buttercream frosting. This recipe uses two large lemons, some cake flour, and then there is butter.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon buttercream frosting, lemon cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 15 cupcakes
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter – at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg – whipped, and at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white only – whipped, and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream – room temp is best
  • 1/4 cup half and half – room temp is best
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice – from one large lemon, or two small lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour – or use all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks) – at room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan (plus 3 more) with cupcake liners.
  • In a large standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed. Then add the whipped egg plus egg white, sour cream, half and half, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add them to the mixer, and mix until just combined.
  • Spoon the cupcake batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Do not over-fill! Bake for 15 – 17 minutes, or until center is done. Remove to cooling racks.

For the buttercream frosting:

  • Using a medium bowl and hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about one minute. Add fresh lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar, and mix on high speed for about two more minutes, or until nice and fluffy.
  • Using a decorating kit, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Can also just spoon frosting on top.

Notes

Storing/Freezing:
  • The cupcakes (without frosting) freeze well for up to three months.
  • Store these in the refrigerator for best results, especially in warmer months. Place on your counter a couple of hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 63mg | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 555IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

8 Comments

  1. Sherene Holmquist says:

    I’ll have to check in with my sister, Janene, to see how they turned out. We love lemon desserts at our house too!
    Sending you hugs, prayers and our sympathies for the loss of your mom. Sherene

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Sherene! Thanks for the sweet message. I appreciate it. 🙂

  2. I love lemon desserts! These cupcakes look so delicious!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Natalie! Lemon is one of my favs too!

  3. I truly enjoyed making this delicious cupcakes! Used a hand mixer and they turned out great – I just got an extra arm workout in!! Lemon is bright but very balanced. The 15 I made didn’t last more than 24 hours before they were eaten. Delicious and will definitely make again!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Carly! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cupcakes!! Thanks so much for your sweet feedback. 🙂

  4. Practice makes perfect! I am not a lemon guy and I love these cupcakes.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I know you prefer chocolate, but it’s good to branch out! 🙂

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