Perfect Lemon Cupcakes are incredibly moist and bursting with freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest. The lemon flavor continues in the buttercream frosting, also made with more freshly squeezed lemons!
***This recipe has been UPDATED HERE.
There is something about spring time that makes me happy. Even in Texas, where our “coats” are really just “jackets” to you northerners. You know, just a light layer to take the chill off. This happy feeling has something to do with green grass, colorful flowers, budding trees, and wide-open windows.
I remember our Iowa winters quite vividly. They seemed to never end. I used to long for the warm sunshine on my face, and for my closet to be rearranged – short sleeves and flip flops moved to the front, sweaters and boots moved to the back. Even in spring, the weather was often times overly rainy and dreary. I had no idea that some day, I’d be complaining about the hot summer weather instead of the bitter cold and snowy winters.
But spring. That’s a whole different story.
Spring in Texas is so many things.
- windows opened
- flowers planted
- bright green (almost artificial looking) grass
- long bike rides
- iced coffees
- baseball season – GO Rangers!
- blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, peas…LEMONS! 🙂
I love lemons.
Make sure you buy plenty of lemons for these cupcakes.
This Perfect Lemon Cupcake recipe was created by adapting my Jumbo Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes recipes. I basically removed the chocolate and the filling, and added in a WHOLE BUNCH of lemons. I also used some lemon yogurt, but you could use plain yogurt too, or even sour cream. All of these ingredients yield a super moist and lemon-y cupcake. Tart-but-sweet and incredibly delicious.
Even the buttercream frosting is made with real lemons. I used three MORE tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, along with another tablespoon of zest.
Make these cupcakes next: Jumbo Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes
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- 1/2 cup unsalted butter - melted and slightly cooled
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 6 oz. lemon yogurt - use any brand
- 1 teaspoon vanilla - I use Watkins Vanilla
- 5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice - freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks) - softened to room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice - freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 cups powdered sugar
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 6-cup jumbo cupcake pan plus two more cups - with jumbo cupcake liners (four will be empty).
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the melted (and cooled) butter, egg, buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and zest. Add to dry ingredients and mix to just combined.
Fill cupcake liners with mixture, filling 2/3 full. Do NOT over-fill!
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove cupcakes to cooling racks.
Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about two minutes, Add fresh lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar, and mix on high speed for two more minutes, until nice and fluffy.
Using a decorating kit, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
If you make regular sized cupcakes, this recipe will make approximately 10-12 cupcakes. Baking time should be decreased, however.
These cupcakes should be stored, covered in the refrigerator. To serve, let sit on countertop to come to room temperature. They will stay fresh up to three - four days.