This Lemon Cupcakes Recipe is the perfect dessert for Spring or Summer. The lemon flavor is so light and refreshing making the cupcakes a tasty treat for parties and even brunch.
Lemon Cupcakes Recipe:
Lemon is just something we love around here. We decided to make Lemon Cupcakes Recipe and they were a hit!
This recipe is so easy and the cupcakes have the perfect blend of lemon. It is the best treat when you are craving something sweet but don’t want anything heavy or overly sweet. This is a must try if you love lemon!
These cupcakes are perfect for a tea party or Spring party or brunch.
Here is what you’ll need in your kitchen to make this recipe for lemon cupcakes from scratch.
- Muffin Tin – You can use a metal or silicone pan to make these cupcakes in.
- A Hand Held Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer – Either will work great for this recipe.
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Baking Racks (Optional)
That’s all you need to make these delicious homemade lemon cupcakes.
Ingredients in Lemon Cupcakes:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- unsalted butter
- white granulated sugar
- large eggs
- lemon zest
- fresh lemon juice
- vanilla extract
How do you zest a lemon?
Using fresh lemon zest and juice make the best lemon cupcakes so do not skip this necessary step in this cupcake recipe.
I use a lemon zester to zest a lemon. However, if you do not have a zester, you can zest a lemon with a vegetable peeler or a cheese grater.
When zesting a lemon, you want the yellow part of the skin and you do not want to zest into the white part of the skin. So watch closely when using any of these methods to zest a lemon.
How to make lemon cupcakes from scratch:
- Prepare for the recipe – First, preheat the oven and fill cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- Mix together the dry ingredients – In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugar – In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs – Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in the zest and Vanilla – Beat in the zest and vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding in dry ingredients, buttermilk and lemon juice. – add in the dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk and lemon juice, beating just until combined after each addition.
- Time to Bake – Then pour the batter into the muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Then allow the cupcakes to cool – Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack. Cool completely and then top them with your frosting of choice and they are ready to enjoy!
Here are a few other frosting ideas that would be delicious on these easy lemon cupcakes.
- Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe
- Homemade Buttercream Icing
- Dust with Powdered Sugar
- Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Cool Whip (whipped topping)
You can even top the cupcakes with a lemon slice to make them look extra special. These cupcakes really are so easy and versatile.
I love topping them lemon cupcakes with a small lemon wedge or lemon zest. However, you can also top with yellow sprinkles as well.
Add the toppings right before serving as they might dry out if they sit on the cupcakes while they are stored.
Why buttermilk for this recipe?
I love using buttermilk for this recipe because it adds a nice tangy flavor to the cupcakes which goes great with the lemon flavor.
Also, it makes the cupcakes very moist. It keeps the cupcakes from being too sweet but still makes them light and fluffy (like pancake consistency).
If you don’t have buttermilk, mix together 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes and then you can use that mixture for the buttermilk in this recipe.
Can you use baking soda instead of baking powder?
You can use baking soda instead of baking powder in this cupcake recipe. However, baking soda is stronger than baking powder so you will not need as much.
If you are using baking soda in this recipe, I recommend using 1 teaspoon instead of the 1 Tablespoon of baking powder listed in the recipe.
Do I have to use cupcake liners?
I recommend cupcake liners for this recipe because it makes it easy to remove the cupcakes from the tin after they have been baked.
You can grease the tins if you don’t have cupcake liners but the cupcakes generally fall apart when I try to remove them.
You can use also use pieces of parchment paper in place of the cupcake liners if you don’t have any liners or can find any at the store.
- Do not use bottled lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is better than bottled lemon juice for this recipe. Do not use bottle juice instead as it will not have the same flavor in this recipe.
- Measure the flour correctly. Make sure that you fluff your flour, scoop it with your measuring cup and then level it off with a utensil. Using too much flour is the most common mistake for this recipe. Do not pack the flour down into the measuring cup.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Room temperature ingredients are the best for baking as they mix together more smoothly. Sit all the ingredients out on the counter and allow them to come to room temperature before making your cupcakes.
- Cream the butter and sugar first. Make sure to cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy before adding in the other wet ingredients.
- Make sure your frosting is thick. If you are piping the frosting onto your cupcakes, make sure that the frosting is thick before adding onto the cupcake so it will stay as they sit.
Can you fill the cupcakes?
Yes, these cupcakes would be delicious filled with your favorite lemon curd recipe.
Carefully remove the center of your cupcake with a small spoon. Fill the inside of the cupcake with lemon curd and place the cupcake cap back on top.
Then continue to add your frosting of your choice on top.
How to Store:
Keep the cupcakes covered or in an airtight container at room temperature and they should last for up to 4-5 days.
Can lemon cupcakes be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze these lemon cupcakes. Generally, I prefer to freeze them without frosting. I flash freeze the cupcakes by placing them on a baking sheet and freeze them for 1 hour. Then after that time I transfer the cupcakes to a freezer bag to freeze for up to 3 months.
Then when you’re ready to enjoy these cupcakes, allow them to thaw at room temperature and then frost so you can enjoy them.
You can also freeze these cupcakes with frosting on top. I wrap each cupcake separate in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer. Then when I want a sweet treat, I allow the cupcakes to thaw at room temperature and then enjoy!
How to Serve:
I love serving these at a Spring or Summer cookout or BBQ. These cupcakes are light and fluffy which make them the best Spring and Summer time dessert recipe.
I generally serve them by themselves but they would also be great with your favorite flavor of ice cream.
These cupcakes are also perfect for birthday parties, baby showers or wedding showers. Make sure to wait to frosting the cupcakes and top with your favorite toppings until you are ready to serve them.
Print this lemon cupcakes recipe below:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat in the zest and vanilla extract.
- Add dry mixture alternating with buttermilk and lemon juice, beating just until combined after each addition.
- Divide batter into cupcake liners.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Frost with fresh whip cream or frosting of your choice.
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