Homemade Lemon Cupcakes

These cute zesty lemon cupcakes are great for a fun party! Try the recipe with some helpful tips below!

To make these cupcakes, you will need mixing bowls, an electric mixer, a large mixing spoon, cupcake tins, and cupcake liners. Other supplies you will need for the frosting are piping bags, piping tip,a tall cup to hold the piping bag, and sprinkles.

Before starting the recipe, it is important to let the dairy ingredients to reach room temperature or soften. According to Sally’s Baking Addiction, dairy ingredients trap air at room temperature which then causes the ingredients to expand in the oven. This makes your baked goods extra fluffy. So leave the butter out for an hour before starting the recipe. You can leave the milk and eggs out 30 minutes before starting the recipe so they reach room temperature.

This recipe requires zest from two lemons and lemon juice. To save time, I would zest the lemons and set aside the lemon juice for the recipe when its ready to be added.

After all your ingredients have been prepped and reached room temperature, you can start making the recipe. The first steps are always to add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix them well. The dry ingredients include: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. These ingredients should be added in at the end after all the wet ingredients have been combined.

Next, steps are to combine all the wet ingredients. All of the wet ingredients will be combined with an electric mixer. The wet ingredients include: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk. To start you will mix the butter until it becomes a creamy and smooth texture. Then add the sugar to combine with the butter. After you will add the whole egg, egg whites, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk. After adding each ingredient, it is important to mix the ingredient in before adding the next one. This will help mix all the ingredients well.

After, you add in the dry ingredients and combine it with the wet ingredients using a large mixing spoon. I like to mix the dry ingredients in by adding three separate parts of the mixture to the wet ingredients. After each section or part of the mixture is added, it is important to combine the ingredients well so they mix properly. to add in. Adding in a little at a time is helpful when mixing the ingredients.

Line the cupcake tins and add about 2-2 1/2 tablespoons of batter in the cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly at 350 F. I like to bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes then check them to see if they need more time. It is a helpful step and keeps you from over baking them.

When the cupcakes are done, let them cool completely before frosting!

Before starting the frosting, allow the butter to soften for an hour at room temperature. This will make it easier to mix. Mix all the butter in with an electric mixture until it becomes a smooth creamy texture. Then add one cup of powdered sugar that should be mixed well with the butter. After mixing add in a second cup of powdered sugar and mix well until all the sugar is combined. Repeat these steps for the third and fourth cup of powdered sugar.

Next, you will add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Combine the flavors well with the butter and powdered sugar mix. Then you will had the heavy cream and mix the buttercream frosting mixture.

At this point you will want to add the gel food coloring if desired. I used Wilton’s Lemon Yellow gel food color to get this desired yellow. I suggest starting with a small amount of color and mixing it into the frosting mixture well before adding more to get the color you want. All ingredients for the buttercream frosting should be combined with an electric mixer.

After the buttercream frosting is prepared, take a piping bag with desired tip in it and place it in a tall cup to where the opening is facing up. I used a 2A Wilton tip for this recipe. Add the frosting to the piping bag and begin frosting your cooled cupcakes! You can frost a flower design like I did or make whatever design you prefer. Add sprinkles for additional color if you’d like.

This recipe is not only delicious but super fun to make. Let me know how your Lemon Cupcakes turn out below!

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes

  • Servings: 26-28
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

These cupcakes are full of lemon flavor and topped with a great lemon buttercream frosting!

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
  • Yellow gel food coloring (optional)
  • -Sprinkles (optional)

Cupcake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Take a larger mixing bowl and add butter. Mix with a electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add sugar to butter and mix with electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes or until all the sugar is combined.
  5. After, add in the large egg and mix until combined completely with butter and sugar mixer.
  6. Next, add in the egg whites and combine well with butter and sugar mixture.
  7. Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
  8. Next add in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well until combined.
  9. After, add in the milk and mix well.
  10. After all the wet ingredients have been combined, add in the flour ingredients one-third at a time. Mixing each third in well with a mixing spoon.
  11. Next line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  12. Add about 2- 2 1/2 tbsp of batter to each liner.
  13. After all the liners have been filled, bake in over for 15-20 minutes. Be careful not to over bake.
  14. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add butter and mix with electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until it is a smooth, creamy texture.
  2. Next add one cup of powdered sugar and mix well with butter until combined and forms a smooth texture.
  3. Add in a second cup of powdered sugar and mix well with electric mixture until a smooth texture.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 for the third and fourth cups of powdered sugar until a smooth creamy frosting forms.
  5. Then add in the vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix well with ingredients.
  6. Finally add in the heavy cream and mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
  7. Add in yellow gel food coloring and mix with mixing spoon to get the desired color.
  8. To frost the cupcakes, place a 2A Wilton tip in a piping bag and place it standing up in a large cup.
  9. After add in the butter cream frosting and pipe onto the cupcakes.
  10. Frost cupcakes with flower and add sprinkles to design if desired.

Enjoy these zesty cupcakes at your next party! Refrigerate with not serving!


Per Serving: 334 calories; 23.9 g fat; 28.4 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g protein; 69 mg cholesterol; 267 mg sodium; 17.4 g sugar.

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