Light, fluffy homemade lemon cupcakes with fresh lemon frosting are the perfect dessert for lemon lovers. This is the best lemon cupcake recipe!
Is there any better Spring or Summer dessert than a moist lemon cupcake?
If you have ever tried my Frosted Lemon Olive Oil Cake, you know it is a winner! I wanted to create a cupcake version of my popular Lemon Cake recipe topped with the lightest, creamiest, fresh lemon frosting that you can imagine.
Lemon Cupcake Ingredients:
This lemon cupcake recipe makes such moist cupcakes with a creamy, luxurious lemon frosting with a touch of cream cheese.
- Oil -- use your favorite type of neutral oil like canola, vegetable, or olive oil. This helps to keep the lemon cake extra moist.
- Sugar -- use granulated sugar in this cake recipe.
- Eggs -- always use large eggs.
- Whole Milk -- use whole milk or buttermilk for a tender texture.
- Lemon Juice -- I suggest using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the most vibrant, freshest lemon flavor.
- Lemon Zest -- I suggest zesting the lemons before squeezing to make it easier.
- Flour -- use all-purpose or cake flour. The cake flour will create a light, tender texture.
- Baking Powder/Baking Soda -- use two leavening agents to create the most loft and rise in the cupcakes.
- Salt -- an integral ingredient in baking as it is a flavor enhancer.
Lemon Frosting Ingredients:
I love making homemade lemon frosting with a combination of both butter and cream cheese for the smoothest, most velvety lemon frosting. If you desire a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. The lemon zest is what gives a burst of real lemon flavor.
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Lemon Juice + Lemon Zest
- Vanilla Extract
How to make Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting:
Start by preheating the oven. Place cupcake liners into the standard-sized muffin tins. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, add oil, eggs, whole milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cream for 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, add sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the egg mixture and fold.
Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling no more than ⅔ or ¾ full. Bake until the toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cupcake. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Make frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl often. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest and mix together.
- Once the lemon cupcakes have completely cooled, you can frost or pipe the frosting on each cupcake. May decorate with fresh edible flowers, sparking sugar, or fresh lemon zest.
See the recipe card below for the ingredients list and full instructions.
FAQ's about baking Lemon Cupcakes:
How do I know when the cupcakes are done baking?
The cupcakes will begin to rise and slightly dome in the center. The center of the cupcake will no longer be liquid but will look set. You can test out the cupcake's doneness by placing a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cupcake to make sure it comes out "clean." This just means that the cupcake is no longer liquid in the center.
How full should I fill my cupcake liners?
If you fill cupcake liners too full, the cupcake batter will overfill in the oven and you will end up with a mess. I would suggest filling the cupcakes liners ⅔ to ¾ full to allow for the cupcakes to rise while baking.
When should I frost cupcakes?
Cupcakes need to be completely cool before frosting or the frosting will run off of the cupcake. You can expedite the process by placing the cupcakes in the freezer until they are completely cooled.
Popular Cake Recipes:
I have so many popular cake recipes on Modern Honey from my light Key Lime Cake with cream cheese frosting to my Orange Cake Recipe using fresh oranges to my decadent, popular Love at First Sight Chocolate Cake Recipe.
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I absolutely love these cupcakes. I used buttermilk in the recipe as the recipe said you could I adjusted the fresh lemon juice I added double the amount because I like it to be able to taste the lemon. My family and all my friends love these cupcakes I will continue to make them.
Hi Darlene, this recipe looks amazing well it is about lemon flavor! I asked what changes could be mage to make these cupcakes dense like the lemon pound cake at Starbucks!! Input from anyone please:-)
I could die for anything lemon, and these cupcakes are perfect. So amazingly good.
what is the point of making a comment if no replies to questions. JJ
So light and fluffy! SO AMAZING!
John M. Joseph
Hi, well I love dense lemon cupcakes, what do suggest, more like Lemon Pound Cake cup cakes 🙂
Donna A Pollock
These look amazing. I love lemon of any kind and in anyway. I'll make a batch for my son's Fire House they all will love them...
I am with you Donna, I love lemon everything! You will LOVE these, let me know what you think!
These look amazing. If I wanted to follow this recipe to create a perfect white cupcake, would I just leave out the lemon zest and replace the lemon juice with whole milk?? I’ve been on the hunt for perfect white cupcakes and am coming up short. Thanks!!