Lemon Cupcakes

Moist & bright Lemon Cupcakes with a delicious homemade lemon cream frosting are the perfect summer dessert!!

For a summer dessert that is both sweet and tangy, Lemon Cupcakes are a must that fit the season so well! For more lemon treats, check out our Lemon Sheet Cake and Lemon Poppyseed Bread.

Homemade lemon cupcakes on dish towel

WE LOVE LEMON!

I have always loved lemon, and who doesn’t love a good cupcake, right?!

These Lemon Cupcakes were a cinch to put together and had the perfect lemon flavor, without being too tart. The icing on the cake (and quite literally) was the lemon cream frosting. SO good!

The batter alone was delicious and we found ourselves licking the bowl way too often. They baked to perfection and we were so glad we gave them a try.

Sometimes a sweet, fluffy cupcake is the best treat you can enjoy!! And in the summer time, a delicious lemon cupcake is even better.

Although the batter of this cupcake recipe has an amazing taste, we still think the creamy, fluffy lemon cream cheese frosting was the best. Top it off with a little lemon zest and it’s PERFECTION!!!

Lemon cupcakes batter in muffin tin

How to make Lemon Cupcakes

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan cups with paper liners.

DRY INGREDIENTS. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

SET INGREDIENTS. In another bowl, beat together butter, oil, sour cream, eggs, lemonade and lemon zest. Add dry ingredients and beat until creamy.

BAKE. Use a large cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners to about 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

FROSTING. Make frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest and salt in a medium bowl, or in your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice and beat until smooth.

Once cupcakes are cool, pipe on frosting and add sprinkles or a lemon slice to garnish if desired.

Lemon cupcakes in muffin tin.

Recipe Tips + Variations

Cake Flour: If all you have on hand is all purpose flour – not to worry! The difference between cake flour and all purpose flour is the protein content. All purpose flour has a higher protein content than cake flour. Since cake flour has a lower protein content, it produces a softer and fluffier cake. That is why it is preferred in this recipe. 

If all you have available is all purpose flour here is what we suggest:

  1. Make your own homemade cake flour for this recipe by measuring 3 cups of all purpose flour and then removing 6 Tbsp.
  2. Next, you will want to add 6 TBSP of cornstarch to the flour.
  3. Sift this all together twice and then measure out your 3 cups of flour. (Sifting adds some air and will sometimes give you a little more than 3 cups).

There are many different flavors of frostings you can use for these cupcakes: 

Lemon cupcakes frosting in a mixing bowl.

Storing Info

STORE your finished lemon cupcakes at room temperature in airtight containers. These cupcakes will stay good for about a week at room temperature or stored in your fridge.

FREEZE these lemon cupcakes after they have been baked. Make sure they are completely cooled before freezing. You can freeze them whether they have been frosted or not, but freezing the frosting separately will give you the best results. The best way to freeze them would be to wrap them individually in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

Then store them all in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Lemon Cupcakes topped with fresh sliced lemons.

For more great cupcakes, check out:

Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Moist & bright Lemon Cupcakes with a delicious homemade lemon cream frosting are the perfect summer dessert!!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 361 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemonade
  • zest of 2 lemons

Lemon Cream Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan cups with paper liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat together butter, oil, sour cream, eggs, lemonade and lemon zest. Add dry ingredients and beat until creamy.
  • Use a large cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners to about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  • Make frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest and salt in a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and lemon juice and beat until smooth.
  • Once cupcakes are cool, pipe on frosting and add sprinkles if desired.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. Hello Kristyn,

    Is is correct that your lemon cupcakes don’t have any baking soda or baking powder in them??

    Renee

  2. Just made these today. Waiting for them to cool. I had made some other frosting so didn’t use yours. Smells great and the batter off the beaters was good. Even my cat liked it.

    1. I love that your cat even enjoyed it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Hope the cupcakes turned out delicious!

    1. I’m sure it can! I haven’t tried, but I’d just say to keep an eye on the baking time. It will probably need a bit more than if you were making the cupcakes. We also have a recipe for a yummy Lemon Sheet Cake that you may be interested in too: https://lilluna.com/lemon-sheet-cake/

  3. 5 stars
    These cupcakes are so light & refreshing!! Come this time of year, I want everything lemon & these are delicious!!

  4. 5 stars
    Chocolate is our favorite! But these lemon cupcakes come in at a close 2nd. Not overly strong but enough to taste like spring. Yummy frosting.

  5. 5 stars
    These citrus cupcakes are the perfect amount of bright in this awful weather! I think March came in like a lion this year and it seems bound & determined to leave the same way! I definitely need the bright flavors of lemon to remind me of summer right now. So delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    These were really amazing! From the frosting to the cupcake the lemon flavor shines through. The texture of the cupcake is a little more dense than a typical cupcake. But is east heavy and was still moist and delicious. Definitely worth making again.