Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes are soft and tender, topped with a sweet and creamy Lemon Buttercream frosting. Unbelievably cute and bursting with lemon flavor. Watch the recipe video tutorial and see how easy these are!

Cupcakes are the perfect dessert as you don’t have to share, they are perfectly portioned and make such a cute addition to any dessert table. We have many variations on the blog and highly recommend you try our German Chocolate or Unicorn CupcakesIn this post, you can also learn how to make a fun Galaxy inspired frosting.

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes are the perfect spring dessert. They are a great addition to any celebration and especially cute if you serve them at a baby shower. They have the perfect cute color and are bursting with flavor from the lemon juice and zest.

Topped with a luxurious lemon buttercream frosting, they are the perfect combo of sweet and tart. We have used our go-to cupcake recipe that always turns out great. Make it, and you will have a great and delicious dessert.

How to Make Lemon Filled Cupcakes?

Definitely a delicious take on the classic recipe and very easy to make if you have time for a few extra steps. Also, see the recipe video attached.

  1. Follow the recipe as is.
  2. Once the cupcakes are ready, let them cool, and after that, cut a small well on top of each one.
  3. Fill with store-bought or homemade lemon curd and top with the leftover cupcake cap.
  4. Next, make the frosting per recipe directions, pipe onto the cakes, refrigerate and serve.

Lemon Cupcakes Variations:

Blueberry – add some blueberries to the butter, the flavor combo will be great.

Raspberries – a fun pop of color and goes perfect with the citrus flavor.

Blackberries – another fun berry, that combined well with the citrus flavor in this recipe.

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes from Scratch

Lemon Buttercream Recipe Notes:

  • To create a stiffer buttercream, replace half of the butter with shortening. The sugar amount does not change.
  • If you decide to use gel food coloring, be very careful and it can stain your hands and counter.
  • In case the buttercream is too thin and soft, add extra powdered sugar. If it’s too stiff, add a few tablespoons of milk.
  • Don’t add too much buttercream to the piping bag, it will overflow.
  • The frosting can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. When ready to use, bring it to room temperature and whisk it to make it fluffy again.

Homemade Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream


Yes, you should keep them refrigerated, because the frosting will melt at room temperature and it also can go bad since it contains dairy products.

How to freeze lemon cupcakes?

Yes, you can! To freeze them follow the steps below.

  1. First, you can freeze the cupcakes BEFORE they have been frosted. In this case, let them fully cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap and after that in aluminum foil or add to freezer-safe bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  2. Also, you can freeze the already frosted cupcakes. In this case, place them in the fridge for the buttercream to harden.
  3. Next, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and after that in foil, or add to freezer-safe bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Also, after you can add them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container and freeze.
  5. When ready to use or intend to serve, place them in the fridge overnight to thaw.


  • You can use a store-bought cake mix to save time. If you choose so, you can use a White Cake Mix, Yellow Cake Mix or Lemon Cake Mix.
  • To make sure the cupcakes rise nicely in the oven, make sure to NOT over-mix the batter.
  • Another very important step is to make sure the oven is preheated before you transfer the batter into the oven.
  • Equally important is to use ingredients that are at room temperature.
  • I also recommend, to NOT open the oven door for 15 minutes during baking.

Watch recipe video:

Save Recipe
5 from 5 reviews
Lemon Cupcakes
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 16
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 mins


  • 2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups  white granulated sugar 
  • 3 teaspoons  baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon  salt 
  • 1 cup  whole milk  (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup  vegetable oil 
  • 2 tablespoons  lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon zest 
  • 2  large eggs  (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup  water 
  •  Yellow Gel Food Color  (optional)


  • 2 cups  (550grams) unsalted butter  (room temperature)
  • 8-9 cups  powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoons  vanilla extract 
  • 3 tablespoons  lemon juice 
  •  Yellow Gel Food Color  (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  2. Add cupcake liners to a regular muffin pan. Set aside.
  3. To a large bowl add dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine.
  4. To another large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), add milk, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and eggs. Whisk on medium speed until fully combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the water and after that the food coloring if using. Mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners with batter just a little over half.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs NOT raw batter. Start checking on the cupcakes at the 15-minute mark. If you are baking mini cupcakes, they may be done in 9-12 minutes.
  9. Once done, remove the tray from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to a cooling rack to finish cooling.


  1. Add butter to a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, gel food coloring and lemon juice, mix until smooth.
  4. Add the remaining 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If the buttercream is too soft, add more sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  5. Fix a piping bag with a large star tip or any other piping tip that you like.
  6. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes and garnish with lemon slices.
  7. Refrigerate cupcakes at least one hour before serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Calories: 574 Carbohydrates: 100 Protein: 3 Fat: 31 Saturated Fat: 20 Cholesterol: 82 Sodium: 365 Potassium: 162 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 84 Vitamin A: 805 Vitamin C: 2.3 Calcium: 85 Iron: 1.5
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Homemade Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Juice and Zest

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You had me at lemon. <3 these so much.


Katerina @ diethood .com

OH my goodness, these are amazing!! I LOVE the lemon flavor!!



So much delicious lemon flavor! Love that lemon buttercream!



Lemon cupcakes scream summertime! I can't wait to make these for my kiddos July birthday. I know she will love them.



You can tell the lemon flavor really comes out in the flavor and color of this frosting. Love these!


Jennifer Donahue

These cupcakes were unbelievably light and fluffy! All commented on how airy they were and that they were the best lemon cupcakes they've had. "Feels like Summer"! Pronounced lemon flavor, without overdoing it. It's the perfect balance.


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