Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting


I post a lot of cupcake recipes, have you noticed? Why? Because it means I get to eat more cupcakes :). Really I just love cupcakes and they’re just so photogenic, unlike many other things I take pictures of. They’re fun to dress up and the flavor options are endless.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

Today I’m sticking with a classic, Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting. These are a classic done right. What do I love about these cupcakes? They are loaded with an abundance of lemon flavor (if we are going to call them lemon cupcakes, they better taste like lemon, right? Not just a hint here and there), they have a soft texture and the frosting on top is to die for! These are summers dream cupcakes right here.

Don’t wait for a reason to celebrate to make these, just make them because it’s summer! That’s a celebration alone, right? I always think the weekend counts as a reason to celebrate with cupcakes too.



Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

4 from 4 votes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest of 2 medium lemons)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter , nearly at room temperature (I used 1/2 cup unsalted and 1/4 cup salted)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • Lemon slices or lemon drop candies and mint leaves for decorating (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar with lemon zest until finely ground, about 1 minute. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter with lemon sugar mixture until pale and fluffy (if you don't have the paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then occasionally throughout entire mixing process, stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in egg, then mix in egg whites one at a time, adding in vanilla with second egg white.
  3. In the liquid measuring cup used to measure buttermilk, whisk together buttermilk with lemon juice. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture, then mix just until combined. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture to the butter/egg mixture and mix just until combined. Repeat process with flour and buttermilk mixture once more then finish by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  4. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 18 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes in muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Meanwhile prepare simple syrup.
  5. For the simple syrup:
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp lemon juice with 1 Tbsp granulated sugar until sugar has dissolved. Brush mixture over warm cupcakes (use all of it, about 2 light coats over each cupcake). Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  7. For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
  8. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter with lemon zest on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy (it should be nearly white. If using a paddle attachment that doesn't constantly scrape bowl while mixing, then stop mixer occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down bottom and sides of bowl). Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar, then blend in lemon juice, cream, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, then whip mixture until very fluffy, about 4 - 5 minutes longer. Pipe or spread frosting over cupcakes. Decorate with lemon slices or lemon drop candies and mint leaves if desired. Store in an airtight container.
  9. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
lemon cupcakes


  • Diana Santaferra: Found your recipe for the lemon frosting and made this for my husbands 60th birthday party – absolutely delicious!! Everyone raved about the lemon frosting!! February 5, 2018 at 8:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! February 9, 2018 at 11:48am Reply

  • melisha noronha: These are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe January 24, 2018 at 4:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Melisha! January 26, 2018 at 9:18am Reply

  • Jean Halbert: Favorite, favorite! The buttercream was the perfect sweetness and push these cupcakes to the next level! October 13, 2017 at 11:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved them Jean! October 13, 2017 at 11:22am Reply

  • Sara: I used this for the butter cream recipe and it didn’t work at all. I don’t know what I did wrong. I got all the right ingredients and measured them to what it said but it ended up and gritty and liquidy. What should I do to change it? September 4, 2017 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Kristina Norcross: These cupcakes came out perfect! I love this recipe, thank you! June 22, 2017 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great! So happy to hear it! June 28, 2017 at 12:22pm Reply

      • Jaki: My daughter wants lemon cupcakes for her birthday so I tried your recipe to see if I wanted to use it for the party. They really came out great, although they are a little dense. After reading the comments, I tried very hard not to overmix. I also used a decorating bag and tip to infuse lemon curd into the cupcake – I didn’t core them, and they were just fine. So I’m going to bake six dozen for the party as they are delicious! Thanks for sharing. August 3, 2017 at 11:04pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: Glad you like them Jaki! August 4, 2017 at 5:38pm Reply

  • Katie: I noticed some of your baking recipes you have added the weight of the ingredients. I have found that in baking using a kitchen scale never fails me. Would you possibly know the grams that you use for the ingredients for this recipe? May 24, 2017 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Taylor: excited to make these cupcakes for a school assessment May 7, 2017 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Erin: Oh my…. these are pretty much the softest, fluffiest, BEST lemon cupcakes EVER – and I haven’t even made the frosting yet, lol, I just couldn’t resist sampling when they came out and were cooling! ;) March 31, 2017 at 11:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you like them Erin! April 1, 2017 at 2:52pm Reply

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