Easy Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream are soft and moist lemon cupcakes frosted with lemon buttercream. Be sure to check out some of my other cupcake recipes as well!

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

I got a craving for lemon the other day and knew I just had to make a delicious cupcake! These cupcakes are not overpowering in any way with almost a subtle lemon flavor! Then, with the added lemon buttercream on top, you get just the right amount of zing from the lemon flavoring. Check out my Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes, too, which are lemon cupcakes with strawberry buttercream.

Lemon Cupcake

Cupcakes Ingredients

There are two parts to this recipe–the cupcakes and the frosting.

Room Temperature Ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients (specifically butter, eggs, and milk in this recipe) will help you get the best results when baking the muffins and making the buttercream.

Lemon Juice: For the best lemon flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Lemon Extract: When adding the lemon extract to the buttercream, start with just 2 teaspoons, tasting as you go. Remember, the buttercream with the cupcakes will give you the full blast of lemon flavor!


Lemon Cupcake Recipe

How to Pipe the Frosting

To pipe the frosting on top, just fill your pastry bag fitted with an 8B tip. Starting at the center, apply pressure and then move the bag around the cupcake. If you want a tall frosting swirl, apply pressure and then build it up by going around 3 times. Easy peasy!

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Oreo Cookies

Can I Freeze Lemon Cupcakes?

Yes! Freeze the cupcakes before they are frosted with the buttercream. To freeze, let the cupcakes cool completely before storing them in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. Let them thaw in the refrigerator when ready to enjoy or frost them.

Easy Lemon Cupcakes

Do I Have to Add Food Coloring to the Buttercream?

No, you don’t have to add yellow food coloring to the buttercream. However, the yellow buttercream makes this treat look like sunshine and really can brighten your day! Or, go for a totally contrasting color for a real statement!

Variations to Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

A fun thing to do with these cupcakes is to add some crushed Golden Oreos (vanilla flavored) to the top of the frosting. You could also add an Oreo to the cupcake batter before baking. Simply place a cookie into the batter that has been poured into the cups of the cupcake tin.

lemon-cupcake4 (1)
4.23 from 18 votes

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Easy Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream are soft and moist lemon cupcakes frosted with lemon buttercream.


Lemon Cupcakes

  • cups (187g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup (122.5g) whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Lemon Buttercream

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk, or more as needed
  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners' sugar, or more as needed
  • 5 drops yellow food coloring, more or less as desired


Lemon Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-count cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until fully incorporated after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until combined.
  • Alternating between the flour mixture, milk, and lemon juice, add each to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, making sure not to overmix.
  • Fill the prepared cupcake liners about ¾ full. Bake about 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream.

Lemon Buttercream

  • To a large mixing bowl, add butter, lemon extract, and milk. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat ingredients together until smooth. If desired, add yellow food coloring.
  • Add confectioners' sugar into butter mixture and beat on low speed until desired consistency is reached. You may want to add more sugar.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. This recipe looks and sounds delicious. My question is the amount of ingredients to make the buttercream frosting. I’ve been making homemade frosting for years, and 3 tablespoons of butter does not seem correct. Typically it’s 1-2 sticks of unsalted butter, then you add in your powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of milk, and some vanilla extract.

  2. I’m so sad these didn’t turn out like I’d hoped. My mother in law found this recipe and I can’t decide if I just don’t like lemon cake or I don’t like the recipe lol. She has a work event I made them for tomorrow hopefully her coworkers have different opinions than I do.

  3. I’m betting the portions are small because we are only icing 12 cupcakes. I’m making these right now!

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