Easy Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

filed under: Cupcakes on June 9, 2016

Baking a delicious Lemon Cupcake doesn’t have to be complicated! Try this easy recipe for a fast treat!

Lemon Cupcake

Lemon Cupcakes

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. Almost subtle in flavor! You will definitely want to play around with the amount of Lemon extract that you use. I have 2-3 teaspoons written into the recipe but have used as much as a tablespoon! It’s important to test as you go so you can make them according to your tastes.

To make this cupcake you will need:

Cupcake recipe (below)

Lemon buttercream recipe (below)

Yellow food color

Cupcake liners

Cupcake/muffin pan

8B decorators tip & plastic disposable pastry bags

Sprinkles (optional)

Lemon Cupcake Recipe

Lemon Buttercream

Just like with the batter, you will want to taste as you go. Start with 2 teaspoons of lemon extract and add more as needed. Remember to taste a cupcake WITH frosting on it… when tasting the batter and buttercream individually you may not get the full blast of lemon flavor. 🙂

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

I happened to have some lemon oreo’s so crumbled them and added them to the top of the lemon cupcake. And…

Easy Lemon Cupcakes

I added them to the batter! If you want to do this too, just fill your cupcake liners with batter as you normally would then drop an Oreo in and press it down. You can also drop the Oreo in first and then pour batter over top.

4.3 from 17 votes
lemon-cupcake4 (1)
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Easy Lemon Cupcakes bursting with lemon flavor!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cupcakes
Servings: 30 cupcakes
Author: Amanda Rettke
Lemon Cupcakes
  • 3 cups (375g) self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 227g)unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup (245g) whole milk, divided, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Lemon Buttercream
  • 3 tablespoons 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 color
Lemon Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 30 cupcake pan cups with paper liners.
  2. Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  4. Gently combine the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first 2 additions of flour. Beat until just combined; do not over mix.
  5. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, about 15 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.
Lemon Buttercream
  1. Beat 3 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons lemon extract, and milk together until smooth. Add yellow food color- optional.
  2. Beat confectioners sugar into butter mixture until desired consistency is reached. You may want to add more sugar.
  3. Please note! This is not enough frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes like I have in the pictures. You will want to at least double the recipe if using the 8B tip.

These cupcakes are beyond delicious and truly easy to do!



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  • gail says:

    Is your cook book diabetic friendly? Where do I buy your book, how much?.

  • Sallyfernbezpaletzodegaard says:

    Love the recipes! Delicious !!!

  • Tara says:

    What does the 8B tip mean in the buttercream frosting?

  • Tara says:

    Never mind I found out!

  • Kai says:

    I am wondering if I can half the cupcake ingredient? I need about 15 cupcakes.

  • Tonya Evans says:

    Hi!!! I am hoping to make this into a cake, about four layers, haven’t decided yet as I haven’t seen what the “dough” looks like in proportion. I hope this works as I am not a fan of cupcakes. I dislike edges lol. (give me the middle piece!) I did choose a different recipe for the buttercream though as my lemon extract is expired. (I’m scared to use it plus, I’d rather have all lemon, LOVE LEMON IN THE SUMMER!!) All I wish for is luck and I will let ya know how it turns out!! Yes, I have self rising flour and yes, everything is setting now to get to room temp!!! (To the oven!!!)

  • Debbie says:

    These sound so yummy! Can’t wait to make them. I was reading the recipe for the frosting….are you sure it is only 1 c. powder sugar? That doesn’t seem possible to icing 30 cupcakes. Maybe a typo?

  • Brenda says:

    Can lemon juice be used to substitute extract?

  • Trudy says:

    I really wish you would print your recipes i
    In U.k measurements as well I have no idea what the equivalent is

  • Liz says:

    I recommend putting g the cup equavelent of grams in paranthese, less confusing.

  • Calator prin Romania says:

    Hello! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs!

    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the superb work!

  • Claire Burch says:

    I do love all your recipes but I’m in the UK and wish you could do pounds and ounces please

  • Pat says:

    Can you use regular flour? Or how can you make it?

  • Cheryl Hill says:

    1. Why would you use unsalted butter for the batter then add salt?
    2. Use unsalted butter for the lemon cream. leave out all the artificial stuff. (No need for food colouring, for example.)
    3. I would use the buttercream for filling and top with whipped fresh cream for a luxurious topping. 🙂

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Cheryl! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. It is common to use unsalted butter in recipes and add a little salt. Salted butter is sometimes not as fresh as unsalted butter, and you never know exactly how much salt is used in salted butter because it can vary quite a bit. Have a great day!

  • Susan Price says:

    Not sure what I did wrong, I have been a hobby baker for well over 20 years and tried these Lemon cupcakes for the 1st time today. They turned out awful and I can’t figure out what I did???? I love your recipes but this one I failed at miserably. I was very surprised that it did not have any baking powder or soda in it. Did I miss something? Please help!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Oh dear! Can you tell me what made the awful? Was it the taste, texture, crumb, consistency???

  • Susan Price says:

    Figured out what I did wrong and made them again yesterday. They turned out GREAT! Thanks, I love all your recipes.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So glad it worked out for you! <3

  • Shirley Holman says:

    What if you don’t have food coloring

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Shirley! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Food coloring does nothing for taste, so you could definitely make these without it. Have a great day!

  • SiouxMac says:

    These cupcakes looked so wonderful, so I was excited to try them. Sadly, I was not successful, due in part to my own misreading of your recipe. I used all-purpose flour instead of self-rising. Please update your recipe to say “3 cups of self-rising flour or 3 cups of all-purpose flour + 4.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 3/4 teaspoons of salt.” Also, please update the amounts of the buttercream to make enough to decorate the number of cupcakes in the recipe. It was not until after struggling with such small amounts that I read the part that said it wasn’t enough for the cupcake recipe.
    Despite these suggestions, I will say that the buttercream was delicious!

  • Lynn Stockmann says:

    Cupcakes were great but the frosting was not great with lemon extract. I quadrupled the buttercream frosting and even using half the lemon extract was too much for our tastes. I think I would much prefer fresh lemon juice to the extract. Otherwise they were very good.

  • Karen Cecile says:

    The taste of these cupcakes were a beautiful lemony flavor. Unfortunately, the recipe does not work for high altitude. The cupcakes were flat. I was hopeful that the self rising flour would not require any adjustment. I was able to rescue a few but most of them the tops stuck to the muffin pan and fell apart. Suggestions?

  • Alicia says:

    Looks like the perfect lemon cupcake. I cant tell from the picture, are they mini or regular size? Also thanks for sharing!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Alicia! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. The cupcakes are regular-sized cupcakes. Have a wonderful day!

  • Deborah says:

    I would prefer to use freshly squeezed lemon juice versus lemon extract. Would the measurements be the same? Please advise. Thank you!