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 self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Lemon Buttercream
  • 3 tbsp. butter room temperature
  • 2-3 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. whole milk or more as needed
  • 1 c 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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  • Anna says:

    Love this recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Lemon is so refreshing for s summer desert. Thank you. Keep these awesome recipes coming. BTW. Do you ever make anything gluten-free and dairy-free. Have 2 of these folks in our household! 🙂

  • maggie says:

    Wow, they look so very fresh and pretty. clever girl! I would love to make them ….. but as I live in the UK, would u please, to able to give me the recipe in metric or imperial ?.. thank you v much.

    • Irma says:

      You can get the metric conversion amounts on the internet. Just ask for what you need to convert.

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:

    Lemon is the perfect summer flavor! I really like adding a surprise oreo inside too 🙂

  • Fernando says:

    Well, most of the time I make all of my desserts from scratch but I have to admit this is not one of them. This is a lemon box mix but instead of using water I used limoncello and a dash of heavy cream. I also added a small box of lemon pudding mix to the cake for moisture.

    • Amanda says:

      Sounds good!

    • Alice says:

      What is lemoncello?

      • Anonymous says:

        Limoncello is a liquor

  • Beth says:

    I made it substituted orange for the lemon because it’s all had. Great recipe!

  • Ana says:

    Hey my buttercream always turns out to be really gritty and full of sugar and not that fluffy and smooth. It doesn’t seem as smooth as ur creams in the pictures. I’ve tried it a few times using different recipes but all in vain. Maybe im doing something wrong here? Would you be able to help me? Any kind of tips are welcome!

    • Gillian says:

      Are you using confectioners/icing sugar? Sounds like you might be using regular granulated sugar, which would cause the grittiness.

      • Nina says:

        Powdered sugar not regular sugar is meant by confectioners sugar. Not sure why no one uses that since when buying it says powdered sugar on most bags.

  • Angel says:

    Hi there, I made the lemon frosting from this post and the lemon cake from your other recent post. Based on the quantity of each ingredient for the frosting, I didn’t think there was any way the small amounts would pipe onto 12 cupcakes and, unfortunately, I was right. Your lemon cake recipe made 24 (FANTASTIC!!!) cupcakes so I knew I’d need to at least double the frosting recipe. Even with doubling the frosting recipe, it still didn’t look like it would be enough to pipe (as you did in the pictures) so I decided to use the cookie scoop method, which I’ve seen you do before. Using the medium scoop, I was only able to frost 13 cupcakes with the doubled frosting recipe. I loved the frosting but just wanted to let you know that your measurements appear to be quite low. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you!

  • Laura Carlson says:

    how many eggs do you use?

  • isti bisti says:

    I made these tonight as a late night snack for me and my little sister. Le me just say, they were delicious. I added an extra teaspoon of lemon extract to the frosting and i loved the lemony flavor i got. Also, the cupcakes were nice and most and way better than my last baking attempt which were chocolate chip muffins. for some reason my muffins didn’t rise like i expected. The cupcakes are definitely 5 stars. At least that’s what my little sister says.

  • sylvia staus says:

    How many cupcakes does this make?

    • Karen says:

      It says to use 12 muffin cups with paper liners , so I guess it is 12 or 1 dozen

  • Rachel Allen says:

    Good but my frosty is so sugary it’s crazy Ringto

  • Joy Koutsourelis says:

    Can we substitute the All Purpose Flour in this Recipe for a Gluten Free flour? I have a Bob’s Red Mill mix. I just want to know if anyone has tried this and it turned out well.

  • Blanca says:

    Hi. In the recipe it says “white sugar”. Is that granulated sugar?

  • Kylie Everett says:

    Hi, what can be used instead of graham crackers?

    • Karen says:

      Are you making the cupcakes? I don’t see Graham Crackers listed in the ingredients .

  • Roseanne Fohr says:

    Just made these cupcakes and they are not light and fluffy at all. What did i do wrong??? They are dense and didn’t rise very well.

  • Julie Burdick says:

    If I double or triple the buttercream recipe, do I also double or triple the extract amount?

    • Amanda says:

      I would taste as you go. 🙂

  • MaryKay Plesha says:

    Wondering why you use lemon extract for the cupcakes? I would much sooner use fresh lemon juice if possible but don’t know if possible to substitute. I guess that I would have to work with juice to sugar proportions so I get the tartness wanted without being too sour!

  • Deb says:

    I made these cupcakes tonight and followed the recipe exactly. They weren’t light and fluffy. They came out dense and heavy. Also the cupcake liners paper really stuck to them. Everyone said they had a good taste and someone ate 2 of them. What did I do wrong?

    • Amanda says:

      So everyone liked them but you think you did something wrong? 🙂 I have no control over cupcake liners so I can’t tell why some work and some don’t.

    • Susan says:

      Did you use the self-rising flour or just regular flour. That will make a big difference

  • Barbara Janiszewski says:

    How much lemon juice can I use instead.

  • Sarah Potter says:


  • luke says:

    how much butter cream does this make in cups?

  • Kim says:

    Made these tonight and they did not come out light and fluffy. I followed the directions as stated.

    • Susan says:

      What type of flour did you use. If it wasn’t self-rising flour, it will be heavy and not fluffy.

  • Tracie Smith says:

    I see the recipe says self-rising flour. What would happen if you used all purpose flour? (Would something else like baking soda/powder, need to be added?)

  • Whyldchld says:

    xCan I bake this in a 9×13 cake pan instead?

  • Jan Woolley says:

    I hope this isn’t too far off subject, but I’ve been searching for a post I believe you made re a waterlily cake with a large,chocolate-petal lily on top. Aside from the petals, it was all done with buttercream. Can you help me?