Lemon cupcakes are a delightful treat that combines the tangy sweetness of lemon with the moist and fluffy texture of cupcakes. Making this delicious homemade lemon cupcake recipe is easy and the recipe only has a few simple ingredients. You can easily whip up a batch of these easy lemon cupcakes that your family and friends will love. My personal favorite is topping them with homemade lemon buttercream frosting.
Homemade Lemon Cupcakes Recipes
Lemon lovers are going to be excited when you make them the best lemon cupcakes ever! Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts to make because they are individual cakes that are perfect for a daily dessert or a party dessert. These lemon cupcakes are the perfect summer dessert. A light and fluffy cupcake that has the perfect lemony flavor while being super easy to make.
If you open our fridge during the summer you are sure to find some homemade lemonade in the fridge, with our favorites being watermelon lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and berry lemonade. The kids love it when I make Unicorn Lemonade too. In our house lemon cupcakes topped with creamy lemon frosting are one of our go-to desserts.
These cupcakes are the perfect lemon cupcakes. They have the perfect balance of lemon and sweet. Not too much lemon that you will pucker your lips, but just enough to give you the refreshing taste of lemon that you love.
Summer Cupcake Recipes
- Ice Cream cupcakes
- Blackberry Cupcakes
- Angel Food Cupcakes
- Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
- Smores cupcakes
Tips for Making Homemade Cupcakes
- Do not over-mix. Over-mixing the batter will lead to tough and flat cupcakes. When making cupcakes you have to be careful that you don’t overmix the batter when you are folding in the flour mixture. If you over-mix your angel food cake batter your cupcakes will turn out flat. You want to mix everything just until mixed, over-mixing will cause you to have rough and tough cupcakes. We all know that the best cupcakes are light and fluffy.
- Measure the flour correctly. You want the flour measurements to be exact so you have the perfect fluffy cupcakes.
- Room-temperature ingredients are best. When you are making homemade cupcakes the wet ingredients will mix much better when they are room temperature.
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. If you frost cupcakes while they are still warm then the frosting will melt.
- Fill the cupcake liners appropriately. You do not want to overfill the cupcake liners. Follow the directions for the specific cupcake recipe, if the recipe doesn’t tell you how full stick to the 2/3 full rule, which is roughly 3 tablespoons of cupcake batter per cupcake liner.
- Use quality cupcake liners. While you might not think it matters a cupcake liner but having a quality cupcake liner will make it so your cupcakes don’t stick to the wrapper and peel off nicely so you can see the perfect cupcake in it.
- Bring ingredients to room temperature. Cupcakes will bake best when you use room temperature ingredients.
- Use fresh lemon juice. You will want to juice the fresh lemons before getting started making your cupcakes. Fresh lemon juice is one of the key ingredients in this recipe. You will also need fresh lemon zest which gives these cupcakes their fresh lemon flavor.
Can I use a hand mixer for this recipe?
Yes. I personally prefer to use my stand mixer but you can make this recipe with a hand mixer. If you are using a hand mixer then you will want to use a large bowl for adding your dry ingredients.
How to Make Lemon Zest
You will need lemon zest for this recipe. Making lemon zest is easy, all you need is fresh lemon and a citrus grater. Gently rub the lemon with the peel on the grater to remove only the yellow part of the peel.
Can I use Bottled Lemon Juice instead of Fresh Lemons?
Technically you can but I do not recommend it. While it’s being sold as lemon juice it does not have that same great flavor fresh lemon stale so if you want that optimal fresh lemonade I highly recommend buying a bag of lemons and squeezing them yourself. You also need lemon zest for this recipe which you can only get from the fresh lemons.
How Many Lemons Do I need for 1/4 cup of lemon Juice?
This recipe calls for 1/4 cup of lemon juice. On average, one medium-sized lemon contains about 2 to 3 tablespoons of juice. So you will need at least 2 medium-sized lemons to get 1/4 cup of lemon juice. However, the exact amount of juice you get from a lemon can vary depending on its size, ripeness, and juiciness. So, it’s always a good idea to have a few extra lemons on hand, just in case you need more juice.
How do you Juice Lemons?
I personally like to use a lemon Juicer. I find it makes things much easier however you can totally squeeze the juice out by hand.
- Start by selecting fresh, ripe lemons that are firm and heavy for their size.
- Roll the lemon on a hard surface like a cutting board while pressing it down with your hand. This will help to break up the internal membranes and make it easier to extract the juice.
- Cut the lemon in half crosswise with a sharp knife, making sure to cut through the stem end.
- If juicing by hand, hold one half of the lemon over a bowl or a measuring cup with the cut side facing down. Squeeze the lemon half with your hand, applying firm pressure and rotating the lemon as you squeeze it. Keep squeezing and rotating the lemon until you have extracted as much juice as possible.
- If you are juicing with a citrus juicer, place one half of the lemon cut-side down into the juicer, with the juicing cone pressed firmly into the center of the lemon. Press down on the handles of the juicer to squeeze out the juice.
- Lift the juicer off the lemon half and discard the leftover pulp and seeds.
- If desired, use a strainer to remove any seeds or pulp from the juice.
- Repeat with the other lemon half until you have the amount of juice you need.
Tips for Decorating Homemade Cupcakes
You will want to also check out How to make a cupcake swirl to learn the basics before making your frosting swirl. If you are using different flavored frostings and want them both on top of your cupcake swirled together, check out how to swirl two icing flavors. If you want to layer your frosting flavors, check out the layered frosting swirl!
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely. Before frosting the cupcakes let them cool completely. If you frost cupcakes while they are still warm then the frosting will melt.
- Use a piping bag. Instead of just spreading the frosting on top, cupcakes look so much better when you pipe the frosting on top instead of spreading it and it is super easy to do.
What Frosting Pairs Well with Lemon Cupcakes?
There are multiple frosting flavors that go well with lemon cupcakes. I like to pair this fluffy lemon cupcake with another fruity flavor frosting. My all time favorite way to serve lemon cupcakes is with lemon frosting, then topped with a lemon slice.
- Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Vanilla Buttercream frosting
- Pink Lemonade Frosting
- Raspberry Frosting
- Whipped Vanilla Frosting
- Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Do I need to use an electric stand mixer for this recipe?
I personally prefer to use my stand mixer but you can also use a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer when you are making this cupcake recipe.
How to Store Cupcakes
It is best to store cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter. Cupcakes are best to be enjoyed within 48 hours of making them. Frosted cupcakes are fine to be stored on the counter for a day or 2 but after that, they should be stored in the fridge. If you are storing them unfrosted you can store them in an airtight container or a plastic bag. If you are storing them with frosting on top I suggest using a cupcake storage container.
Can Cupcakes be frozen?
Yes, they can. You will want to freeze them without any frosting on them. Wrap them individually with plastic wrap and freeze them on a baking sheet. Then once they are solid store them in a zip-close freezer bag. They will keep for up to 2 months when frozen. To thaw, simply remove them from the freezer and defrost them. Then frost as normal.
Lemon Cupcakes Recipe Ingredients
- self-rising flour
- cake flour
- white granulated sugar
- Lemons. You will need the lemon zest and the fresh lemon juice from the lemons.
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
How to Make Lemon Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Zest the lemon and set the zest aside in a small bowl.
Juice the lemons into another small bowl so you have just the fresh lemon juice and set aside.
Add self-rising flour, cake flour, lemon zest, and sugar into the bowl of your mixer.
Place the bowl of the mixer onto your mixer stand and attach the paddle attachment. On low speed, mix those dry ingredients together for a minute or two until they are well combined.
Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces.
Add the butter to the flour mixture in the mixer and continue mixing until it has reached the texture of sand.
In a small bowl add the milk and lemon juice and mix well.
Pour the milk into the flour mixture and continue to let it mix just until the milk is incorporated.
Use a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of your bowl making sure all the batter is off the sides of the bowl.
Add the vanilla extract to the batter and mix until combined on medium speed.
Next, crack the eggs and add them to the mix and continue on medium speed until the eggs are fully mixed into the cupcake batter.
Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. I find it easiest to use a cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners.
Bake cupcakes for 10 minutes.
After the first 10 minutes rotate the cupcake pans. Rotate the pan that was on the top rack to the bottom rack of the oven. And then put the pan on the bottom oven rack to the top oven rack.
Continue to bake for another 10-13 minutes.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven when they are done baking and transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack until they have reached room temperature before frosting.
Lemon Dessert Recipes
- Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
- Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
- Lemon Blueberry cupcakes
- Lemon Sugar
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lemon cake mix cookies
Homemade lemon cupcakes Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line your cupcake pans with your choice of cupcake wrappers. You can use reusable cupcake wrappers or disposable cupcake wrappers.
- Zest the lemon and set the zest aside in a small bowl.
- Juice the lemons into another small bowl so you have just the fresh lemon juice and set aside.
- Add self-rising flour, cake flour, lemon zest, and sugar into the bowl of your mixer.
- Place the bowl of the mixer onto your mixer stand and attach the paddle attachment. On low speed, mix those dry ingredients together for a minute or two until they are well combined.
- Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture in the mixer and continue mixing until it has reached the texture of sand.
- In a small bowl add the milk and lemon juice and mix well.
- Pour the milk into the flour mixture and continue to let it mix just until the milk is incorporated.
- Use a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of your bowl making sure all the batter is off the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract to the batter and mix until combined on medium speed.
- Next, crack the eggs and add them to the mix and continue on medium speed until the eggs are fully mixed into the cupcake batter.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. I find it easiest to use a cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners.
- Bake cupcakes for 10 minutes.
- After the first 10 minutes rotate the cupcake pans. Rotate the pan that was on the top rack to the bottom rack of the oven. And then put the pan on the bottom oven rack to the top oven rack.
- Continue to bake for another 10-13 minutes.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven when they are done baking and transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack until they have reached room temperature before frosting.