Lemon Cupcakes

Oh cupcake, why do you always have so much frosting, do you really need that much? Before we continue let’s get this straight, I don’t really like cupcakes. The chock full of frosting on top of each one makes me cringe. There is one frosting that I do manage to tolerate — cream cheese frosting. I love the flavor that cream cheese provides, and I find it lighter than American buttercream or Swiss meringue frosting. Now that it’s summer I find myself craving lighter desserts that involve fruit or citrus. Citrus, for me, usually means lemons. And lots of them.


Recently I received the Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook from my lovely sister, and I had to make something from it. So I made the lemon cupcakes from her website and used the frosting from the cookbook. Now these cupcakes are VERY lemony (lemony isn’t a word yet, but it will be). Sally uses the zest and juice of 2 lemons for her recipe, but I found that to be way too much, so I used the zest of 1.5 lemons and the juice of just 1. I found that once I scaled down the amount of zest and juice, the cupcakes still had that sweet yet lemony flavor.

TopViewThese cupcakes are frosted with a lemon cream cheese frosting that you can find in her book. This frosting is perfect because it has both lemon AND cream cheese to balance out all the powdered sugar. However, I did find the frosting to be much runnier then I liked and had to add a little bit more powdered sugar. Overall, this cupcake is for a real lemon lover. Both the cake and frosting have a fair amount of both lemon juice and zest that provides the perfect lemon flavor.



Lemon Cupcakes (Makes 12)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs (Use room temperature eggs)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)

Zest of 1.5 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 12-count muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined, scrape down the sides if necessary. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small glass mix together lemon juice, zest, and milk. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the milk. Mix until just combined, do not overmix.
  4. Pour batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-2o minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Makes 12 cupcakes. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day and then in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction


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