CUPCAKES & MUFFINS

Lemon Cupcakes

March 16, 2022

Moist and tender lemon cupcakes that are bursting with lemon flavor and topped with vanilla buttercream and delicious lemon curd.

It has been hard to watch the news lately where it’s been all about people on both sides that suffered at the hand of greedy politicians. After two years of the global pandemic, we are talking about war. It’s heartbreaking to feel that human beings are dying for no reason. We need more kindness. We need more humanity. My warmest thoughts go to those who are suffering and all of you who have your loved ones there. 

But for a dark night, there will be brighter days ahead. One day, all wars will end. Those brighter days will look like the spring days with so much joy, love and freshness. Today, I’m bringing some refreshing vibes to you through these little lemon cupcakes.

Nothing screams spring quite as much as the lemon flavor. These lemon cupcakes are incredibly soft and moist and bursting with refreshing lemon flavor. They have the right balance of sweetness and tanginess. Not too much that you’ll want to close your eyes and pucker up your lips, just enough to give each bite a refreshing touch of citrus flavor. These lemon cupcakes have used my lemon cake recipe which yields a soft and tender texture. They are so flavorful that I ate 2 of them immediately after getting them out of the oven without adding buttercream frosting!

 

HOMEMADE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Since the cupcakes are flavorful themselves, I decided to make vanilla buttercream then filled with lemon curd for lemony goodness. Since I do not want too much sweetness in the frosting, I use less sugar, but you can always add more depending on your personal taste. Start off with beating the butter until smooth, light and fluffy, make sure the butter sits at room temperature before being whipped up. Then gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cream and beat until completely smooth and combined. You can use other frosting options like cream cheese frosting or whipped cream if you prefer to.

LEMON CURD

You can level up your lemon cupcakes by adding lemon curd filling to the center of the buttercream frosting. Store-bought or homemade works well but homemade lemon curd is 1 million times tastier and can be made ahead of time. Make a big batch of lemon curd, because you can use them on pavlovas, scones, cakes and more. 

More Lemon Desserts:

 

 

Lemon Cupcakes

Moist and tender lemon cupcakes that are bursting with lemon flavor and topped with vanilla buttercream and delicious lemon curd.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

For Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups (195g) all-purpose flour  
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, about 1 lemon 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8ml) pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

For Lemon Curd

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (120ml/1-2 lemons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/57g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1 cup (110g) powdered sugar, sifted 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Make Lemon Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar and lemon zest mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined. Add in vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and beat on slow speed just until combined. Add in milk and lemon juice and continue to beat until combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat slowly until just combined. Do not overmix the batter.
  • Scoop out the batter into prepared cupcake liners using the ice cream scoop, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Lemon Curd

  • In a medium heatproof bowl, add eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and juice and whisk until combined. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook on medium heat. While the mixture is cooking, whisking constantly until thickened. The curd is ready when it can thickly coat the back of a spoon or a whisker. The curd will firm up once it has cooled.
  • Remove from heat and immediately strain the mixture through a sieve. Add butter and whisk until the butter completely melted and incorporated or the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  • Cover with a plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the fridge. Set aside.

Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or handheld mixer) fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat well until smooth. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until combined and smooth. Add the remaining sugar and beat until completely smooth and fluffy. The buttercream at this time is light and thick enough to pipe. Add in more sugar as needed. Transfer the buttercream to a large piping bag fitted with a tip and set aside.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, without lifting the tip, pipe 2-3 circles of frosting on top of lemon cupcakes near the edge, leaving a small hole in the center. Fill in the hole with lemon curd.
  • Cupcakes without frosting can be kept tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
Keyword Baking, Cupcakes, Lemon, Spring

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenna
    March 30, 2022 at 11:38 am

    5 stars
    these cupcakes are adorable

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