These Lemon Cupcakes are super light and fluffy and topped with a sweet lemon buttercream frosting. They’re the perfect spring cupcake!

A new season calls for new flavors and these Lemon Cupcakes are the perfect way to welcome the warm weather. The light and fluffy texture of the cupcake pairs so well with the bright sweet citrus flavor just like the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and Creamy Lemon Pie. These cupcakes are sure to bring a smile to your face with your first bite!

Lemon cupcakes on a marble board, some have icing

Lemon Cupcakes


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How to make Lemon Cupcakes:

While this is may be a super simple lemon cupcake recipe, the result is over the top delicious! The batter for the base of the cupcake requires minimal equipment- just one mixing bowl and a whisk.

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients so that the leavening agent (baking powder) is evenly distributed.
  2. Add in almost all the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Mix in boiling water until smooth. The batter will be really thin.
  4. Pour into lined tins and bake.

Lemon cupcakes with icing and lemon slices

This recipe makes 12 perfect cupcakes. The easiest way to fill the cupcake liners with the batter is to scoop the batter out with either a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a large trigger ice cream scoop.

Pop the tin in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Every oven is a little different so I recommend to always check for doneness at the lower end of the time range given. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out dry after poking it into the center of a cupcake.

A bite taken out of a lemon cupcake

How to Make Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

The lemon frosting on top of this cupcake is divine! It only takes 4 ingredients – butter, powdered sugar, lemon extract, and heavy cream. Whip it all together with the paddle attachment on you electric mixer and spread or pipe it on the cupcakes.

How to Frost Cupcakes:

One way to apply the frosting is to place it into a piping bag and swirl it over the top of your cupcakes. If you want to keep things simple or just don’t have that equipment, you can spread it on with a knife or small cake spatula. Just add about 1 1/2 tablespoons frosting (a trigger cookie scoop works perfectly for this!) to the top of your cupcake and spread it out to the edges. I do this by holding the knife still and truing the cupcake in a circle with the other hand.

Lemon cupcakes with icing and lemon zest and slices

These lemon cupcakes can be served with just the lemon buttercream frosting or you can add a little pizzazz with a sprinkling of lemon zest and a slice of lemon. It is a super easy, bright and fresh decoration idea!

If you like to pipe the frosting onto your cupcake a mile high, I recommend doubling the frosting ingredients.

More Delicious Cupcake Recipes To Try

One Bowl Double Chocolate Cupcakes

S’mores Cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Lemon cupcakes on a marble board, some have icing
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Lemon Cupcakes

These Lemon Cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with a sweet lemon buttercream frosting. They are the perfect spring cupcake! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Melanie


For the Lemon Cupcakes:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ cup boiling water

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • pinch salt
  • lemon zest for garnish
  • lemon slices for garnish


For the Lemon Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the center.
  • Add the egg, milk, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and extract into the well. Mix until everything is combined. Add the boiling water and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour batter into paper liners using a measuring cup or trigger scoop. Bake for 15-18 minutes. 
  • Remove cupcakes from tin when cool enough to handle. Frost when cool.

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

  • Beat the butter for 2 minutes on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  • On low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar followed by the cream, extract and salt. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 5 minutes or pale in color.
  • Frost cupcakes, sprinkle with zest, and top with half a lemon slice.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 78mg | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Lemon cupcake with icing and a lemon slice with writing

Lemon cupcakes with icing and a bite taken out of one with writing
Lemon cupcake with icing and a lemon slice with writing



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About the author

Melanie is a Midwest girl currently living in Nebraska with her husband and daughters. She started rubbing elbows with her mom in the kitchen as soon as she discovered she could lick the bowl clean. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating healthy dinners and indulgent desserts for her family and friends. You can visit Melanie on her blog: Garnish & Glaze.
See more posts by Melanie

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