Lemon cupcakes on a grey countertop with a yellow and grey tea towel.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

These Lemon Cupcakes are soft, moist and filled with fresh lemon zest. They're made from scratch with easy to find ingredients, and topped with a lemon cream cheese buttercream frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 15 cupcakes
Calories 341kcal
Author Heather



Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup milk room temperature

Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


Lemon Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside.
  • In a bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat until creamed and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until incorporated and smooth.
  • Add half of your dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir until just combined. Add half of milk, again stirring until just combined. Repeat once more, adding remaining dry ingredients, and remaining milk, stirring until just incorporated.
  • Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling halfway full (3 tablespoons of batter in each liner). Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • In a large bowl, add room temperature butter and cream cheese and beat until creamy, about 1 minute.
  • Add confectioner's sugar and slowly mix until ingredients are fully combined. Then, whip at high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest, then whip until fluffy, another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.


  • Over-mixing your batter will cause your cupcakes to rise quickly, then sink in the middle. To prevent this, only mix each ingredient until it is incorporated into the batter. Try using a spoon instead of a hand mixer to incorporate the dry ingredients and milk.
  • To perfectly portion cupcake batter, I recommend using a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon size), or add 3 tablespoons of batter to each cup.
  • Cupcakes are best served the same day of baking, but will remain moist for up to 48 hours when covered in a sealed container.


Serving: 0g | Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.3mg