Lemon Greek Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist & Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes made with Healthy Greek Yogurt, topped with a Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting.  These Little Treats are so Cheerful and Bright, they’re a Perfect Spring Dessert!  Easy One Bowl Recipe.

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment

Last week was glorious.

Did you get a little taste of Spring?  We did.  And we soaked up every second of it.

It wasn’t a full on, bust out your strappy sandals Spring, but it was a, hey, lets shove the last of the slush off the sidewalk and go for a bike ride with just a fleece on kinda Spring.  I’ll take it!

Even though it was still pretty chilly, the sun was shining and the birds were singing.  It felt so good and made me think of Easter and all the lemony things.

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment

I’ve been craving lemony things.  Light, tangy, lemony things.  With a fluffy swirl of something on top.


It was also my little guy’s birthday last week.  I took this photo yesterday:


… and then I must have blinked my eyes or something, and somehow this happened:



So I wanted him to have some cupcakes to take to his preschool friends, and chocolate is not allowed at the preschool.  Vanilla is perfectly nice but like I told you, lemony things.  So these little babies were born.

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment

Aren’t they so cute?  I garnished a few of them with candy daisies and leaves.  (They are called “Icing Decorations,” and they’re made by Wilton.  Sorry I can’t find a link anywhere!  I found them at Michaels.  Same goes for the papers.)

And Spring has sprung!

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment

Mini cupcakes are so perfect for preschoolers.  I mean, a full-sized cupcake is no sweat for a grownup or a bigger kid to handle, but the littlest ones do sometimes have a hard time managing them.  The mini size is just right for tiny hands and mouths.  I figure on two mini cupcakes per child.

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment

But this recipe works equally well with standard size cupcakes.  They bake up so puffy and fluffy, because of the acidity in the yogurt + baking soda.  If you have trouble finding Greek yogurt, you can substitute regular (plain) yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk.  Any of these will really yield a moist and flavorful cake.

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment


Lemon Greek Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist & Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes made with Healthy Greek Yogurt, topped with a Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting. These Little Treats are so Cheerful and Bright, they're a Perfect Spring Dessert! Easy One Bowl Recipe.

Yield: 3 dozen mini cupcakes, or 1 1/2 dozen standard cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, and cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lemon
For the Frosting (double these quantities if making standard sized cupcakes):
  • 4 ounces (half a block) softened cream cheese (not reduced fat, not whipped)
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a mini cupcake pan with papers.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
  3. Add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add the yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice, mix for 30 seconds, and scrape the bowl again. Mix for another minute.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about ½ to ⅔ full. Be careful not to overfill, the cupcakes will puff up a lot as they bake.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the mini cupcakes are springy to the touch, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with one or two moist crumbs. Regular sized cupcakes will need about 18-20 minutes bake time. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
  1. Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together on medium speed, using the paddle attachment.
  2. Stir in the vanilla extract, and switch to the whip attachment.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the cold cream, while whipping on high speed. The frosting will probably look a little loose in the bowl, but it actually holds its shape when piped.

*Frosting recipe adapted from Just a Taste.

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Baking a Moment

You are going to love how fluffy these cupcakes bake up.  They are bursting with lemon sunshine, soft and moist, but not too delicate to hold up to generous swirl of tangy cream cheese frosting.  Speaking of which, my search for the ultimate cream cheese frosting continues.  For my Hummingbird Cake, I used a variation on this recipe.  It’s great if you like a less heavy option.  Then I have this one, from when I made Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies.  Also a good one; it holds its shape well when piped.  But neither of these are as stiff as I’d like.  They seem loose in the mixing bowl, however, once they are piped they do hold up well.  A reader clued me in to this recipe, and I’m anxious to try it next time!  I’ll keep you posted 😉

For now, I hope you all are enjoying the beginning stages of Spring!  It’s taking its time getting here but I’m so happy we’re headed in the right direction!  xoxo 😀

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**This post was featured on the Eat. Create. Party! link party on I Want Crazy**
***This post was featured on the Showstopper Saturday link party on Simply Gloria***

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  1. says

    Allie, you can read my mind!! Lemons are on my mind too. These sound lovely with the twist of adding yogurt! Love it!! Pinning this one for sure, thanks for sharing! 😉

  2. says

    Lemon cupcakes are my absolute FAV. I’ve had them with a buttercream before, but never a CC frosting—Must try that! I literally want several of these cupcakes this morning with my coffee. Gorgeous as always, Allie! pinned.

    • says

      I know, who doesn’t love a cupcake? Right? You can’t help but smile when you see one. The lemon and cream cheese really compliment each other, and this recipe is so quick and simple. I’m so happy you liked it! And thanks for pinning, Sarah! <3

  3. says

    We had one nice day of spring weather before it took a turn for the cold again. I could really use one of these cupcakes to cheer me up! Lemon is such a great springy flavor and a great alternative to standard vanilla. Besides, who can say no to a mini cupcake?

  4. says

    Saw your post on Time to Sparkle. Your photos are just gorgeous! And the time does fly, doesn’t it? We have a 9 year old boy and 7 year old girl…. they’re so TALL now! Going to pin and try these cupcakes. Also, where did you find your green plates and juicer… they have a milk glass look, I think? I love them!

    • says

      Thanks, Jill! And what a good eye you have! They are like milk glass. I’ve been collecting for years… They’re called Fire King, sometimes they also go by the name “Jadeite.” From the ’40’s and ’50’s. I pick pieces up at junk stores and antique shops. Thanks for noticing! And thank you for popping over, I’m so glad you did! Hope to see you here again soon. Hugs to you and your kiddos too 😉

  5. says

    I’m with you Allie, I love lemony things this time of year. I always keep a big bowl of lemons in house, you never know when your lemon craving is gonna strike! Those cupcakes are so cute, I love mini treats.

  6. says

    I’m feeling spring too Allie and have baked two lemon treats already the past week!! These cupcakes look so amazing. I love the zest in the cupcakes peeking out and how moist the cupcakes look. The frosting looks delicious. That link you said you will try next is a swiss meringue cream cheese…I have tried it before and it failed on my own creations but I am now curious to try this person’s! Your little man is so cute. He sure is growing up fast. I hope you guys had a great birthday celebration.

    • says

      Thank you Zainab! It was nice and he had lots of fun 😉 I had another reader tell me that swiss meringue cream cheese was impossible and not to waste my time or ingredients, and I took it to heart. But then this recipe came across my radar. Faith is a great baker, so I’m anxious to try her method. I’ll let you know how it works out! Thanks for all the sweet compliments and hope you’re having a fantastic week!

  7. says

    They grow up so fast! I remember taking treats to preschool and now my kids are 12 and 10…ugh! Greek yogurt is one of my favorite ingredients in the world, and when you add citrus to the mix, it makes me very happy. :) These look amazing, Allie! Pinning.

    • says

      It happens way too fast, Marcie! I often have to remind myself to slow down and appreciate these sweet moments because they are so fleeting… Ps I love greek yogurt too, and it works so well in cake batters! I like how it keeps the batter nice and thick, no drippy mess everywhere! Thanks for the sweet comment and for pinning too <3

  8. Mo says

    I love lemon! These look like a taste of spring! Beautiful photos as always!

    About your cream cheese icing issue – I like to refrigerate mine before I use it. Not too long in the cooler or it will become hard. Maybe 45 or so just to stiffen it up. Works great for me! :-)


    • says

      Thanks Mo! That’s what I always end up doing too and I feel it works well enough for my purposes. But a lot of my readers have really high expectations, lol! They want something that pipes stiff right out of the gate and holds up in the heat. I will not rest until I find it! 😛

  9. says

    These are beautiful, Greek yogurt and lemon seem like a great combo for cupcakes…and once again how you photograph your food it amazing!! your food looks too pretty to eat!! ;o)

    • says

      Aw, thank you so much, Teresa! That is such a sweet compliment and so nice to hear! It’s been a long road, learning about photography, and I still feel like I have tons to learn, but it’s so encouraging to hear such kind words! <3

    • says

      Yes, it seems to be two steps forward, one step back, here as well. Last week was nice but then I woke up on Monday morning with a dusting of snow on the ground! Happily it had all melted by late afternoon. We are getting there, slowly but surely! Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Gintare! Happy Spring!

  10. says

    I know how you feel, Allie. Yesterday, it was absolutely beautiful in Vancouver. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the sky was a startling blue, a shade that hasn’t been seen in a long time. The Husband and I went for a jog after work with Abby and it was glorious. A batch of these cupcakes waiting for me at home would’ve made the day even MORE glorious! These are adorable, girl! And your son is so cute. Happy birthday to him! I bet he and his classmates enjoyed every sunshine-y, lemon-y, delectable bite.

    • says

      Aw, thanks, Nancy! I’m so glad to hear you and hubby and pup are enjoying the Spring weather! I know just what you mean, I was looking at the sky the other day and thinking how beautiful! You’re right, it had been a long time! Hope this week is even nicer for you than the last 😉

  11. says

    Aaw, your lil guy is so adorable Allie and happy happy birthday to him!! They grow up so fast. You are the sweetest mom to make and decorate all these gorgeous and delicious cupcakes for him to take to his preschool – they all must have loved devouring these bursts of lemon sunshine :) These are definitely making me hopeful for spring to arrive soon :) Pinned.

    • says

      Thank you Kelly! Hang in there, I’m sure Spring will hit soon enough and we’ll all be so relieved when it finally does! Maybe we’ll even be complaining about the heat at some point, lol! Have a great week my dear, and give your adorable little babies a big squeeze for me 😉

  12. says

    Allie, these are absolutely gorgeous! I wish we had a taste of spring–I knew I transformed into a Midwesterner when I had the window down when it was 35 degrees (BUT SUNNY!) last week…oh winter, please end soon :)

  13. says

    What adorable cupcakes for your absolutely adorable son! What lucky guy to have a mom like you who takes such care in his birthday treats. The insides look incredible with those little flecks of zest. The taste must be so pronounced, light and springy!

  14. says

    I’m also a lover of lemony baked goods AND mini sized stuff mmm unless it is cookies we’retalking about – I like those better when they’re the size of my head lol
    These cupcakes look utterly pretty Allie!

  15. says

    Allie, these pictures are so pretty, especially the top one! It’s been a revelation to me lately that you can add Greek yoghurt to baked goods and it makes them all lovely and moist. And that little guy there … gorgeous, too!

    • says

      Aw, thanks, Helen! He’s my little buddy I love him so much. And ya, I throw Greek yogurt in everything! It’s so great! Great rise, great moisture, and great flavor! Hope you have a fun weekend, my friend!

  16. Grace says

    Been thinking of Easter treats for hubby’s colleagues and these lemon cupcakes should be perfect. We are not that big on powdered sugar based frosting though, do you think white chocolate swiss buttercream will go well the lemon cupcakes? Or maybe just lemon swiss buttercream? Then I will package the mini cupcakes in egg cartons. :)

    • says

      First of all, your egg carton idea is so adorable!!! I wish I had thought of it 😉 And second, I think these would be fabulous with swiss meringue buttercream! Either the white chocolate or the lemon would be divine. Thanks for the great ideas, Grace!

  17. Elaine says

    Hi Allie,

    I love your simply chocolate cupcake recipe and I cannot wait to try this one. Two quick question tho… Did you measure how much lemon juice and zest you use? Like how many teaspoons to be more specific? Your chocolate cupcakes call for cold butter but this one uses softened butter. Is there any reason why? Did you try making these lemon cupcakes with cold butter and see any difference?

    Thanks for answering in advance.

    P.S. your little one looks so cute! Time really flies!

    • says

      Oh my gosh, I know, right??? I can’t believe how fast…. So. To answer your questions. I have made these cupcakes and the chocolate ones a bunch of times. At the time when the chocolate post was written, I was using cold butter, but I’ve found that the soft butter is just a little bit easier/more goof-proof. Thanks for the headsup about that- I will go in and edit the recipe. And, for the lemon, I’m sorry I did not measure out the zest and juice, but truthfully, I don’t think it would have much of an impact on the “chemistry” of the recipe if you used a little more or less. It’s really just there for flavoring, so you can totally adjust the quantities according to your personal taste. Hope that helps! Thanks for the great questions, Elaine, and good luck!

  18. saleha says

    Hope ure well…ok so I tried these lemon cupcakes n they turned out to be just perfect very soft moist n lemony lol really tasty thx a ton for ur recipes.
    Wanted to ask do u have marble cake recipe n blackforest,I really want to try those n was hopin to use ur recipes leme knw

    Thanks once again n have a gud day:)

    • says

      That’s wonderful, Saleha! I’m so happy you enjoyed the lemon cupcakes. I don’t have a marble cake recipe, however, I do have a chocolate one and a vanilla one that you could probably just swirl together. As for black forest, I know that another reader had used the chocolate cupcake recipe and filled it with a cherry compote. She loved it! That is one of my favorite flavor combinations 😉

  19. saleha says

    Hey Allie,
    I used these measurements n made a whole cake but something went wrong n it was cracked on top n it just didn’t turn out the way it was supposed 7 ive made twice before n they turned out to be fine. What do u think went wrong this time or do u have some other measurements for a whole cake?

    • says

      Hi Saleha! I wish I could be standing next to you in your kitchen so I’d know exactly what might have happened. I’m afraid I don’t have a clue! Especially since you said you’ve made it before without a problem… Better luck next time, sweetie!

  20. says

    Hi Allie….I’ll will definitely try this recipe and make cupcakes for my kids. My girls and I will have a egg hunt on Saturday and these will be a perfect addition to our day! Thanks.

  21. Carolina says

    Hi Allie!
    I’m a new reader of your blog. I have to say that all your recipies and photos looks amazing. Today I’ve baked this lemon cupcakes. I didn’t have the greek yogurt so I’ve changed it for sour cream. I was scared at the begining for the result, but all turned out just fine… the cupcakes were so fluffy and delicious!!!!!! Its sour cream a replacement for greek yogurt in fact? Just asking to know more :)
    sorry for my english, Im a spanish native, writing you from Chile, southamerica. hoping to do more of your delicious recipies.
    Love your blog! thanks!

    • says

      Hi from the US Carolina! I love that you’re reading from Chile and I’m so happy you liked the lemon cupcakes. In my experience, sour cream makes an excellent substitution for Greek yogurt! You have great instincts! Thanks so much for reading and for taking a minute to say hello :)

  22. Katherine says

    Just made these right now, lovely dome and texture is fantastic, light and springy! This is going to be a family favorite and the icing is simply amazing! So happy I found your site and can’t wait to try some of your other recipes :)


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