If you love lemon, then these lemon cupcakes are for you! The cake is moist, light, lemon-y, and filled with a bright, citrus-y lemon curd. Top them off with a tangy cream cheese frosting- they’ll be the hit of the party!

Lemon cupcake with lemon curd filling & lemon cream cheese frosting, garnished with baby's breath and a wedge of fresh lemon.

Have you been tuning in for the Live recipe demos?

I’ve been doing them every week on Thursdays at 11am Eastern time. They are SO MUCH FUN!

You can view them on my Facebook page or on Instagram stories. They only hang around on Instagram for 24 hours, but I’m able to save them on Facebook forever!

If you’ve missed them so far, just head over to the “Videos section” of facebook.com/bakingamoment. They’re all there in a playlist called “Baking a Moment Live.”

I’ve been having a blast with these, it’s so much fun to be able to interact with readers in real time! And as I’m going along, I always think of great tips & tricks; it’s so great to be able to share them before they fly right out of my head! Plus, there’s always a lot of general baking questions that I really enjoy answering.

Anyhow, the reason I bring it up is because a couple of weeks ago I debuted my latest and greatest cupcake recipe there. It’s actually an old recipe that I keep tweaking, but I finally have it exactly where I want it, and I’m completely obsessed!

It’s SO EASY to make (I’m talking one-bowl wonder here), and the result is spectacularly moist, light, and flavorful. This vanilla cupcake recipe is buttery and delish, with a fine crumb that’s exquisitely delicate, yet sturdy enough to stand up to all sorts of fillings and toppings.

I’m so thrilled with this recipe, it’s inspired me to play around and create the luscious lemon cupcakes I’m sharing today!

Text overlayed image of a lemon cupcake with lemon curd filling & lemon cream cheese frosting, garnished with baby's breath and a wedge of fresh lemon.

THE LEMON CUPCAKES:

So, I started with that vanilla cupcake recipe, and just made a few easy swaps. Instead of vanilla, we’re using a combination of lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract.

There’s no doubt about it, these are LEMON cupcakes. You can taste that bright, citrus flavor in every bite.

Overhead view of lemon cupcake cut in half, showing lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting.

THE LEMON CURD FILLING:

To really up the lemon game, fill them with lemon curd. This component is completely optional- you can leave it out if you want! But I love it soooo much. Any excuse for lemon curd, lol! It’s a cinch to make (just whisk everything together over a double-boiler), and the lemon flavor is totally off the charts.

Use the point of a sharp knife to cut a little hollow in the cupcakes, and spoon in the lemon curd filling.

Image collage showing lemon cupcake being filled with lemon curd, then topped with lemon cream cheese frosting.

If you don’t have time to make homemade lemon curd, store bought will work fine! But I love the rich flavor you get with this lemon curd recipe.

Vertical image of lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese frosting, garnished with lemon wedges and baby's breath.

THE LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

Finally, top the lemon cupcakes with a tangy cream cheese frosting. Lemon and cream cheese taste so good together! This frosting is a perfect compliment. I’ve added a little extra lemon flavor to the cream cheese frosting from my favorite red velvet cupcakes recipe, and it’s so on point!

Lemon lovers, rejoice! These lemon cupcakes have your name written all over them. So bright, cheerful, and citrus-y! I really think you’re going to love them.

Horizontal image of lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling & lemon cream cheese frosting, garnished with lemon wedges and a sprig of baby's breath.

More great cupcake recipes on my “Cupcake Recipes” Pinterest board!


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24 reviews

Lemon Cupcakes

If you love lemon, then these lemon cupcakes are for you! The cake is moist, light, lemon-y, and filled with a bright, citrus-y lemon curd. Top them off with a tangy cream cheese frosting. They'll be the hit of the party!

Prep Time 45 minutes Cook Time 18 minutes Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Yields 24 cupcakes     adjust servings

Ingredients

For the lemon cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (plain yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk* may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 batch homemade lemon curd (or use store-bought)

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (the kind in a brick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Optional garnishes

  • small wedges of fresh lemon
  • sprig of baby's breath

Instructions

To make the lemon cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line cupcake pans with cupcake papers.
  2. Place the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, and stir on medium-low speed to combine.
  3. Add the softened butter, and mix on medium speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl with a silicone spatula, then add the Greek yogurt, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract.
  6. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, to aerate the batter and build the cake's structure.
  7. Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cupcake pans, and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cool the lemon cupcakes completely, then use the tip of a sharp knife to cut a well in the center of each one.
  9. Fill with lemon curd, and top with lemon cream cheese frosting.

To make the lemon cream cheese frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add the cream cheese, and beat together until incorporated (about 1 minute).
  3. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, starting the mixer on low speed and increasing to medium-high as the powdered sugar becomes incorporated.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon extract until combined.
  5. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a jumbo round tip, and pipe the lemon cream cheese frosting onto the filled lemon cupcakes.

by

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute by stirring 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into 2/3 cup of regular milk. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened and slightly curdled.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 280kcal Calories from fat 109
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 162mg 7%
Carbohydrate 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 29g
Protein 3g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

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