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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Greek Yogurt Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cupcakes
- 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (62.5 g) cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, (zest of 1 lemon)
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened, and cut into pieces
- 2 eggs, (large)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) plain Greek yogurt, (I used nonfat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, (juice of 1 lemon)
For the Frosting
- 4 ounces (113.4 g) cream cheese , (half a block), softened
- 1/3 cup (40 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (78.86 ml) heavy whipping cream, , cold
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a mini cupcake pan with papers.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice, mix for 30 seconds, and scrape the bowl again. Mix for another minute.
- Fill the cupcake liners about ½ to ⅔ full. (Be careful not to overfill, the cupcakes will puff up a lot as they bake.)
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the mini cupcakes are springy to the touch, and a toothpick 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:
- Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together on medium speed, using the paddle attachment.
- Stir in the vanilla extract, and switch to the whip attachment.
- Slowly drizzle in the cold cream, while whipping on high speed. (The frosting may look a little loose in the bowl, but it actually holds its shape well when piped.)
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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I have made these several times and love them – I want to make a lemon bundt for a party and would love to use this recipe.. wondering if you’ve had a chance to try. Do you think doubling the recipe like we would for full size cupcakes would be enough batter for a bundt?
Hey April! I’m so happy you like this recipe! I have not tried it as a bundt myself, but I do think it could work. However, this recipe yields somewhere around 4.5 when doubled, so you’d probably have to quadruple it to get it closer to the 10 cups that most standard bundt pans will hold. Hope that’s helpful! Good luck and enjoy!
The baby is so cute! and these Cupcakes look very attractive, colourful and appetizing. I’ll follow and try to do it at the weekend. Many thanks!
Thanks so much! I hope you enjoyed them as much as we did! 😀
Hi Allie, I tried them and they are absolutely divine !! One question 🙂 if I opt to make a cake with the same ingredients … what size cake tin should I use, at what oven temperation, and for how long should I bake? Thanks a mil Claire
That’s great Claire! I’m so glad you like the cupcakes! Unfortunately I have not tested this recipe as a cake so I am unable to give specifics in that regard. I will have to give it a try and when I do, I’ll be sure to share!
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 🙂
Yay! So glad you are happy with them Katherine! Thanks for reading and enjoy!
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!
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 🙂
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.
Aw that sounds so fun! I hope you and your girls have fun! Thanks for reading, Amy, and for the sweet comment 🙂
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?
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!
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:)
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 😉
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!
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!
So pretty and elegant! You are so gifted. Also, the kids are adorable too!
Thanks Kloe! You are too kind 😀
What did you use for the yellow swirls on top of the icing?
Hey Laura! Sorry- I meant to mention that in the post and it slipped my mind. It’s just a little yellow sanding sugar! Thanks for the great question! 😀
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. 🙂
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!
Greek yogurt, lemons, cream cheese are all my favorites. Love this recipe.
That’s awesome, serendipity! I love the combo too- it’s so tangy and creamy. Almost like cheesecake! Thanks for the great feedback 😀
Your stying is just impeccable. I could almost lick my computer screen (but I caught myself just in time).
Haha, thanks Liv! That is such a sweet thing to say. Hope you have a fabulous weekend! 😀 😀 😀
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!
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!
Whaaaaat I’m so impressed by your piping skills. Mine are like dumpy dollops and then I stop caring cus I’m just gonna eat it anyways haha.
Ha ha, too funny, Shikha! I have to admit I probably wouldn’t care much either if I weren’t photographing them, lol! Thanks for the great comment 😉
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!
Thanks Consuelo! And me too- when it comes to cookies, the bigger the better! Hope you have a great weekend, sweetie! <3
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!
Aw, thanks, Nora! Well, if theres one thing I know I can do right for my kids, it’s baked goods! Lol… Hope you have a great weekend, sweetie!
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 🙂
I totally feel ya, girl! I’ve had windows open too, I’m just craving the fresh air! Spring is on its way, don’t worry! We’re almost there 😉
These look amazing. Lemon cupcakes are beautiful and look delicious!
Oh yes, chocolate and vanilla get all the glory but lemon is so nice too! I’m so happy you enjoyed, Chloe, and thank you for the great feedback!