Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

One of the best things about summer is cooking with the in-season fruit. Lemons, limes, strawberries, blueberries...These are such light and fresh flavors. It's even better that these flavors can be put into cake. These lemon cupcakes are lightly flavored with lemon and are topped with a fluffy, creamy, dreamy vanilla frosting. They can be decorated with additional lemon zest (just before serving), crushed hard lemon candies, or sprinkles. These are quickly becoming a summer time favorite in this house!

Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Yields 12 cupcakes


  • 1/2 C (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 ) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
  • zest + juice of two medium lemons

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks/226 g)) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (375-500 g) powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) heavy cream (see note about substituting milk or half-and-half)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • additional lemon zest for decoration, if desired


Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C). Line 12-count muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a large bowl until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes; set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, stirring by hand after each addition; batter will be thick. Add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix until just combined, do not overmix.

Pour batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes. Check at 18 minutes, then again at 20. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: beat softened butter on medium speed with electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3-4 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add more salt if frosting is too sweet. Frost cooled cupcakes. If topping with lemon zest, do so right before serving. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.

From sallybakingaddiction.com

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