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Lemon Cupcakes

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Brian often does our mid-week grocery shopping, I typically include a detailed list and even accompany that list with visual aids (photos) on occasion. You see, I am a self-proclaimed control freak and he is a chronic over buyer…especially when the shopping list includes meat. So, if I am not specific, he will come home with 10 pounds of beef in tow and virtually nothing else besides maybe a bag of beef jerky and a 12 pack of Coke. Okay, I am being a little dramatic here, but not by much! Serious question though…does meat over buying run prevalent in males? I think it does.

Long story short, he went to the store last week ill-equipped to shop…i.e., no Jamie created list. I asked for limes and ended up with a giant bag of lemons. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers right, at least he does some grocery shopping. So I bit my tongue and changed up my lime cupcake baking plan, simply subbing in lemons for the limes.

I used my go to white cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan and simply adapted it to up the lemon factor. I then slathered on lemon cream cheese frosting and topped with a large yellow sprinkle and called it a night. The result? Not only do these look adorable, but they are now my new favorite cupcake, they’re moist with an incredible crumb and bursting with lemon flavor. I am betting my original plan for lime cupcakes would be equally as delicious. If you make a lime version, definitely stop back and let me know how it goes! Maybe I’ll just have to send Brian back to the store, but this time I’ll text him a pic of a lime. Thanks so much for stopping by…have a great day!

Looking for more luscious lemon recipes? Give these a look-see:
Lip Smacking Lemon Bars from My Baking Addiction
Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies from My Baking Addiction
Lemon Buttermilk & Rhubarb Cake from Honey & Jam
Roasted Lemon Chicken Wings from Three Many Cooks

Are you swooning over the  fab yellow liners and giant sprinkles pictured? Check out Bake it Pretty to order!

Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


For the Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • lemon zest from two lemons
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • juice of one lemon


For the Cake

  1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
  5. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
  6. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
  7. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
  2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated.
  3. Finally mix in vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined.
All images and text ©

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Thursday 7th of April 2022

I am making the 9X13 cake from the lemon cupcake recipe. I don't see the instructions for how long to bake.


Thursday 7th of April 2022

Hi Judy, I have not made this recipe as a 9x13-inch cake, so I'm not sure what the exact baking time would be. You might take a look at some similar 13x9-inch cakes to get a rough estimate and start from there. Good luck! Happy baking. -Jamie


Friday 3rd of May 2019

These are the best cupcakes I've ever made and my whole family loves them! The only problem I have is with the buttercream icing not being thick enough. How can I make it thicker and less like cinnamon bun icing D:


Monday 6th of May 2019

Hi Mariah- So happy to hear you enjoyed the cupcakes.To thicken up the frosting, you can add in a bit more powdered sugar. I hope this helps. -Jamie


Monday 10th of September 2018

I love this recipe and printed it a few years ago, I now need to make a lemon cake and it's taken me ages to re-find the recipe having lost it in my house move. Could you please confirm what you mean by 2(8) ounce cream cheese and what the equivalent is in grams, I really can't remember what I used last time but just remember it being amazing!!


Wednesday 3rd of October 2018

Hi there - In the US, cream cheese is sold in 8-ounce packages. Each of these is around 225 grams (based on a quick Google search). You need 2 packages for this recipe. Happy baking!


Friday 30th of March 2018

Just finished these up and WOW! Maybe the best texture of cupcake i’ve ever produced. Thanks for the recipe!


Friday 27th of April 2018

Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the cupcakes! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback. Happy Baking! -Jamie

Dawnn Mango

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Why does every other cupcake recipe say to not over beat but this one says give it a good two min mix after all added? Doesn't the ober mixing cause the cupcakes to be tough and sink?...just wondering.


Thursday 8th of February 2018

The way this one comes together is a little different than most recipes, so you really want to make sure the batter is fully incorporated. I hope this helps. -Jamie

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