Featured in our Summer 2021 Food + Entertaining article, Upscale Picnic, these easy lemon cupcakes are moist, fluffy, zingy and topped with an incredible lemon buttercream that’s a lemon-lover’s dream!
Lemon CupcakesCourse: Dessert
These easy lemon cupcakes are moist, fluffy, zingy and topped with an incredible lemon buttercream that’s a lemon-lover’s dream!
- For the cupcakes:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest of two lemons)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
¼ cup whole milk, warm
¼ cup lemon juice
- For the buttercream:
1 cup butter
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
- To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the cupcake tin with papers.
- Add the sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor then pulse until zest is broken up and the sugar is pale yellow in color.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl then whisk together and set aside.
- Add the eggs, milk, melted butter, lemon juice, sour cream, and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk together. Everything should be room temperature, but if things clump up after mixing then just microwave the bowl for 30 seconds and mix again.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Fill cupcake papers about ¾ the way up. Bake for 5 minutes at 375 degrees then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 10 to 12 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Allow to cool before frosting.
- To make the buttercream:
- Cream the butter, salt, and zest for a few minutes, then sift in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Scrape down the bowl, then add the lemon juice while mixing on low. Scrape down once more and mix until smooth.
- Transfer buttercream to a piping bag and decorate the cooled cupcakes.
- Recipe from John Kanell, Preppy Kitchen
- If your frosting is runny, add more powdered sugar one a cup at a time until the frosting thickens.
- Give your frosting a mix before using for best results.
- Always use fresh lemon juice. Bottled really will not taste the same.
- You can substitute whole milk yogurt for the sour cream, if desired.
- If you’re using lemon zest for garnish, then add just before serving. It will dry out fairly quickly.