This easy lemon cupcake recipe is the perfect light dessert for spring and summer! Lemon cupcakes made from scratch with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for a fresh lemon flavor.
For more cupcakes made from scratch, try chocolate carrot cake cupcakes, streusel pound cake cupcakes, s’mores cupcakes or blue velvet cupcakes.
Easy Lemon Cupcake Recipe
There are few flavors that I love more than fresh lemon — from lemonade and lemon meringue pie to lemon bars (and I use lemon essential oil often, too!).
These easy lemon cupcakes have both fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh lemon zest for an extra punch of lemon-y tartness. These are sure to please at an Easter potluck or baby shower! You might even be able to pass them off as healthy enough for easy brunch fare 😉 especially if you pair them with these lemon waffles or lemon poppyseed muffins!
We frosted our lemon cupcakes with whipped cream and topped with blueberries for the perfect bite!
How to Make Lemon Cupcakes from Scratch
Making lemon cupcakes from scratch with fresh lemon is easy!
- Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Getting this mixture light and fluffy makes the cupcakes the perfect texture!
- Beat the eggs ingo the creamed butter and sugar mixture, one at a time, and then add the lemon zest and vanilla.
- Mix in the dry mixture alternately with the buttermilk and lemon juice.
Then just bake and enjoy!
Can I make my own buttermilk?
Yes, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, or don’t want to buy an entire carton, you can make your own buttermilk replacement by mixing regular cow’s milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar.
Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice with 1 scant cup (just less than a cup) of milk. Let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken, then use in your recipe.
Alternately, you can thin yogurt, sour cream, or kefir with a bit of milk as a substitute for buttermilk. It’s important to have both the dairy and the acid components for the texture and leavening of the cupcakes.
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How do I zest and juice a lemon?
There are many methods and tools for zesting and juicing lemons, but we prefer a fine grater or lemon zester like this and then a simple juicer like this.
Serves 24 cupcakes Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest from about 3 lemons
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl
Beat in the zest and vanilla extract
Add dry mixture alternating with buttermilk and lemon juice, beating just until combined after each addition.
Divide batter into cupcake liners
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
Cool on wire rack
Frost with fresh whip cream or frosting of your choice
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