Luscious Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream Frosting

With December 15th being National Lemon Cupcake Day, it's a perfect time to bake up a batch of these sweet and lemony delights!

Tis the season for baked goods and yummy desserts! And while chocolate dominates this time of year, something lemony is always a nice change of pace. And who doesn’t love a cupcake?

When exploring how cupcakes began, food historians figure the notion of baking small cakes in individual clay pots or ramekins probably began in the early 19th century. It was a way to use up extra batter and make the most efficient use of hot ovens. Some say the name “cup cakes” had to do with the cup-measured ingredients used to make the batter: two cups of flour, a cup of sugar, etc.

But no matter the origin, December 15th, National Cupcake Day, is a perfect time to celebrate these little portable delights. The lemon buttercream frosting in this recipe  adds another layer of lemony deliciousness for a truly memorable treat.

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Cupcake - Muffin

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Course Dessert
Cuisine American



  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (do not use margarine)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sour cream (do not use low fat)

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (do not use margarine)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested (reserve a small amount for the tops)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Stir in the zest and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in half of the sour cream and stir until combined. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream until all of the ingredients are combined, scraping the bowl often.
  • Fill the prepared muffin cups with about 2 tablespoons of batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden brown. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting (very important!).


  • To make the frosting: Beat softened butter for 3-5 minutes until pale in color. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, then the heavy cream. Beat for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
  • Frost cakes using either a pastry bag with decorative tip and pipe it on or simply frost. Garnish with a few sprinkles of zest, if desired, and enjoy!


Keyword best frosting for lemon cupcakes, lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting

Want more lemon inspiration? Check out our Lemon Recipe Contest winning recipe!

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Looks so good.

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