Lemon Cupcakes

Happy Monday!  Oh wait… it’s not Monday you say?  Well, I meant to post this Monday, so let’s just pretend!  In fact, these cupcakes are so sweet and cheery, they may be the perfect thing to perk up a dull Monday!

I recently shared the recipe (with options for using a box mix, or scratch recipe) for these delicious Vanilla Lemon Cupcakes on the Tomkat Studio.  Head on over to The Tomkat Studio get all the details on these delicious cupcakes, along with the adorable polka-dot baking cups.

Love lemon desserts?  Here are a few more sweet-tart treats…
Homemade Lemon Curd
Lemony Lemon Bread
Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Pretty Spring Cake (Vanilla cake with lemon filling)
And I have lots more lemony sweets on my Lemon Pinterest Board

How to Make Lemon Cupcakes

lemon cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon is such a bright and fresh flavor and these cupcakes can be adjusted to your tastes to include a little or a lot of lemony goodness.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 337 kcal



  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract use half vanilla and half lemon extract for a light lemon flavor
  • 1/2 cup oil vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk whole or low fat, but avoid fat free
  • 1/3 cup sour cream full fat or light, but avoid fat free
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest optional

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice



  • Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a cupcake with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla extract (and lemon extract if using) and oil, beat until smooth and combined.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add the milk, then the rest of the flour and the sour cream (and lemon zest if using). Beat until just combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
  • The batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared pan with liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
  • Bake cupcakes for 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Frost as desired when fully cool.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter (while still cool) until smooth. 
  • Add (cold) cream cheese and continue to beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
  • Add powder sugar, one cup at a time, while the mixer is running.
  • Continue mixing and add lemon zest, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix an additional 30 seconds, until smooth, light and fluffy. 
  • Frost cooled cupcakes.

Lemon Curd Filling (optional)

  • If you want to add a lemon filling, complete these steps BEFORE frosting.
  • Cut out cone shaped hole in the top of the baked cupcakes and fill with 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon curd. I used (this) delicious homemade lemon curd.


Feel free to use this recipe for a cake as well.  The recipe above will work for a 6" cake.  Double the recipe for an 8" or 9" cake.
* A note about Cake Flour-  Cake Flour has a lower protein content than traditional all-purpose flour, which results in a more tender, delicate crumb in the finished product.  If you can not find or access cake flour, feel free to substitute as necessary, but your results will vary from the original recipe.
I have made this recipe many times with success, but in an effort to always be improving (even great recipes) I've made a couple small updates to this recipe (which are now listed above).  My original recipe included 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder (now reduced to 3/4), 3/4 cup sugar (now increased to 1 cup) and 1/2 cup buttermilk (now updated to 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup sour cream).


Calories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 195mgPotassium: 61mgFiber: 1gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 271IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Hi. I just got on to your website. It is great! Awesome tips. I tried to go onto Tomkat Studio’s website but it is not longer available. Where can I get the thicker sturdier baking cups she used to sell?

  2. What size and style piping tip did you use on these cupcakes? Its so perfect!

  3. I love the little flower on top – Super cute!

  4. Love these, Glory! And the cupcake liners are perfect!

  5. Loooove lemon! So these are a real temptation for me…plus those darling polkadot cups are too cute!

  6. I just read your feature in Artful Blogging and had to come over for a visit. I'm so glad I did! You have an amazing eye. I've always loved artfully designed food so your creations are a pleasure for my eyes. I will be back by often.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  7. What a lovely blog, Glory! Read about you in the latest Artful Blogging mag. I miss those little girl parties, now that mine is 21! Enjoyed the photos of Miette in San Fran… I seem to recall seeing a book about them recently.

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