I absolutely love anything lemon. These easy lemon cupcakes are moist, fluffy, zingy and topped with an incredible lemon buttercream that’s a lemon-lover’s dream! These lemon cupcakes have not too much lemon that you’ll squint your eyes and pucker up your lips, but just enough to give each bite a refreshing zest of citrus flavor. They’re my favorite to treat myself too and my friends love them. Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe. Enjoy!
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Add the sugar and zest to a food processor and pulse until the sugar is light yellow in color and the zest has been all broken up. This really infuses the sugar with a lot of flavor from the oil in the zest but you can skip this step and add the zest to the wet ingredients later on.
2. In a medium bowl add the sour cream, melted butter, eggs, milk, sugar and lemon juice then whisk together and set aside.
3. Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in a large bowl then whisk together.
4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry then mix until just combined.
5. Add cupcake papers to your muffin tin and fill about 3/4 the way up. I like to use an ice cream scoop with a trigger to fill the papers but you can also just spoon the mixture in. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes then reduce temperature to 350F and bake another 12 minutes or until the cupcakes are springy to the touch.
6. While the cupcakes bake it’s time to mix up some delicious buttercream. Add the butter, salt, and zest to the bowl and use a mixer to beat it for a few minutes. You want to rough up the zest a bit so it releases the oil inside.
7. Sift in the powdered sugar in a few batches, beat until combined then scrape the bowl down. Drizzle in the lemon juice while mixing on low then increase speed to medium and beat until smooth. Scrape down one last time then beat again.
8. Once the cupcakes are cool they’re ready to decorate! You can use a star tip to pipe an easy swirl on, you can spoon on a rustic dollop, you can pipe little buttercream lemon wedges on, or just a simple knife will do the trick! For the wedges start by piping a circle of buttercream on top. Use a large round tip or just snip the tip off a piping bag then use an offset spatula or small knife to smooth the top.
9. Use a large petal tip like a 128 to pipe a half circle with yellow buttercream.
10. Finish your wedge with some white accents for the pith. Use a small round tip or again just snip the tip off of a piping bag. I added sprinkles for some color fun but you can add lemon zest on top as well!
For the Cupcakes:
- ▢1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 213g
- ▢1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- ▢2 tbsp lemon zest zest of two lemons
- ▢1/4 tsp baking soda
- ▢1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- ▢1/4 tsp kosher salt
- ▢3/4 cup unsalted butter 170g, melted
- ▢2 eggs room temperature
- ▢1/2 cup sour cream 120mL, room temperature
- ▢1/4 cup whole milk 60mL, warm
- ▢1/4 cup lemon juice 60mL
For the Buttercream:
- ▢1 cup butter 226g
- ▢4.5 cups powdered sugar 540g
- ▢1/4 tsp salt
- ▢1/4 cup lemon juice
- ▢2 tbsp lemon zest
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 375F. 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 once more.
- Add the wet to the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Fill cupcake papers about 3/4 the way up. Bake for 5 min at 375F then reduce temperature to 350F and bake another 10-12 or until the springy to the touch.
For the Buttercream:
- Cream the butter, salt and zest for a few minutes then sift in the powdered sugar in a few batches, mixing in between.
- Scrape the bowl down and pour In the lemon juice while mixing on low. Scrape down once more and mix then transfer to a piping bag and decorate the cooled cupcakes.
Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 801IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe by Preppy Kitchen