Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

My baby girl just turned two! Although some days I feel like it’s two going on 12. She is so sweet and energetic, and she is full of all sorts of sass and its such a pleasure to be her mom. I decided to make a cupcake that reminded me of my sweet girl. These lemon cupcakes are sweet and fluffy with lots of bright flavor and full of sass. I could eat JUST the cupcake with out the frosting, which is not something I can say about just any cupcake. They really are a pleasure to bake and eat. (And I thought that the first time I made these, before I thought being my daughter’s mother was a pleasure.) I love watching this batter come together. It is so smooth and creamy, no air bubbles or lumps. They are equally creamy, smooth, and soft after they are baked. I can’t tell you how much I love these cupcakes.

Fluffy and Smooth Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Do not feel intimated by the recipe! Yes, it looks like a lot of work, but it is really so easy and you will want to kick yourself if you don’t make these cupcakes. Trust me. If you don’t have cake flour, that is okay. Cake flour will help your cupcake stay really soft and fluffy, but you can make it work with out it. Just use all purpose instead.

Quick tip! Cake’s do not need a lot of mixing. Over mixing will cause air tunnels in your cupcakes and they will have a tough texture. For a soft, fluffy, smooth, texture, keep the mixing to a minimal, mixing until just combine and just a couple extra seconds at the end.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Prep Time: 18 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

12 cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 3 TBSP buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    Simple Syrup
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP sugar
    Lemon Buttercream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Add all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together until all ingredients are combine.
  3. In a food processor, add sugar and lemon zest. Pulse until crumbly, about 1 minute.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer add butter and sugar mixture and whip together until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl if necessary. Mix in the egg, and then egg whites, one at a time. Add vanilla with last egg white.
  5. In a small bowl mix together buttermilk and lemon juice.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to the butter/egg/sugar mixture. Mix until just combine.
  7. Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture to the butter/egg/sugar mixture. Mix until just combine.
  8. Repeat the process with the flour and buttermilk mixture one more time and finish by mixing in last 1/3 of flour mixture.
  9. Divide batter between 12 muffin tins lined with a paper cupcake liner. They should be filled just a little over half way. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will appear very light. Do not let them get golden brown. They will be over done. Allow to cool several minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
    Simple Syrup
  1. While the cupcakes are baking, whisk together sugar and lemon juice. Brush over warm cupcakes. I like to poke a few holes in my cupcake before I brush the syrup over them to let the extra moisture and flavors sink in.
    Lemon Buttercream
  1. In a bowl, add shortening, butter, and lemon zest. Cream together until light and fluffy, about a minute.
  2. Gradually add powered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Be sure the scrape the sides of your bowl, if necessary. The frosting may appear dry. This is okay.
  3. Add lemon juice and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more lemon juice or sugar until you achieve desired consistency.

* Source: Cooking Classy


Leave a Reply