Monday, December 31, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes W/ Lemon Buttercream

Last year I made some lemon cupcakes from scratch. I wish I could say they were okay, but they were so dry, they could choke a horse. This year I wanted to improve them, because I really like lemon cupcakes! Here is the new improved version that I put together.

*Important tips: if you use salted butter, skip the salt and if you don't have a fresh lemon, you can substitute bottled lemon juice. Fresh is best, but I hate stressing out over cupcakes!

*I was going to put candied lemon zest on top of the icing, but was too lazy to do the work, if you want to try, here is the recipe. Otherwise I ended up turning it into a lemon topping that I spread on top of the cooled cupcakes before frosting them. It gave them an extra oomph of lemon flavor that worked well.

Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream Icing


2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1  cup sugar
2  teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2  cup canola oil
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1  teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2  tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

*LEMON TOPPING (optional)

Zest of 2 lemons
4  tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4  tablespoons sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

2. To prepare the cupcakes: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Combine the oil, eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until smooth.

3. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden and the cupcakes are springy when gently touched. Place pan on a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, transfer to the rack, and let cool completely.

4. To prepare the icing: Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl and beat until smooth. Spread some of the lemon topping over each cupcake with a small spatula and frost and add sprinkles after that. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Here's that lemon zest topping spread on top of the cupcakes...

This is where I practice my piping skills...

A little crystal sugar and snowflake sprinkles...

Hope you'll try them! The cakes were moist and the frosting/icing wasn't too sweet, but with a hint of lemon. Yum-o. Husband and I are taking them to a New Year's Eve party. I hope you all have a Happy New Year!


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