Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon-Blueberry Frosting


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Lemon cupcakes are filled with lemon curd and topped with a lemon-blueberry buttercream frosting for the spring and summer cupcake of your dreams.

Two lemon cupcakes topped with lemon-blueberry frosting on a white plate.

I don’t have anything against a good chocolate cupcake. After all, making my doctored cake mix cupcakes is one of my favorite tricks.

But I’ll pick lemon over chocolate almost any day, so having a go-to lemon cupcake recipe is pretty important to me.

These lemon cupcakes are packed with tons of bright, citrusy flavor and are so pretty. Consider them your new spring and summer go-to cupcake recipe!

Lemon cupcake cut in half to show the lemon curd filling. The cupcake is topped with lemon-blueberry frosting.


If you love lemon as much as I do, then these lemon cupcakes are the cupcakes for you.

I took my homemade funfetti cupcake recipe and added lots of lemon zest. Then I filled them with lemon curd and topped them with a lemon-blueberry frosting.

That’s right, I found a way to pack lemon into these cupcakes in three different ways! 

These may very well go into my lemon hall of fame alongside my lemon cream cheese pound cake and homemade lemon bars.

Butter and sugar creamed together in a white bowl.


There are a few steps to making these lemon cupcakes, but I promise that they’re worth it!

Cupcake ingredients

For the cupcakes, you will need:

  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • lemon zest from two lemons 
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
Base of lemon cupcake batter in a white mixing bowl.

You do need to use cake flour for this recipe instead of all-purpose flour. If you don’t keep any on hand, you can use my cake flour substitute instead.

I also have a buttermilk substitute you can use if you don’t have any buttermilk in your fridge!

Make sure you also check out my tips for how to bring butter and eggs to room temperature, since having those at room temperature is important before you get started baking.

For the filling, I like to use my microwave lemon curd. You can use any lemon curd that you like best, though.

Beaten egg whites being folded into lemon cupcake batter.

Frosting ingredients

For the frosting, you will need:

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon (finely grated)
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries, pureed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 tablespoons very cold milk

If you run out of powdered sugar, don’t stress. I have a post on how to make powdered sugar, and you can definitely use that substitute in this frosting.

Unbaked lemon cupcakes in a cupcake pan, ready to go in the oven.

Making this recipe

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, so make sure you line 2 standard cupcake pans with paper liners before getting started.

Sift together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon extract.

Add the sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use your fingertips to rub these together until the sugar is moistened and fragrant.

Beat the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Make sure to mix until well combined after each addition.

Baked lemon cupcakes on a wire rack next to a bowl of lemon curd and a piping bag filled with lemon-blueberry frosting.

Use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. These will get folded into the batter for lots of lift.

Gently stir about ¼ of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the rest one half at a time. To fold, cut the spatula down the middle to the bottom of the bowl, then sweep it around, up and over. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat until no streaks of egg whites remain.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 18-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely.

When ready to decorate, fill the cupcakes with the lemon curd, following my instructions for how to fill cupcakes

Beat together the frosting and then spread or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Overhead view of lemon cupcakes filled with lemon curd set on a wire cooling rack.


These lemon cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 1-2 days if your kitchen is cool. Otherwise, store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Unfrosted, unfilled cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in a zip-top freezer bag before freezing.

If you’d like to make the lemon-blueberry frosting ahead of time, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to a month. Let the frosting come to room temperature and whip it with your mixer for 1-2 minutes before frosting the cupcakes.

White platter filled with lemon cupcakes topped with lemon-blueberry frosting.


While I love these lemon cupcakes when they are filled with lemon curd and topped with the lemon-blueberry frosting, you don’t have to go that direction!

Try them with a classic vanilla buttercream frosting or even with cream cheese frosting instead.

Or try them with strawberry frosting for a cupcake version of strawberry lemonade!

Lemon cupcakes topped with lemon-blueberry frosting on white plates.
Halved lemon cupcake with blueberry lemon frosting.

For the lemon-blueberry frosting:

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Line two standard cupcake pans with paper liners.

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  • In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon extract.

  • Rub sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light and fluffy. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating on low speed. Beat in half of the milk mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk, beating until the batter is fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients, beating until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

  • Add the egg whites to a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

  • Gently stir ¼ of the whipped egg whites into the cupcake batter with a rubber spatula until no streaks of egg whites remain. This will help lighten up the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whipped egg whites, one half at a time, by cutting the spatula down the middle to the bottom of the bowl, then sweeping it around, up and over. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat until no streaks of egg whites remain.

  • Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.

  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

  • Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake. Add a spoonful of lemon curd into each hollow. Frost with lemon blueberry buttercream or as desired.

For the Lemon-Blueberry Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.

  • Add salt, vanilla, lemon zest and blueberry puree and mix until well combined. If buttercream is too thick, slowly drizzle in milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 671IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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