Enjoy a pretty burst of lemon with these pretty lemon cupcakes. Delicious, moist lemon cupcakes topped with lemon cream cheese frosting!

lemon cupcakes with lemon slice and mint sprig on top

These pretty lemon cupcakes are a great way to welcome Spring! With moist lemon cupcakes and a swirl of lemon cream cheese frosting, they might just be the perfect lemon bite.

These bright lemon cupcakes would be perfect Easter, Mother’s Day or any celebration, such as the arrival of Spring!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Cream Cheese – you will need much of a standard 8 oz. block of cream cheese for the frosting. Full fat cream cheese is recommended, for the best consistency of the frosting.

Lemons – As these cupcakes use a lot of zest, be sure to scrub your lemons well before zesting, or better yet, if you can, pick up some organic lemons.

Recipe Tips

  • To garnish my cupcakes, I topped with a wedge of fresh lemon and a small mint leaf. I love this garnish as it’s so simple, yet so pretty. Simply press the lemon wedge into your frosting and tuck a mint leaf next to it. And once decorated, these cupcakes are nice and sturdy, so they hold up really well if you need to travel with them.
  • Be sure to note the recipe instructions to start with room temperature ingredients. It will make for a better finished product!
  • When it comes to making the frosting swirl, I like to start a little in from the edge, leaving a bit of the outer edge of the cupcake exposed. Not only does it look nice, it prevents the swirl from getting larger than the cupcake and top heavy :)
  • For a simpler presentation, simply garnish with lemon zest.

lemon cupcakes with lemon slice and mint sprig on top

Making ahead, Storing and Freezing

You can make the cupcakes ahead and freeze them. Then when ready, thaw and frost/decorate. Once frosted, store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

lemon cupcakes with lemon slice and mint sprig on top

Get the Recipe: Luscious Lemon Cupcakes

Enjoy a pretty burst of lemon with these lovely lemon cupcakes. Delicious, moist lemon cupcakes, topped with lemon cream cheese frosting!
5 stars from 9 ratings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, reduce to pinch if using salted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups icing/confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon

For garnish:

  • Fresh lemon wedges, lemon slice, cut into quarters
  • Fresh mint leaves


  • For the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare 12 cupcake cups paper baking liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together well the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg, mixing slowly to combine.
  • Add the vanilla to the milk in a liquid measuring cup.
  • Add one third of the dry flour mixture, followed by one third of the milk and mix thoroughly. Repeat, stopping to to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the last third of dry ingredients followed by the last third of milk. Mix slowly just until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix until thoroughly combined at low speed.
  • Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard-size ice-cream scoop until the cups are two-thirds full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes (start checking at 14 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the Frosting: Combine the ingredients in a mixer and whip together at high speed until light and airy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. With a piping bag and a large plain round tip, frost the cupcakes with a swirl and top with a lemon wedge and a mint leaf!


For frosting as shown, you will need a pastry piping bag and a large, round plain piping tip, such as Ateco 808.
Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Snack
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 402kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 83mg, Potassium: 112mg, Sugar: 57g, Vitamin A: 465IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 0.8mg
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