Lemon and white chocolate cupcakes recipe

(572 ratings)

Our lemon and white chocolate cupcakes take under 40 minutes to make and are less than 340 calories per cake.

lemon and white chocolate cupcakes
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time18 mins
Total Time38 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories336 Kcal17%
Sugar32.3 g36%
Fat16.7 g24%
Saturated Fat5 g25%
Protein3.8 g8%
Carbohydrates43.8 g17%

These lemon and white chocolate cupcakes require nine different ingredients and take under 40 minutes to make. 

This cupcake recipe is easy to follow and combines a lemon-flavoured sponge with a sweet white chocolate buttercream. Decorate with extra lemon zest for a professional finish. Serve the cupcakes as a little dessert or afternoon treat alongside a fresh pot of tea. 


For the cupcakes:

  • 120g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (we used Ella Valentine eggs)
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 125ml milk

For the white chocolate buttercream:

  • 120g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g white chocolate, melted




  • Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest then add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well between each addition.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold together using a spatula or metal spoon.
  • Stir in the milk and mix until everything is evenly combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases filling each one around three quarters full. Bake for 18 mins or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place on wire racks to cool completely.
  • For the white chocolate buttercream: In a large, clean bowl soften the butter using an electric hand mixer. Gradually add and stir in the sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the cooled, melted chocolate and continue beating until fully combined.
  • Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls of icing on top of each cupcake. Alternatively you can spoon on the icing and shape using a palette knife or the back of a spoon.
  • Garnish with additional lemon zest and grated white chocolate, if liked.

Top tips for making lemon and white chocolate cupcakes

We have a guide on how to ice cupcakes if you need more guidance or inspiration. Continue reading below for tips and tricks that will help you make the best lemon and white chocolate cupcakes. 

Do cupcakes need to be flat on top to decorate?

If your cupcakes have risen and have a little dome on top you can still ice them. If you would prefer an even shape across the whole batch of cupcakes, use a cake slice to make the cakes the same height.

How to make lemon and white chocolate icing for cupcakes?

If you would like the white chocolate buttercream to have a lemon flavour, try adding a few tablespoons of lemon juice and lemon zest to the mix. 

Can I add chocolate chips to cupcakes?

Yes! Adding some white chocolate chips to the lemon cake butter will give delicious results. We’d recommend adding around 50g for this quantity of cake batter. 

The easiest way to zest a lemon is with a sharp citrus peeler or zester. We like this one from Joseph Joseph which comes with a clever attachment to reduce waste. 

Joseph Joseph Handi-Zest Multi-Function Zester - View at Amazon

Joseph Joseph Handi-Zest Multi-Function Zester - View at Amazon

The ergonomic handle on this zester makes it comfortable to hold. We like that it comes with a protective sheath so you can store it in your utensils drawer without the risk of injuring yourself when you open it and get something out. There is an integrated cleaning blade which ensures no zest is wasted or left behind. The zester can be put in the dishwasher but we recommend hand washing to prolong its life and quality. 

Try our plain lemon cupcakes next or make a lemon drizzle cake if you’re looking for something moist and easy to slice. You might also like this vanilla cupcake recipe which has a simple buttercream frosting. 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.