Lemon cupcakes recipe

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serves: 12
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 35 min
Cooking: 30 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 306 kCal 15%
Fat 9g 13%
  -  Saturates 2.7g 14%
Carbohydrates 53.9g 15%
  -  of which Sugars 42.8g 48%
Protein 2.7g 5%
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  • These citrus lemon cupcakes have a soft, moist sponge flavoured with lemon juice, lemon zest as well as lemon curd. 

    These pretty lemon cupcakes are topped with white fondant flowers and a thick lemon-infused icing made from just three ingredients. The buttermilk makes these cupcakes extra light and spongy. The golden caster sugar gives these cupcakes a lovely golden glow. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes and takes just 30 minutes to bake.


    • 150g self-raising flour
    • 150g golden caster sugar
    • 115g unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 2 eggs
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tblsp of fresh lemon juice
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 80ml buttermilk
    • ¼ tsp baking powder
    • 4 tblsp lemon curd
    • For the toppings:
    • 150g icing sugar
    • 150g fondant
    • 2 tblsp lemon juice
    • Yellow food colour
    • Sprinkles of your choice
    • You will also need:
    • Deep muffin tray
    • 12 cases
    • 1 large and 1 small flower cutter


    • Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 4 and line your muffin tray with paper cases.

    • Add the zest and lemon juice to the buttermilk and leave to one side.

    • Cream the butter and sugar until light in colour and fluffy.

    • Combine the flour with the baking powder. Add the eggs one a time with a third of the flour mix and stir until just combined. Repeat until all the flour and eggs have been added.

    • Add the buttermilk mix and vanilla extract and fold into the mixture until evenly spread throughout the mix.

    • Fill the cases to 2/3rds full (this will leave you enough room for the icing) and bake for 25 mins until golden brown and spring back to the touch. Remove and cool on a wire rack

    • When the cakes are cooled cut out a piece of cake in the middle of the cake and pop a teaspoon of lemon curd in the hole then replace the piece of sponge to fill the hole.

    • For the topping: Roll the fondant and cut 12 large flowers. Using the small cutter, cut the centres out of the large flowers. Leave to dry on parchment paper.

    • Mix the lemon juice into the icing sugar a little at a time until you have a thick shiny paste. Add the yellow colouring and mix again.

    • Spread a thin layer over the tops of the cooled cupcakes and pop a flower on top – do this straight after icing each cake otherwise the surface will crack once it’s set.

    • Add sprinkles to the centres of each flower and leave to set.

    Top tips for making lemon cupcakes

    If your lemon icing is too thick, add a dash of water to make it thinner. You could also opt to add more lemon juice for a zinger flavour.

    You could also top these classic lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream instead. Lemon buttercream can be easily smoothed over the top of the cupcakes with a palette knife or can be piped on using a piping bag.

    You might also like…
    Cupcake recipe
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    Lemon sponge cake

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