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Lemon cupcakes recipe

Lemon cupcakes recipe

257 ratings

Whether for a special occasion, afternoon tea or simple baking project to keep the kids busy in the school holidays, these easy lemon cupcakes are a classic recipe worth trying. Light and fluffy lemon cakes are topped with a swirl of zesty lemon buttercream for a double citrus hit. See method

  • Makes 12
  • 15 mins to prepare and 25 mins to cook
  • 376 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested plus 2 tbsp juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour

For the buttercream

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested, ½ juiced
  • lemon zest, to decorate
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    20g 29%
  • Saturates

    12g 58%
  • Sugars

    37g 41%
  • Salt

    0.2g 3%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 48.6g Protein 2.7g Fibre 0.4g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases. Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk (or by hand with a wooden spoon) for 2 mins until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Sieve the flour on top, add the lemon juice and gently mix everything together until combined. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases, smooth the tops and bake for 25 mins until just firm and lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
  5. Use a round bladed knife or small palette knife to spread buttercream on top of each cake. Sprinkle with lemon zest just before serving.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

The cupcakes can be frozen without icing. Leave to cool completely, then arrange on a tray and freeze until solid before packing into freezer bags or a rigid container. Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Leave to defrost in the wrappings or container for about 2 hours at room temperature, then ice as above. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Lemon cake recipes

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