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    Soft Lemon Cupcakes

    If you’re looking for an easy lemon cupcake recipe that is super soft, moist, and bursting with lemon flavour, then this recipe is it!

    Fluffy cupcakes are filled with a half batch of my super easy eggless lemon curd recipe, and topped with a small batch of my all time favourite cream cheese frosting that has a slight kick of lemon too! The cupcakes are great on their own as well, so you can skip the lemon curd and frosting if you prefer (though I highly recommend them!).

    lemon cupcakes

    How to Make Lemon Cupcakes

    These cupcakes come together really easily!

    Begin by preheating your oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 3 on recipe card below if you don’t have a fan function) and line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.

    In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.

    lemon cupcakes

    In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil, sugar and lemon zest. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine – see note 4 on recipe card below), cream together for 2 minutes until light and creamy.

    Add in eggs one by one, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between eggs).

    Next add in Greek yoghurt and fresh lemon juice. Mix until well combined. The batter may look a little curdled at this stage but that’s okay.

    lemon cupcakes

    Lastly add in your premixed dry ingredients from earlier, and using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix. Your batter should no longer be curdled, and there should be no large chunks or streaks of flour. It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy in the end.

    Distribute the batter evenly into the cupcake liners (fill no more than about 3/4s of the way up), and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool. The cupcakes do ever so slightly sink in the middle while cooling , but once you fill and frost them you won’t be able to tell. In my opinion, it’s a necessary trade-off for the perfect texture 🙂

    lemon cupcakes

    lemon cupcakes

    How to Make Lemon Curd

    My eggless lemon curd recipe is SO DELICIOUS and really easy to put together.

    Add your lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, milk and vanilla to a saucepan and mix until well combined.

    Place your saucepan over a medium heat and stir your mixture continuously until you reach a thick consistency (see video below for visual).

    lemon curd

    Take your saucepan off the heat and stir in the cold unsalted butter until completely melted.

    Strain your lemon curd to remove the little bits of lemon zest (optional).

    Stir in gel colour or turmeric for additional colour (optional). Leave to completely cool.

    lemon curd

    How to Make Cream Cheese Buttercream

    Cream your butter for a few minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

    Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.

    cream cheese buttercream

    Next add in your cold cream cheese, vanilla and fresh lemon juice. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 5 on recipe card below).

    cream cheese buttercream

    How to Assemble Lemon Cupcakes

    Once the cupcakes are completely cool, using the back of a large piping tip (you can also use an apple corer, a small serrated knife or small spoon), and poke it halfway through each cupcake, twist and then bring it back up (see video below for demonstration). The middle of the cupcake should come out with the piping tip, leaving a hole in the centre for the lemon curd to go. Remove the part of the cupcake that’s in the piping tip (you can use the back of a spoon or toothpick to push it out if it’s stuck), and repeat the process with the remaining cupcakes.

    Next fill the centre of the cupcakes with the lemon curd (see note 6 on recipe card below). I just use a teaspoon to do this.

    lemon cupcakes

    Next frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese buttercream. I pop mine into a piping bag with a 1M piping tip on it, and pipe cupcake swirls on the top. Make sure the lemon curd is completely cool before doing this.

    OPTIONAL: Place any remaining lemon curd in a piping bag, and cut the tip of the piping bag so you have a small hole, and then pipe that in a zig-zag motion on the top of the cupcakes. Enjoy!

    lemon cupcakes

     

    lemon cupcakes

    Moist Lemon Cupcakes

    If you're looking for easy lemon cupcakes that are super soft, moist, and bursting with lemon flavour, then these cupcakes are it! Fluffy cupcakes are filled with a half batch of my super easy eggless lemon curd recipe, and topped with a small batch of my all time favourite cream cheese frosting that has a slight kick of lemon too! The cupcakes are great on their own as well, so you can skip the lemon curd and frosting if you prefer (though I highly recommend them!).
    5 from 17 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 18 minutes
    Cooling Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
    Servings: 12 cupcakes

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Lemon Cupcakes

    • cups (150 g) flour - regular, all purpose (see note 1 if you want to use cake flour)
    • tbsp (11 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour in some countries
    • ¼ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 3 tbsp (43 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cup (70 g) unflavored vegetable oil - I use canola oil
    • 1 cup (200 g) white granulated sugar
    • 1 tbsp lemon zest - about 1 medium sized lemon
    • 2 large eggs - room temperature
    • cup (90 g) Greek yoghurt - room temperature
    • tbsp (35 g) lemon juice - freshly squeezed

    Eggless Lemon Curd

    • ½ tbsp lemon zest - about 1/2 a medium sized lemon
    • cup (80 g) lemon juice - freshly squeezed, about 2 and 1/2 lemons
    • cup (66 g) white granulated sugar
    • tbsp (10 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour in some countries
    • cup (80 g) milk - full fat
    • ¼ tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter - cold
    • 1 small drop of yellow gel food colour or pinch of turmeric - OPTIONAL

    Cream Cheese Buttercream

    • ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter - room temp
    • cups (285 g) icing sugar - also known as powdered/confectioners sugar
    • ¾ cup (168 g) cream cheese - cold, firm type (see note 2)
    • ¾ tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • ¾ tbsp lemon juice - freshly squeezed

    Instructions

    Lemon Cupcakes

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 3 if you don't have a fan function) and line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
    • In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.
    • In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil, sugar and lemon zest. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine - see note 4), cream together for 2 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in eggs one by one, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between eggs).
    • Next add in Greek yoghurt and fresh lemon juice. Mix until well combined. The batter may look a little curdled at this stage but that's okay.
    • Lastly add in your premixed dry ingredients from earlier, and using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix. Your batter should no longer be curdled, and there should be no large chunks or streaks of flour. It's okay if the batter is a little lumpy in the end.
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the cupcake liners (fill no more than about 3/4s of the way up), and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool. The cupcakes do ever so slightly sink in the middle while cooling , but once you fill and frost them you won't be able to tell. In my opinion, it's a necessary trade-off for the perfect texture 🙂

    Eggless Lemon Curd

    • Add your lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, milk and vanilla to a saucepan and mix until well combined.
    • Place your saucepan over a medium heat and stir your mixture continuously until you reach a thick consistency (see video for visual).
    • Take your saucepan off the heat and stir in the cold unsalted butter until completely melted.
    • Strain your lemon curd to remove the little bits of lemon zest (optional).
    • Stir in gel colour or turmeric for additional colour (optional). Leave to completely cool.

    Cream Cheese Buttercream

    • Cream your butter for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
    • Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.
    • Next add in your cold cream cheese, vanilla and fresh lemon juice. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 5).

    Assembly

    • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, using the back of a large piping tip (you can also use an apple corer, a small serrated knife or small spoon), and poke it halfway through each cupcake, twist and then bring it back up (see video for demonstration). The middle of the cupcake should come out with the piping tip, leaving a hole in the centre for the lemon curd to go. Remove the part of the cupcake that's in the piping tip (you can use the back of a spoon or toothpick to push it out if it's stuck), and repeat the process with the remaining cupcakes.
    • Next fill the centre of the cupcakes with the lemon curd (see note 6). I just use a teaspoon to do this.
    • Next frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese buttercream. I pop mine into a piping bag with a 1M piping tip on it, and pipe cupcake swirls on the top. Make sure the lemon curd is completely cool before doing this.
    • OPTIONAL: Place any remaining lemon curd in a piping bag, and cut the tip of the piping bag so you have a small hole, and then pipe that in a zig-zag motion on the top of the cupcakes. Enjoy!

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (161g total required). 
    Note 2. To ensure that your frosting isn't too soft, you want to use a firm cream cheese, not the spreadable type. You also want to use cold cream cheese as this will help your frosting stay firmer for longer, particularly if you want to use it for piping. If you stay in a hot climate and your frosting is softening up after some time, simply place it into the fridge for 30 minutes and then rewhip it. This will bring it back to a pipeable consistency.
    Note 3. In this recipe I use an oven with the fan function turned on. The fan forced function cooks cakes/cupcakes faster, so if your oven doesn't have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 175°C (347°F) so that the cake/cupcake bakes at the same rate as mine 🙂
    Note 4. If using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment for the initial mixing, but continue to do the last step by hand as stated in the recipe. 
    Note 5. Only mix the frosting until it's smooth. Once it's smooth stop mixing as over-mixing can result in a less stable frosting. This is because of the liquid in the cream cheese breaking down the icing sugar. 
    Note 6. If your lemon curd has thickened up quite a bit, you can heat it for 5-10 second in the microwave and give it a stir. 
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 529IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: easy lemon cupcakes, fluffy lemon cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, lemon cupcakes with lemon curd, moist lemon cupcakes
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

     

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    44 Comments

    • Gosia

      5 stars
      Delicious! 😋

    • Fifi

      5 stars
      If I won’t be having lemon frosting or curd, will the cupcake have enogg if h lemon since there is only a couple TBS of zest and juice? If not can we freely add more of zest or some extract?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Fifi! Yes the cupcakes still have a great lemon flavor even on it’s own 🙂 you could add a little more zest if you prefer, but adding more lemon juice will affect the texture of the cupcakes. Hope that helps!

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

      Categories
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