Cupcakes, Food, Recipes

Lemon Cupcakes

These lemon cupcakes are the perfect balance between sweet and sour and are thoroughly addictive! This photo is from a cupcake course I ran for an engagement party. My cupcake is the one with the little pink flower, the rest were decorated by my students!

Lemon Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 30
Author: Swah



  • 250 g butter softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons I like mine quite intensely lemony, you can use the zest of just 1 if you wish
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  • 225 g butter softened
  • 4-5 cups icing sugar sifted
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 5 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice



  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  • Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft. Gradually add the sugar and grated lemon zest and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs in one at a time, beating between each addition.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tins and fill approximately 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until risen and golden.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool before you ice them.


  • Cream the butter in a bowl with an electric beater until very soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat into the butter, along with the lemon zest and enough lemon juice to soften the icing, to a spreadable consistency (you might not need all the icing sugar)
  • When the cupcakes are cool, spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.


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  • Reply Kat June 3, 2011 at 8:52 am

    but butttt .. so much wasted lemon juice!!

    • Reply Swah June 10, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Good point Kat! With the leftover lemon juice I have never have any problems using it as I love lemons! If I am feeling under the weather than I mix the leftover lemon juice with steeped ginger in hot water and honey. If it’s summer I like to add sugar and ice water for impromptu lemonade. Otherwise I wrap up the lemons in glad wrap and put them in the fridge and use them in the evenings’ meal (in a sauce, drizzled over the top of meat etc)


  • Reply Alison January 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    How long is decorating time, and what size nozzle are you using to get such thick icing swirls?

    • Reply Swah January 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      It takes me max 10 mins from start to finish to make the icing and decorate – I’d probably advise 15 mins though. For the big swirls I am using an open star nozzle, the biggest I could find at Chef’s Warehouse (approx 2cm wide)

  • Reply Happy Halloween! – Love Swah – A Sydney food, travel and design blog July 10, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    […] Buttercream tinted orange and black fondant for the decorations. Another tasty option is to use my Lemon Buttercream recipe and substitute the lemons for oranges. Chocolate and orange is always a winning […]

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