get new recipes in your email box:

Crazy for Crust

Mar 27

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

These lemon cupcakes are not for the lemon faint of heart. They’re the perfect lemon cupcake with triple the lemon flavor.

It’s like lemon smacks you in the face in every single bite!

These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite!

It’s no secret that I love lemon. Sometimes I crave it so fiercely I find myself in the kitchen baking up a storm. This recipe? Is a product of that.

I think you’ll be glad for my fierce craving.

These lemon cupcakes are the best lemon dessert I’ve made. Ever.

They’re also the best lemon cupcakes I’ve ever had.

These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite!

I’m still working myself through those bags of lemons my MIL gave me and after I made Glory’s lemon curd for my No-Bake Lemon Dessert last week, I made more.

Because you can never have enough lemon curd.

{Pssst. Buy Glory’s book. It’s amazing. Review and giveaway next week!}

So I had a jar of lemon curd in my refrigerator and was trying to decide how not to eat it with a spoon when I got an email from a reader. She’s local and used to be a neighbor of mine. Her elementary school was doing a fundraiser dinner and instead of buying dessert they were auctioning off table desserts. She asked if I’d donate two and of course, I said yes.

Hey, it’s an excuse to bake more. And, besides being a good cause, it gets the dessert out of my house.

Anyway, the lemon curd was calling my name and all of a sudden I needed a lemon cupcake.

So I made some.

These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite!

Now, pretty much everyone I know has a lemon cupcake. Averie, Sally, Aimee, Christi, and Stephanie all have amazing recipes.

But I wanted to make my own. Because, well, I’m me.

I wanted the lemon in these cupcakes to punch you in the face with flavor. Every. Single. Bite. needed lemon.

So I made these triple lemon cupcakes. With three times the lemon!

These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite!

The cake is based on my Perfect Vanilla Cupcake recipe (which later turned into my Perfect Funfetti Cupcake recipe). I substituted whole milk for the buttermilk and added fresh lemon juice and zest to the batter. You need about 1 large lemon (mine were pretty big and juicy, so depending on the haul at your grocery store, you might need two).

The cupcakes make the oven smell amazing, which is how you know you added enough lemon.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, you fill the center with lemon curd. I simply cut out a small section of the cupcake (a circle about the size of a dime) and spoon some curd in the hole. I used a from scratch lemon curd, but you can use jarred. They sell it near the jams and jellies at the grocery store.

Then you frost the cupcakes with lemon buttercream. Instead of vanilla, you add fresh lemon juice and lots of zest to the butter and powdered sugar. This lemon frosting is super lemony – perfect for an in-your-face lemon cupcake.

Note: you can make the frosting up to two days ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just let it come to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes.

There you have them: triple lemon cupcakes.

These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite!

They’re perfect. And they scream lemon…in every bite!

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Yield: 15

These Lemon Cupcakes are perfect! They have triple the lemon flavor with lemon in the cupcake and the frosting, and they're filled with lemon curd. The perfect cupcake to bring sunshine to any day!



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 a large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Filling & Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (jarred or from scratch) for the filling
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, for desired consistency


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with liners (makes 15-16).
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Add melted butter to a large bowl and mix in sugar with a hand mixer for 30 seconds, until thick and yellow. Add eggs one at at time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest.
  4. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Don’t over mix! Divide batter among liners, filling 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake). Bake for 13-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine took about 14 minutes.) Cool completely before frosting.
  5. To fill: cut out a small bit of the top/center of the cupcake. (Cut a hole that’s about the size of a dime and the amount of cupcake you take out is a little larger than a marble.) Fill each hole with about 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of lemon curd.
  6. To make the frosting: Beat butter until creamy. Beat in salt and 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until it’s all added.
  7. Beat in lemon juice and zest. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream and mix until smooth. Add more cream as needed for desired consistency. Frosting can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Make sure to let it come to room temperature before using.
  8. Frost cupcakes by placing frosting in a pastry bag. I like the 1M tip, it gives pretty swirls. Add extra lemon zest for decoration, if desired.


Lemon curd can be found in the jam/jelly section of most grocery stores. Or make your own.

Perfect Funfetti Cupcakes

Perfect Funfetti Cupcakes (7 of 10)w

Lemon Gooey Bars

Lemon Gooey Bars (3 of 3)w

White Chocolate Lemon Bars

White Chocolate Lemon Bars (11 of 11)w

Easy Lemon Donut Holes

Easy Lemon Donut Holes (2 of 4)w

Check out my collection of over 140 lemon recipes for more lemon ideas!

Or visit my Crazy for Lemon pinboard!

Sweets from friends:
Lemon Meringue Pudding Krispie Treats by Cookies and Cups
Lemon Raspberry Angel Food Cake by Lauren’s Latest
Lemon Poppyseed Banana Bread by Something Swanky

115 comments on “Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

  1. If I double this recipe to 3 cups flour, do I really need 6 eggs? Seems like a lot…


    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 6th, 2015 at 7:01 am

      If you’re doubling the recipe to get twice as many cupcakes, then yes!


  2. Goodmorning!

    Can you pls inform the 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, in grammars? And more thing, is it possible to replace the vannilla extract with stick or chemical powder vanilla (vanillin)?
    Thank you in advance for your response!


  3. These are so yummy! Best cupcakes I’ve EVER MADE!!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 19th, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! 🙂


  4. one cup=how much ounces??
    one teaspoon=how much ounces??


  5. Can you use 1% milk instead of whole milk in cupcake recipe?


  6. Does the melted butter need to be cooled or still warm ?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 1st, 2015 at 11:18 am

      I just melt and go, so no need to wait!


  7. Pingback: These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite! - My Pinterest Cookbook

  8. Pingback: These are the Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes; lemon flavor in every single bite! - My Pinterest Cookbook

  9. I’m SO looking forward to this recipe! Thank you! it looks beyond delicious!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 23rd, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Thanks Samra! I hope you enjoyed them as much as we did!


  10. I made these for a friend’s birthday who loves Lemon cake, and they tasted delicious! The frosting was especially lemony. However, my cupcakes came out so dense that even the cupcake box seemed unusually heavy. Any ideas on why this might have happened?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 14th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      I’m glad you liked them! They are a dense cupcake; it’s from using all-purpose flour. I like my cupcakes more dense, especially when I fill them!


  11. Hi, I’m wondering if I could reduce the vanilla in half? And also if I skip the lemon filling will they be dense? Thanks!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 31st, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      These are dense cupcakes. If you want airier ones, try using cake flour. And yes, you can reduce the vanilla!


  12. Should the baking time/oven temperature for the cupcakes be changed if I make them mini? Is a 1/2 teaspoon too less of vanilla?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 7th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Just cut the amount of vanilla in half from what the recipe calls for, and yes be sure and check the baking time. If you’re making mini cupcakes it will not take that much time. Start checking at 8 minutes and go from there!


  13. Hi Dorothy,
    I been looking for a good lemon cupcake recipe for a long time. After trying Your lemon cupcake recipe I do not need to look any more. I brought the lemon curd and it didn’t taste good so I didn’t use it, but I will make it next time using your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. 


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 17th, 2015 at 6:50 am

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed them!! 🙂


  14. I made lemon cupcakes using another recipe and although the taste was amazing I had a problem with the cupcakes wrappers coming away from the side of the cakes. (I know its a small problem but appearance is also important!) The lemon cupcakes are the only flavour of cupcakes I’ve had this problem with and I believe it was due to the high quantity of lemon juice in the cakes. Yours have a similar amount of juice in them so have you had this problem too?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 9th, 2016 at 8:04 am

      I didn’t have this problem with mine but that usually happens when I make something with a lower fat content (like low-fat muffins). If you’re worried about it, try spraying the muffin liners with nonstick cooking spray. That’ll help the problem!


  15. Hello, you’ve listed a stick of butter for the cake part but I was wondering what that would weigh in grams or how many tablespoons at would be? Thanks


    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 24th, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      A stick of butter is 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces or 8 tablespoons.


  16. Are you able to freeze these? I’m making them for my daughter’s birthday which is 3 days away and we’re camping so I’m making them ahead of time. I just wasn’t sure if I filled them with the curd now would it soak into the cupcakes or should I just bring everything seperately and do it there?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 25th, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Yes you totally can! I would freeze the cupcakes without filling, then fill them day of (you can fill them earlier in the day, or even the day before, I just wouldn’t freeze them with the filling). The frosting can even be made ahead and frozen, it might need a little stirring with some milk/cream after it thaws, but it’ll work just fine. Enjoy! Happy birthday to her!


  17. I made these yesterday for bible study and they were a huge hit! Super moist and the frosting just melts in your mouth! Thank you for sharing this!! This is a recipe I know I will make over and over!! 


  18. Now that I think about it I have used several of your recipes and have never been disappointed. Thank you!! 


  19. Would these need to be refrigerated since they have a lemon curd filling? All store bought lemon curd says to refrigerate after opening.
    Thank you!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 7th, 2016 at 7:43 am

      I would refrigerate them, loosely covered, for overnight or if you’re making them a day or so ahead. Day of when you’re serving, it’s fine for them to be room temperature!


  20. Great great great!!!!!!! So much extra cupcake frosting and we just loaded it on! I will definitely use this recipe again and again but hopefully not too much or I’ll gain some pounds in basically seconds! 


    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 27th, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Yeah, I always err on the side of too much frosting when I make it. I hate running out!! 🙂


  21. Without a doubt, The best lemon cupcakes I’ve ever made! Grandkids loved them too


    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 12th, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed them!


  22. Hi there! I LOVE lemon desserts, especially cake and can’t wait to try your recipe asap! But I was wondering… I saw you mentioned this recipe makes dense cupcakes and I prefer cake to be light and fluffy. How and what would you change to your recipe for less dense cupcakes? Looking forward to you reply, thanks in advance!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 10th, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      You can try using cake flour, but I haven’t tried it. If you do, let me know how it works!


  23. Omg super yummy! This is the first time I’ve made cupcakes from scratch! I stumble upon this post because I suddenly had a feeling to bake something from scratch! I’m definitely a way before beginner. The recipe was easy to follow and the cupcakes turned out in such a success! I love the lemon flavor and do not think the cupcakes are that dense which I love. They are just perfect. I want to eat one after another! Thank you for the recipe!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 22nd, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      I’m so glad you liked them!! And welcome to the scratch side. 🙂




  25. How much is a stick of butter, I’m in UK and do not knowthe amount needed for recipe using cup/stick measures. Could you tell me what that is conerved to grams. I would really love to do this recipe.



  26. Hello! I made these about two years ago for my BFFs birthday and he and everyone else loved them they were a hit n oh so lemony lol but I was wanting to know if I can make the cupcake batter into a cake then use the lemon curd as a filling for the cake? Do you think it’s possible? Please help! Want to make the cake version of this for my boyfriend’s birthday! He’s going to be the big 3-5! Thank you!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on October 5th, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      You can bake it as one 9″ cake and then torte it for sure to use the curd as a filling!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *