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

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

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. 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.
  7. 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.

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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


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  1. Love when lemon desserts are packed full of lemon. These look absolutely amazing!
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Carrot HummusMy Profile

  2. I love very lemony desserts :-) These cupcakes look delicious!
    Chloe @ foodlikecake recently posted..Easter Egg Coconut NestsMy Profile

  3. hi dorothy, omg..i just love your site..i have tried your cookies,cakes and bars recepies…and it is terrific..please…do more and share more about food that high in sugar..i have a sweet tooth and i preety sure that you also have a sweet tooth…but before i end this “conversation’ would you mind to share what font are you using for your site..bcause it such a lovely font..thanks :)

  4. LOVE the surprise filling! Such a perfect spring cupcake :)
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel recently posted..Brown Sugar Banana Ice Cream with Brownie ChunksMy Profile

  5. Mmm, there is something about lemon is cakes that makes them hard to stop eating! I think it’s the whole sweet/sour thing, because once I start eating I can’t stop hahaha! Oh I made some vegan lemon sauce that you might like the other day, it’s perfect for drizzling over cakes or pancakes :) x
    Millie recently posted..Saucy Little Lemon’s Gone SweetMy Profile

  6. TRIPLE lemon?! This is the best lemon cupcake ever! I love that lemon filling in the inside of these cupcakes – you made it look so pretty! And if you can smell lemon you know it’s definitely a winner recipe! Pinned :)
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron recently posted..Fruity Cheesecake with a Sugar Cookie CrustMy Profile

  7. I am all about triple lemon! Love these cupcakes!!
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet recently posted..Glazed Lemon Muffins RecipeMy Profile

  8. I can imagine biting into these cupcakes and tasting all the lemon flavor! They look amazing!
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker recently posted..Crispy Black Bean and Rice BurritosMy Profile

  9. Ummmmmm. Why have I not found your adorable site sooner!!!!?!?!?!?!

  10. Oh. My. Lemon Heaven! These look sooo yummy, and your pics are to die for, Dorothy! :)
    Holly @ Life in the Lofthouse recently posted..Oatmeal Cream PiesMy Profile

  11. If I can’t have spring weather, at least I can eat a delicious, tart lemon cupcake!
    Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures recently posted..Potato Chip Pancakes with Chocolate ChipsMy Profile

  12. Mmm Dorothy, these look divine! Plus lemoncurd in the middle? I want!!
    Aimee @ Like Mother Like Daughter recently posted..Bountiful Baskets Haul Week 2My Profile

  13. Delicious!
    Rebecca Cooper recently posted..Family Fun | Phoenix Color Fun Fest 5KMy Profile

  14. I love that you took the time to FILL them. Now that is dedication that I don’t have…LOL :) They are beautiful, Dorothy!
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..Key Lime Pie BarsMy Profile

  15. Dorothy these look amazingly good and so lemon-y! I can relate to your lemon cravings – I had a huge lemon dessert craving the other day and made a lemon loaf :D I will definitively be coming back to this recipe next time I make lemon cupcakes!
    Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen recently posted..One Pan Mexican Rice {gluten-free, vegan, easy}My Profile

  16. There is no such thing as too much lemon flavor as far as I am concerned and anything filled with lemon curd is an instant favorite with me! ( Long, long ago even my wedding cake layered with lemon curd!) what pretty and lemony delicious spring cupcakes, Dorothy!
    Wendy recently posted..Chocolate-Dipped Peach Tea Shortbread CookiesMy Profile

  17. lol I actually pinned these earlier on Pinterest because they looked soooo good! I’ve been craving lemon desserts recently and I think these are just the ticket! I’ve also had this really strange urge to make homemade lemon curd. Don’t ask. I don’t know. Can’t wait to try these out!!!1
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking recently posted..Hungarian Chicken Paprikas with Homemade SpaetzleMy Profile

  18. Saw this on G+, I am the worlds biggest lemon lover! Got em pinned and will be making these toot sweet. Love your site.
    Rhonda recently posted..Easy Chicken GyrosMy Profile

  19. You’re speaking my language Dorothy. Lemon should always be a punch in the face. I love the curd added to the frosting!
    Karen @ The Food Charlatan recently posted..Strawberry Truffle CakeMy Profile

  20. I bet your tables are going to have the highest bids of the night! How could people not fall in love with bright, cheerful, sunshiny lemon cupcakes?? I’ve made lemon frosting a few years ago, but never since then… It actually never made it onto the cupcakes I was supposed to be frosting, and I ate it all with a spoon instead. Straight from the bowl. No shame — it was WAY too addictive!
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking recently posted..Skinny Kale & Tomato QuicheMy Profile

  21. Wow! These look good, love lemon.
    cheri savory spoon recently posted..Polenta with Shrimp RagoutMy Profile

  22. Laurie F. says:

    You can never have too much lemon in a cupcake! These look like the best lemon cupcakes ever! I recently made your perfect vanilla cupcakes, and they really were perfect! Thanks for all the best-ever recipes!!!

  23. These look amazing- reminds me of summer! I must try these asap!

  24. Oooh, maybe these will be lemony enough for my mom – she’s definitely in the eating-lemon-curd-out-of-the-jar-with-a-spoon camp!
    Joanna @ the knitlit twit recently posted..WIP Wednesday: Can you hear me now?My Profile

  25. I need to get on the lemon train. Chocolate is always good, but I need to switch it up a bit! These look amazing!

  26. I love non-wimpy lemon desserts and these look like the best lemon cupcakes ever! Triple lemon with a punch you in the face full of flavor?? I’m in love – especially with the gorgeous lemon curd filling! Can’t wait to make these – pinned.
    Kelly – Life made Sweeter recently posted..Raspberry Lemon Loaf CakeMy Profile

  27. Gorgeous Dorothy! You can never have too much lemon. Can’t wait to try these exciting cupcakes :)
    Megan – The Emotional Baker recently posted..Carrot Cake BarsMy Profile

  28. Oh my gosh these look amazing! I love lemon so much. These would definitely brighten up my day!
    Shawn @ I Wash You Dry recently posted..The Best Casserole PotatoesMy Profile

  29. Delicious Dorothy! I go through phases…sometimes I think I love lemon more than peanut butter, then peanut butter takes over again. At the moment, I love lemon the best :-)
    Joy @ Baking-Joy recently posted..Lemon, White Chocolate and Blueberry MuffinsMy Profile

  30. I LOVE lemon so these are perfect for me! Pinned!
    Tonia recently posted..Macaroni and Cheese Pot PieMy Profile

  31. I love citrus desserts and these cupcakes look amazing… triple lemon YUM!! Pinned!
    Roxy | Roxy’s Kitchen recently posted..Surprise Inside Carrot Cake CheesecakeMy Profile

  32. I’m a ok with being smacked by lemons haha! Especially in adorable cupcake form!
    Mary Frances @ The Sweet Tooth Life recently posted..Black Bean Brownie Mug CakeMy Profile

  33. I’m a lemon lover too Dorothy! I love this recipe!! Pinning and making soon :-)
    Deb@CookingOnTheFrontBurner recently posted..SW Chicken Chopped SaladMy Profile

  34. These are so pretty! Love that beautiful yellow filling. Pinning.
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Butterscotch Chocolate Caramel Cookie Cups ~ #SundaySupperMy Profile

  35. So, I made homemade lemon curd the other day, and ever since then I have NEEEEEEDED to make more lemony desserts. I have one coming this week that is pretty much the definition of awesome lemon, but now I can just make these with the rest of my lemon curd. These look FANTASTIC!
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue recently posted..Chocolate Dipped Strawberry CookiesMy Profile

  36. Anything that has triple lemon in the title has got to be good! And sure enough your cupcakes are lemony perfection! :) Pinned!
    Jocelyn@Brucrewlife recently posted..Loaded Chicken Alfredo Gnocchi BakeMy Profile

  37. 5 cups in the frosting?!…. Isn’t that a lot?

    • I know, it seems like a lot, but it’s not. It makes a lot of frosting. I never like to run out. (I hate it when I’m getting to those last few cupcakes and start sweating I’ll have to make more.)

  38. I made this yesterday for a birthday party, they were amazing! I did alter the frosting some because I don’t like super sweet icing (used only 3 cups of powdered sugar and added 4oz of cream cheese). Everyone at the party loved them and the intense lemon flavor! Thank you for sharing and I’m very excited to have stumbled upon your site :)

  39. Jennifer says:

    My husband is crazy for lime, so I tried these with lime instead. The were delicious, but a few things were odd. I think I added the lime juice to the batter too soon and it fizzed out with the baking powder before I could get it in the oven. (A hungry baby woke early from his nap, causing me to leave the kitchen…) The cupcakes were extremely dense. Also, the lime juice seemed to do something funny to the butter in the frosting. Totally yummy, but a very strange, grainy texture. I do love lime or lemon curd smeared on before frosting a cupcake and I will continue that practice for sure!

    • Hm, I’m sorry that happened! I’m not sure why lime would make a difference in the frosting. Possibly it reacted with the sugar or the cream? Did you use heavy cream in the frosting or make any changes to it?

  40. Jessica says:

    Would these be able to sit out at room temp without spoiling, since there is lemon curd in them? Have a wedding that wants something like this but wasnt sure if it would work. Thanks!

  41. Love these mine came put great !! How long can they last tho? Should I store on fridge to make them last longer ?

    • You can store them in the fridge for sure (once they are frosted you should, so it doesn’t get melty). They’ll last a few days. They’re best room temperature for eating. You can also freeze the cupcakes (unfrosted) for up to a month! :) Glad you liked them!

  42. Could this recipe be used for a layer cake? If so, how many batches would you think for 5-6 layers? Double or triple the recipe?

    • My goal for the next month or so is to turn my cupcakes into layer cakes! I’m not sure how many layers a batch would make, since I’ve never done it. I think if you double it you should get 3-4 8″ layer cakes you could torte! Let me know if it works.


  1. […] Find the recipe at : […]

  2. […] The Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes […]

  3. […] De volta aos dias de hoje e à receita, a massa fofinha de limão combina bem com o recheio azedinho da geléia de amora (que eu já te ensinei como faz aqui) e a cobertura de buttercream de limão. Tanto a massa quanto o buttercream fiz baseado na receita do Crazy for Crust. […]

  4. […] con una receta más fancy que unos cupcakes de vainilla. Buscando en Pinterest me pillé con esta receta y decidí adaptarla. Es lo mismo pero sin el relleno, y el frosting decidí hacerlo de […]

  5. […] The original recipe can be found here on CrazyForCrust. Although I made a few changes based on my personal baking preferences, this recipe is largely […]

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