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Lemon Cupcakes are the perfect lemon dessert with triple the lemon flavor. It’s like lemon smacks you in the face in every single bite! This is one of my favorite cupcake recipes – moist and tender with lemon filling and lemon buttercream frosting!

A perfect triple lemon cupcake cut in half to show lemon curd filling

BEST Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

It’s no secret that I love lemon desserts. Sometimes I crave it so fiercely I find myself in the kitchen baking up a storm. These lemon cupcakes are the best lemon dessert I’ve made. Ever. And? This recipe is the best lemon cupcake I’ve ever had. TRIPLE the lemon flavor: lemon in every bite!

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! The taste is amazing – I know you’ll love them.

Important Ingredients Needed

  • Flour, Baking Powder, Salt: These are what I use in my vanilla cupcake recipe.
  • Melted Butter: I start with melted butter to keep the cupcakes moist.
  • Lemon: lemon zest and lemon juice to punch up the lemon flavor.
  • Milk: Whole milk is best but you can use any fat content or nondairy milk.
  • Powdered Sugar: Confectioners’ Sugar is best for a fluffy frosting

How to make Lemon Cupcakes

  • Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Mix melted butter with granulated sugar, then add the eggs one at a time and add pure vanilla extract. You can use an electric mixer in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl during mixing.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients alternately with the milk and mix just until moistened.
  • Place cupcake liners in muffin tin and fill 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. You’ll need 2 cupcake pans. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Once the cupcakes are cool, you can fill the cupcakes with lemon curd. Simply cut out a small section of the cupcake (a circle about the size of a dime) and spoon some curd in the hole. Replace some of the removed cupcake part and your lemon cupcake is ready for frosting.
  • Make the frosting by beating the softened butter with powdered sugar until crumbly, then add the lemon zest and juice until mixture is smooth for frosting.

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

BEST Frosting: Lemon Buttercream

While you could use cream cheese frosting on these cupcakes, I like making a from scratch lemon buttercream. My favorite vanilla buttercream recipe is easily adapted to lemon: 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.

To pipe pretty frosting as I did, use a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip and pipe the frosting high on the cupcake.

A bunch of perfect triple lemon cupcakes topped with lemon buttercream

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • You can easily buy lemon curd (it’s sold by the jams and jellies) or you can make homemade lemon curd. Making your own is easy and fast and it’s SO good to fill cupcakes with or eat on toast or with a spoon.
  • I love making the frosting up to two days ahead of time and storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then when I’m ready to frost my cupcakes, I just let it come to room temperature before frosting. I also love freezing the frosting for later!
  • Store cupcakes unfrosted in the freezer for up to 2 months (in an airtight container).
  • Want even more lemon flavor? Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract with the vanilla.
  • You know cake and cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
A perfect triple lemon cupcake cut in half to show lemon curd filling

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

4.02 from 103 votes
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!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 15 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake



  • 1 ½ cups (186g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (59ml) fresh lemon juice from about 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest from about 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup (119ml) whole milk

Filling & Frosting:

  • ½ cup lemon curd jarred or from scratch for the filling
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • 4 ½ cups (509g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 large lemon
  • ¼ cup (59g) lemon juice 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream for desired consistency


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with liners (makes 15-16 cupcakes).
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Replace a piece of the cupcake to cover.
  • 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.
  • Frost cupcakes by placing frosting in a pastry bag. I like the 1M tip, it gives pretty swirls. Add extra lemon zest or sprinkles for decoration, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Be sure not to over mix the batter or they will turn out too dense
  • Don’t let the batter sit – bake them as soon as they are mixed for a fluffier cupcake.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made these cupcakes last week for my Dad’s birthday and they were exceptional! We all love lemon meringue pie and these cupcakes rivaled our favorite dessert for lemony flavor, SO good! Great recipe, easy to follow. I made 12 cupcakes from recipe and it took me longer than the prep time listed but I am sure I’ll be quicker next time. Thank you!

  2. The buttercream frosting came out to thin. I don’t know if my butter was too soft or if I shouldn’t have used so much juice. Helpful hints?

  3. Can the cupcakes (with the lemon curd in them) be frozen and then iced after defrosting? Thanks!

  4. these turned out really good! i had some problems with the homemade curd not thickening but that was because i didn’t heat it long enough but i reheated it and it turned out amazing. the cupcakes also didn’t rise as high as other cupcakes i’ve made before but the buttercream was the best buttercream i’ve ever made myself — almost tasted professionally made! overall they were really good and – this might just be personal preference – i think they tasted even better the next few days after i made them! will definitely be trying more recipes from here 🙂

  5. These were the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. My whole family loved them and said they were the best cupcakes they’ve ever tried and the frosting was delicious!

  6. These definitely fell short of what I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong they were good as a whole but I will definitely use another cupcake base recipe next time. I have made these twice thinking I over mixed the batter but they came out the same both times. It reminded me more of a moist muffin than a cupcake.