Crazy for Crust

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

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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!

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lemon cupcake unwrapped

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 one of those times. I think you’ll be glad for my fierce craving!

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

My Triple Lemon Cupcakes recipe is the best lemon cupcake I’ve ever had.

Strong words, but true. In my opinion the best lemon cupcakes have lemon curd filling and a lemon butter cream. TRIPLE the lemon flavor: lemon in every bite!

Awhile back I had lemons in my refrigerator and needed to do something with them before they went bad. I made lemon curd and then used that curd to fill these easy lemon cupcakes.

inside of lemon cupcake

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!

This recipe is a simple lemon cupcake made from scratch.

To make this easy lemon cupcake, I started with my perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. I wanted to be sure and get enough lemon flavor in the cupcake, so I added lots of zest and lemon juice to the batter. Making a moist cupcake that is soft and fluffy but sturdy enough to have a filling can be tricky, and this recipe works just perfect.

The big difference between this recipe and my vanilla cake is that I don’t use buttermilk in this recipe. Because of the added lemon juice, regular milk is fine. The acid in the lemon juice will create a buttermilk-like texture to create the rise that’s needed in the recipe.

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

lemon cupcake

Lemon Curd is the perfect filling for Lemon Cupcakes!

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.

To fill the cupcakes, 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.

The best frosting for lemon cupcakes is lemon buttercream!

While you could use cream cheese frosting on these cupcakes, I like making a from scratch lemon buttercream. My favorite 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.

  • Tip: 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.

lemon cupcake unwrapped

Together all three of these easy components make a delicious sweet and tart Triple Lemon Cupcake recipe that every lemon lover loves!

Lemon is one of my favorite ingredients! Other lemon recipes:

lemon cupcake unwrapped
4.91 from 10 votes
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Servings: 15 cupcakes

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
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!

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 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
  • 4 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with liners (makes 15-16 cupcakes).

  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. Replace a piece of the cupcake to cover.

  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 or sprinkles for decoration, if desired.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcake, lemon

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 cupcake) — Calories: 464, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 84mg, Sodium: 159mg, Potassium: 75mg, Carbohydrates: 68g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 57g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 645%, Vitamin C: 4.1%, Calcium: 33%, Iron: 0.8%

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

collage of lemon cupcakes

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92 comments

  1. I’m making these cupcakes on Saturday. I wanted to know if the lemon frosting is a yellow color or is it more white?

  2. Measure the 1/4 cup, I mentioned 1/2 a lemon as a guide for how many to buy.

  3. These are delicious!! I made mine with the cream cheese frosting. Very good recipe, I had no problems following and the cupcakes are yummy! 

  4. Can I substitute vegetable oil for the butter?

  5. Is it really a tablespoon of vanilla extract? Or is it supposed to be a teaspoon?

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