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!

Did you make this recipe?

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.

  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.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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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!

  2. I love very lemony desserts 🙂 These cupcakes look delicious!

  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 🙂

  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

  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 🙂

  7. I am all about triple lemon! Love these cupcakes!!

  8. I can imagine biting into these cupcakes and tasting all the lemon flavor! They look amazing!

  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! 🙂

  11. If I can’t have spring weather, at least I can eat a delicious, tart lemon cupcake!

  12. Mmm Dorothy, these look divine! Plus lemoncurd in the middle? I want!!

  13. I love that you took the time to FILL them. Now that is dedication that I don’t have…LOL 🙂 They are beautiful, Dorothy!

  14. 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 😀 I will definitively be coming back to this recipe next time I make lemon cupcakes!

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. Saw this on G+, I am the worlds biggest lemon lover! Got em pinned and will be making these toot sweet. Love your site.

  18. You’re speaking my language Dorothy. Lemon should always be a punch in the face. I love the curd added to the frosting!

  19. 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!

  20. Wow! These look good, love lemon.

  21. 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!!!

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

  23. 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!

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

  25. 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.

  26. Gorgeous Dorothy! You can never have too much lemon. Can’t wait to try these exciting cupcakes 🙂

  27. Oh my gosh these look amazing! I love lemon so much. These would definitely brighten up my day!

  28. 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 🙂

  29. I LOVE lemon so these are perfect for me! Pinned!

  30. I love citrus desserts and these cupcakes look amazing… triple lemon YUM!! Pinned!

  31. I’m a ok with being smacked by lemons haha! Especially in adorable cupcake form!

  32. I’m a lemon lover too Dorothy! I love this recipe!! Pinning and making soon 🙂

  33. These are so pretty! Love that beautiful yellow filling. Pinning.

  34. 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!

  35. Anything that has triple lemon in the title has got to be good! And sure enough your cupcakes are lemony perfection! 🙂 Pinned!

  36. 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.)

  37. Pingback: Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

  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. 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. Pingback: Mini Lemon Chess Pies - Crazy for Crust

  41. 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!

  42. Pingback: Cupcakes de Limão Siciliano e Amora - Kitchenlicious

  43. Pingback: Recetas: Cupcakes de Limón | Fran Eats

  44. 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!

  45. Pingback: Y*mmy: Triple Lemon Cupcakes | PonderTheIrrelevant

  46. 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.

  47. Pingback: Lemon Buttercream Cupcake Frosting | Just Live It... in the kitchen

  48. I did a test batch of these for a wedding I am baking for in a few weeks.  I absolutely LOVED the taste, but they were a bit heavier than I was hoping for.  Do you think subbing cake flour would help make them a bit softer?  Thanks!

  49. Pingback: The last of our backyard lemons prompted these triple lemon cupcakes

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

  51. 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  59. 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?

  60. 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!!

  61. 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?

    • 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!

  62. 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. 

  63. 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?

    • 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!

  64. 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

  65. 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?

    • 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!

  66. 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!! 

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

  68. 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!

    • 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!

  69. 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! 

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

  71. 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!

  72. 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!


  74. 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.


  75. 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!

  76. They are perfect thank you for sharing the recipe.

  77. My daughter has Celiac Disease so we have to bake gluten free. I was unable to use the cupcake part. I just used another one I have. But I did use your lemon curd and frosting part of the triple lemon cup cakes. They were both amazing!! I bake every day and my friend has a 10 year old daughter that wants to learn to bake, so she comes over and we make something new today was your recipe she just loved the lemon curd and the frosting. The frosting was just perfect for her to practice piping. We had so much fun! Thanks for a delicious recipe

  78. The cupcakes were a hit!! I used unsalted butter like someone suggested and I made Lemon curd from scratch. They were amazing!! Thank you for sharing.

  79. These are out of this world! So glad to find a lemon cupcake that tastes this lemony. Delicious!!!

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