Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

4.95 from 18 votes

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!


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:

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!
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 15 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake



  • 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


  • 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.

Nutrition Information

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
Keyword cupcake, lemon

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

collage of lemon cupcakes

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101 CommentsLeave a comment or review

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

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

  3. I made these twice already.  These are so delicious.  Easy to make with the recipe.  I never eat my cupcakes and I ate 6 of them.  Wow.  Thank you for sharing this recipe.   I have a beautiful picture but don’t know where to post it.  Again, thank you!    P.S. Baked for 18 minutes and baked perfectly, no burns.  

  4. Made this for the first time in 2016 for a Celebration of Life Gathering. My mother had died and she was known for her love of all things dessert, so I wanted to honor her by making something really special. I hate cooking, but the challenge of making something in honor of her was important, so I made these cupcakes. They were a huge hit! I am now relied upon to provide these cupcakes for our annual real estate Baked Goods Auction- I make 3 dozen and last year my cupcakes fetched over $500.00.
    Important things to know if you don’t have the good luck to get it perfect the first time (I wasn’t as meticulous in subsequent batches but I now know why- consistency in carefully following these guidelines will help!): First, follow the directions EXACTLY. When it says “begin with the flour and end with the flour” when combining the flour and whole milk to the batter, do it this way! Use the REAL lemons. Also, bring eggs to room temperature. Make sure oven temperature is accurate- use a thermometer if your oven isn’t reliable. Pre-heat the oven completely. You can use an electric mixer, but never mix on high- use the wisking attachments and go “easy.” When mixing batter, only mix until it’s “just mixed.” Over-mixing will ruin the cupcakes. You can’t go off and do something else while running the mixer (like you can when making Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies.) Trust me. Also, do not walk off and keep the cupcakes in the oven too long- and once the buzzer goes off and the tooth-pick test comes out clean, get the cakes out of their pans or they’ll continue to cook and will be dry. Use the freshest eggs & other ingredients. Items on sale are usually WAY past their ideal use date. I’ve read up on cupcakes because they really aren’t a “piece of cake” to get right. Other good tips include: 1- if you can’t measure accurately with your eyes, use a scoop to fill each of the cupcake liners so they’re equally filled, and only fill them about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up. 2- put icing completely over the top, to the edges of the cupcake- it’ll keep the cake fresher longer. 3- the icing gets warm quickly when you use a plastic cone for decorating. Ice the cupcakes quickly or the icing gets disgusting and you can’t get it to look nice. Refrigerate it for a few minutes if you have to. If you have no artistic ablities, don’t bother with filling a cone and screwing around with the tips… just spread the icing on neatly… 4. Store in air-tight containers like Tupperware. Storing on the counter or in the fridge with only a wrap over them won’t keep them from getting stale and/or hard. I still hate cooking but these things ROCK.

  5. I am excited to make! I have not made yet and plan to for Easter cookout. Do these need to be refridgerated when not being served? For example, can I make at home (and refrigerate if needed) then take to cookout where they can be on table for a couple of hours (more) before serving. Or can they simply be in the air conditioned house for serving. My host will have no room in the fridge. Thanks for any response.

  6. Made these for my mom for Mother’s Day as she’s a huge lemon fanatic. She LOVED them as did everyone else there. The cake and icing were so light,fluffy and had a ton of lemon flavour without being overbearing.