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. The cupcakes turned out really good. I didn’t do the custard, or frosting. l just iced them with confectioners sugar mixed with lemon juice and water. And it turned out superb. Maybe l’ll try to make a lemon cake using this recipe.

  2. I was concerned that there might be too much lemon or too much vanilla. But I followed your recipe exactly, and everything was just right. These were extra delicious. I was able to deliver some to the people who have done some grocery shopping for me during isolation and still have some left for our family. This is a recipe I will definitely be making again.

  3. So. I only made the cupcake, not the curd or the frosting because I always top with a berry frosting but anywho, these cupcakes are so dang good. I’ve been on the hunt for a bursting with flavor lemon cupcake and this is it. I did 2 tsp of Baking soda instead of 1, and added about a half lemon more zest and juice because I wanted that BAM flavor in the cake itself. My goodness, this will forever be my go to recipe for the perfect lemon cupcake!

  4. We are not bakers. Just made these in Day ??? of quarantine for our friend’s 16th bday. “Double Triple Keeper Recipe” was the verdict from our youngest (11yrs) of three boys. The birthday girl across the street and her family also loved them! “The lemon cupcakes are DELICIOUS!”
    Excellent recipe. The best lemon cupcakes ever! And thank you for a wonderful delicious diversion from current events.

  5. This recipe is delicious!!!!!!! We are huge lemon fans and can never find a recipe that really has the lemon kick we want, until now. I will be making these cupcakes often.

    1. This will be the second time I’ve made these. First time I forgot to use the curd. But with or without (store bought curd or homemade), they are hands down the best lemon cupcakes! Perfect amount of lemon!! Quarantine shmorentine with these babies around!