Lemon Cupcakes

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
All you dog owners out there.. I give you a round of applause!

Ryan and I dog sat this weekend. It was a lot of fun pretending to be dog owners, it gives you a great reason to go for lots of walks.

I did learn that dogs can be silly and finicky. Like when they refuse to keep walking during a walk and all of a sudden the dog becomes a 400 pound sumo wrestler that I can’t manage to move an inch.

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
I am pretty sure I learned how to speak dog too. It went something like this.. I was standing in the hallway. The dog came over, sat down, and looked at me. I looked at the dog because I was trying to figure out what it wanted. Then the dog looked at it’s leash hanging up on the wall and looked back at me. The dog practically said, “I want to go on a walk please” and I couldn’t refuse those cute doggie eyes.

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
Dogs and cupcakes.. you’re probably wondering how these two relate. If you have a dog that snatches food off of your table or counter, I’m sure you see the connection :)

A few weeks ago I brought these lemon cupcakes to small group. And Sophie, the dog we watched, snatched an entire cupcake right out of the container. I think she might have even eaten the wrapper. So moral of the story, both dogs and humans like these cupcakes :)

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
A few tips on making cupcakes:
-Be aware of how full you fill the muffin pan with batter. The batter will puff up when baking, so filling the cups 1/2 full is a safe amount.

-If you are wanting to pipe frosting onto the cupcakes you’ll need a large piping bag and a large piping tip. I like the 2D wilton piping tip, it creates beautiful swirls. If you only have access to a large ziploc bag, you can use that instead of a piping bag.

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
These are the perfect lemon cupcakes with light lemon buttercream frosting!

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!

Lemon Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours


Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Light Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tsp lemon juice, depending on how strong you like the flavor



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling 1/2 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the room temperature butter and shortening, beat using an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Begin to add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Slowly beat the mixture until the powered sugar is incorporated. Continue this process, adding enough powdered sugar to make sure the frosting isn’t too wet.
  3. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice, beat until just combined.
  4. Transfer a portion of the frosting to a large ziploc bag or piping bag. Push or squeeze the frosting down, getting rid of any air pockets. If using a ziploc bag, cut half one corner, making a hole between the size of a dime and a penny.
  5. Begin to pipe the frosting onto a cupcake, starting with the outside edge and working your way into the center of the cupcake, progressively stacking the frosting as you go around in circles.
  6. Garnish each cupcake with a lemon slice.

Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!
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  1. So pretty! And I’m a sucker for anything lemon.

  2. I am not a dog owner and at times, I would like one, then I think of all the times I have to go for a walk during the winter and rain. Then I think of the times that we like to leave for the weekend and the dog couldn’t come with. Just doesn’t fit ;) But this cupcakes…gotta love the lemon flavor!

    • I suggest that you dog sit whenever the desire to buy a dog creeps up.. and that will satisfy you for a while :)

  3. Thanks for this one. I would definitely be using the most amount of lemon :) They sound great.

  4. Yummm! I can see why the dog wanted to eat one! We don’t have a dog but my daughter does and her dog is always trying to snatch food too.

  5. You’re dog sitting adventure sounds a lot like our everyday. We have one and I want another one so bad! I also want about a dozen of these cupcakes. Lemon is the best!

  6. My Dogs and I both love cupcakes too! I love lemon!

  7. People and dog approved cupcakes, now I know they must be good! Those frosting swirls are perfect!

  8. yes, my dogs eat the wrappers as well :) this is why I started hiding stuff in the microwave – LOVE the lemon

  9. Haha, trust me, dogs are amazing! I wouldn’t trade our guy for the world! However, I must admit, I am glad the warmer temperatures are here because I was dreading the walks!
    As for the cupcakes, they look amazing!! I adore lemon anything.

    • I think it would be fun to be a dog owner if I lived in Hawaii, then I’d always want to go to walks :)

  10. These cupcakes are like sunshine on a plate, and that lemon buttercream is SO delicious! I’m dying for one of these right now!

  11. I love how light and fluffy these look!

  12. Dear Beth, These cupcakes look beautiful. I love lemon desserts. Pinning. xo, Catherine

  13. I love lemon these would be perfect for Easter. Feel free to share your recipe at my weekly party if you like. Hope I get to make the recipe soon.

  14. These are so pretty, Beth! I love how spring-y they are, so perfect for Easter!

  15. Having two dogs, I totally get the sumo wrestling. It is usually sumo mud wrestling in my case. These cupcakes are gorgeous!!

  16. These are so pretty Beth! I love baking with lemons. As for the dogs, you are braver than I! I’m more of a cat person ;)

  17. These look so darling Beth! Love the simplicity of them and that little slice of lemon just adds something a little sweet and extra :)

  18. These look incredible Beth! I have a hard enough time hiding treats from my teenage boys, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with a dog thief too. ;)

  19. Dog sitting sounds like the perfect way to get a taste of a pet without having to commit!! I love that you speak dog now :) These cupcakes look delicious! My husband loves lemon desserts, I need to make these for him!

  20. Dogs are just like kids… mine eat part of the wrappers too. ;-) And I can’t blame them with these!

  21. Lemon is my favorite. These cupcakes are adorable. I wish I had one right now!

  22. When you say tsp of lemon, do you mean extract or concentrate, or fresh squeezed juice? Thanks in advance for your response.

  23. I would love to know if the lemon buttercream frosting won’t melt of the heat? if it stays nice & piped :D

    I’m planning on baking some different kind of cupcakes & donate them to a charity this Sunday.
    And I don’t want the buttercream melted xD

  24. Hiya, wil this frosting melt if it is outside the fridge for a while? :)

  25. The best lemon cake I’ve ever tried. All the flavors are balanced and fresh. LOVED IT ! <3 

  26. I don’t have a dog, I do have two cats, one of which used to be a stray and is teaching the orger. Our kitten (the stray) will eat almost anything her favourites being uncooked rice and flour! So ill have to keep these away from them both!

  27. These looks delicious! I love lemon cupcakes, they`re always more “light” in flavore than the heavy sugary once I often make. I loved the easy and elegant way of staging the cupcakes with lemon

  28. If these were made in the small size, (bite size) how long do you think they need to bake?  I made the big ones and they were awesome!

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