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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!

4.75 from 4 ratings

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Lemon Cupcakes

By: Beth
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Perfect lemon cupcakes with a light lemon buttercream frosting!


Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (1/2 cup)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk

Light Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature (1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tsp lemon juice, depending on how strong you like the flavor



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the room temperature butter and shortening, beat using an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • 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.
  • Add in the vanilla and lemon juice, beat until just combined.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Garnish each cupcake with a lemon slice.


Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 532IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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Recipe Rating


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

  2. 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

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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!