Cake/ Cupcakes/ Desserts/ Frostings and Icings

Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

I know I just posted a cupcake recipe a few days ago, but I just made these cupcakes this last week and was dying to share them with you!  Plus I was giving you guys a little break from all the pumpkin.  I have never been a fan of lemon desserts…just not my thing.  I actually don’t really like fruit in any of my desserts (except our family recipe for Apple Strudel which I will share soon!).  Don’t get me wrong—I love fruit, but I just prefer fruit in its natural, raw form.  And I love dessert, but I like my desserts decadent and over the top.  But these cupcakes are requested quite often for my special order cupcakes I bake!  I bake cupcakes, cakes and any other dessert for any occasion any person needs.  If you are in the Central Valley (California) and need a speciality dessert, you can find my email in the “Work with me” menu if you are interested in me baking for you!  I love creating desserts that not only taste yummy, but that look pretty too.  Plus it’s nothing that you can buy at the local grocery store or Costco.

This is a really easy recipe that I oh-so slightly adapted from the Lemon Cupcake recipe from Averie Cooks.  Averie’s blog is actually the first blog I had ever seen and I have been hooked on reading dessert blogs ever since then.  You should really go check out her blog…her pictures are amazing!  And obviously I love her recipes too!  The Lemon Buttercream frosting is my go-to frosting recipe from Beyond Frosting, however I changed it to add in the lemon.

These cupcakes were made for a baby shower for a little boy, which I decorated with blue sprinkles and Teddy Grahams…I just thought the Teddy Grahams were adorable and it’s an edible decoration.  Win win!!


I used my Wilton Large 1A tip to pipe the frosting onto these cupcakes…it is my go-to frosting tip!  I like simple and love the frosting swirl.  I use disposable pastry bags because I am lazy.  The larger the bags the better, especially if you have a lot of frosting, which I did because I baked 3 dozen of these lemon cupcakes.  When it is time to put the frosting into the pastry bag, I put the pastry bag in a tall glass, tip side at the bottom of the glass, and roll the plastic down over the sides of the glass, so you can fill the pastry bag without getting the top of it all goopy.  I have made these cupcakes before, for a girl baby shower, and I have to share a picture of those with you too…here’s how I decorated those:


I decorated these cupcakes as a Lemonade Cupcake, adding a pink straw, white and pink sprinkles and a lemon drop candy!  Even though these two cupcakes were made for baby showers, you could use these for any sort of birthday party or celebration!

Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Print Recipe
Serves: 14 Cooking Time: 18-minutes


  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (I used powdered buttermilk which equals 2 1/2 tablespoons powder and 2/3 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon emulsion or extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour (or you can use all-purpose flour instead)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon emulsion or extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest



Preheat oven to 350-degrees and line cupcake pans with liners (you should get approximately 14 cupcakes). Set aside.


In the bowl of your electric mixer, add the egg, sugar, buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sour cream and both extracts. Whisk until smooth.


With the mixer on low, slowly add the flours, nutmeg, baking soda and salt into your batter. Mix until just incorporated. My batter was not completely smooth and this is okay. You don't want to over mix.


Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full of batter and bake one cupcake pan at a time for 18-minutes. Use a toothpick to test the center of your cupcake after 18-minutes to check for doneness. If there's no raw batter on the toothpick, then your cupcakes are done! A few crumbs are don't want dry, over baked cupcakes.


Once cupcakes are baked and cool enough to handle, remove the cupcakes from the cupcake pan and place on wire rack to cool. I wait to frost my cupcakes until the day I need them. Place unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to frost.


Lemon Buttercream Frosting:


In the bowl of your electric mixer, add the cubed butter. Using the paddle attachment beat the butter for 4-minutes on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Next, slowly add two cups of powdered sugar to the butter and mix on low until incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix until combined.


Add two cups of powdered sugar to the mixer and mix on low until it is incorporated. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for 3-minutes.


Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the last cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and the lemon zest to the bowl. Mix on low until incorporated and once incorporated, turn the speed to medium-high and mix for 6-minutes.


Frost cooled cupcakes using desired frosting method.


Frosting recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes. I had leftover frosting, which I used to frost cookies with.


Lemon-y goodness!!  I used yellow food coloring to color the frosting, but I wish it was a deeper yellow.  I am using up the last of the liquid food coloring I have and then after that, I will only buy the gel food coloring.


Do you like lemon desserts?  What is your favorite lemon dessert!  Drop me a line and lets chat!




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