Lemon Cupcakes

Our lemon cupcakes are delicious! This easy recipe makes a beautifully buttery, yet light and well-risen sponge cake which we top with zingy lemon frosting.

We over-filled the cupcakes, and the cakes rose very prettily over the top (but still stayed in the paper case). Because they are so well-risen, we wanted to show that rounded top off to best advantage and so we decided against a whipped creamy frosting.

We decorated them in three different ways and really couldn't decide on our favourite - so we're giving all three here. Our first one was ultra zingy, with a high lemon taste. The second was medium zing, with a zingy frosting and a lemon curd filling. The third one is a more delicate creamy lemon flavour.

If you choose to make your own lemon curd, you will need to make it in the morning so that it is properly cold before you use it. We almost always make our own lemon curd - it's just so much more tasty than shop bought.

They are all gorgeous. I have given quantities so that you can make 4 of each different type. If you want to make just one type, you need to multiply the filling quantities by three.

Also, I have given the recipe using either self-raising flour or plain with raising agents.

Lemon Cupcakes

Level: easy
Time: 1 hour to serving
Makes 12 small cupcakes

90g (1/2 cup) plus 1 tbsp
plain flour
pinch salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

90g (1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp)
self-raising flour

55g (1/4 cup) sugar
55g (1/4 cup) butter
1 egg
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of a lemon

Filling for 4 cupcakes

3 tbsp whipping cream
4 tsp lemon curd

3 tbsp powdered (icing) sugar
Lemon juice

To decorate
Strips of lemon zest

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F, Gas mark 5.
  • This is a simple all-in-one method. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk on a medium speed for one minute.

  • Scrape the ingredients down from the sides of the bowl using a flexible spatula. Whisk for another minute on full speed.

  • Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake papers. The mixture will come up fairly high.

  • Put on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

  • The cakes will be very slightly browned at the edges, and well domed. They will spring back when gently pressed with your finger.

  • Allow the cakes to cool fully before filling.

  • Once the cakes are cold, you can whip the cream until stiff.

  • Now make the powdered sugar frosting, but using lemon juice rather than water.

Zingy Lemon Cupcakes

Simply top with lemon flavoured powdered sugar frosting. Make the icing fairly thick so that it doesn't run off the sides of the cake. The trick is to make it just thin enough so that you can spread it without it running.

Decorate with a carefully placed piece of lemon zest (see image above).

There should be a small amount of frosting left to decorate the medium zingy cupcakes.

Medium Zingy Lemon Cupcakes

  • Cut a plug out of the cake. Reserve.

  • Fill the hole until it is overflowing prettily with the lemon curd.

  • Cut the removed plug in half and push each piece into the lemon curd as in the picture.

  • Add a tiny amount of lemon juice to the remaining frosting to make it is fairly thin.

  • Drizzle the frosting over the cupcakes and then decorate with lemon zest.

Creamy Lemon Cupcakes

  • Cut a plug out of the cake. Cut the plug in half. Reserve.

  • Fill the hole until over-flowing with the whipped cream.

  • Push the two halves of the plug back into the cream as shown in the picture.

  • Dust with a little icing sugar and decorate with lemon zest.

Serve with

Lemon cupcakes are sublime with mint tea and great with Earl Grey.

They look very pretty on a cake stand with mini chocolate eclairs, apricot tarts, a selection of finger sandwiches and English tea scones. I would serve this selection with Earl Grey.

If you loved our Lemon Cupcakes, you might also like our Lemon Scones.