On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Lemon Cupcakes


In my quest to find a great cupcake “cake” I continued to look online in search of the ever elusive recipe.

I’m sort of over vanilla cupcakes. None that I’ve made, and I’ve made quite a lot have left me with that “ooh, I want to have those again” feelings.

I was looking around the kitchen and spotted the 3 lemons sitting waiting to be used before shrivelling up. Ahh, a lemon cupcake, that sounded good to me. And back to Google I went.

I found loads of recipes for Lemonade and Raspberry cupcakes, but that’s not what I was after.

swirled frosting

I wanted something light and fresh that reminded me of long hot summer that has slipped away this past week. And I found my recipe, from a NZ website. Hoorah!

It does strike me as funny that the name of the website is, wait for it, Vanilla Cupcakes. Funny, right?

Scooped batter

Lemon Cupcakes by Vanilla Cupcake

Ingredients (quantity 24)

  • 225 grams butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

For the frosting (quantity for 15)

  • 55gm butter, softened
  • 55gm kremelta
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2tbs cream or milk


  • Heat the oven to 160degrees Celsius.
  • In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.
  • To a stand mixer add the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice and mix until combined.
  • Alternate adding the flour and mix, starting and ending with the flour. I added 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour.
  • Mix the flour on low and until almost fully incorporated before adding the milk.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • With the last addition of flour, mix until almost all the flour is mixed.
  • Using a spatula lightly fold the batter until all the flour is mixed in.
  • Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin tin. I used my cookie scoop which helps ensure I have an even amount of batter in each cupcake liner.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning the pan half way through to get an even rise and colour.

For the frosting

  • In a stand mixer beat the butter and kremelta together.
  • Scrape the side of the bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice and icing sugar and mix on low until it starts to come together, then increase the speed until medium.
  • Add cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency.

My Notes:

  • I didn’t measure the lemon juice. I used half a lemon. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  • The cupcake is quite dense, but moist. It’s a little denser than what I’m looking for, so I’ll try next weekend with adding 1 teaspoon of baking powder and replacing some or all of the milk for buttermilk or yoghurt.
  • The flavour of the cupcake is really nice, in actual fact it’s sweet. I ate it sans frosting and was very happy with the taste.
  • I halved the recipe and got 15 cupcakes.
  • The icing quantity above is sufficient to frost 15 cupcakes using a Wilton 2D tip and giving a reasonably generous coverage (see below).
  • a hint of lemon

The cupcakes domed nicely, no volcanoes. And the cake itself is really light in colour.

My cupcake liners are some I ordered from eBay. They aren’t cut very straight and probably should have been sold as seconds. But the design is still pretty. Again the fat from the batter is absorbed in the liner. I wish we could get better quality here in NZ.

Because this is quite a dense cupcake the liner impression is really quite noticeable. I liked it. Does anyone else look at that type of thing?

cupcake texture

Mr Fussy mentioned, without any prompting (maybe I have a look he recognises as my impatience for a verdict) the cupcake was too dense for his likes. He said I’ve made lighter ones in the past he’s preferred. But he couldn’t fault the flavour.

I’ve just had a frosted cupcake tonight and must say that the denseness is quite obvious, almost like the cupcake is about 3 or 4 days old. I made them yesterday, so they’ll be interesting in another 2 or 3 days.

2D Wilton tip

To get that yellow on the outer edges of the frosting, I squeezed the food colouring up the inside of the piping bag. I used a paint brush to sweep it up, and had 4 “stripes” if you will. The first cupcake I frosted didn’t have any yellow in it at all (and it’s now in my tummy).

The Wilton 2D tip gives that nice frilly sort of look to the frosting so long as you don’t move too fast in swirling around the cupcake. I find I have to take a little more time as I’m squeezing the frosting out the bag .

Little rays of sunshine

Given we are in for a week of rain from Tuesday, these cupcakes will help to brighten the day.


5 thoughts on “Lemon Cupcakes

  1. You’ve been having fun! All I have achieved in the kitchen is some anzacs that ran everywhere and a rhubarb and apple crumble. I know what you mean about the cupcake liners – I have now gone back to using plain dark brown, they look good with every colour and style of icing.

    • Hi Alison, ANZAC biscuits are on the agenda for this weekend. And I’d love a slice of Rhubarb and Apple crumble. I ignored our Rhubarb plant a little too long and now it’s looking too sad to pick stalks from. Such a shame. I agree about the brown liners, sadly they don’t suit every occassion, like the baby shower cupcakes I’m doing in a few weeks. I’m going to have to double layer the liners, plain white for baking, then sitting inside the pretty baby shower themed ones. Well that’s the theory 🙂

  2. Anita, if you have a decent anzac recipe tht doesn’t spread i would love to have it!


  3. Let me know how you get on! If I hear a drip drip coming from your oven in Christchurch I’ll know that’s another dud!

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