Decadent Lemon Cupcakes

I have been and always will be a cupcake girl.  I love any flavor, frosted or plain, filled with ganache or just dusted with icing sugar.  It all works for me.  Is chocolate at the top of my list? Second. The top is lemon. Nothing quite beats the taste of a fresh, citrus dessert where I am concerned. I love pies, puddings, cookies and squares but most of all I love sweet cupcakes infused with the gorgeous flavors of lemon.

And this cupcake does it for me:  moist, cakey, sweet and gently scented with the zest of a lemon.  The frosting is smooth, creamy and , you guessed it,  lemony.  Pair this with a cup of tea and all your worries will melt away.  Perfection.

This little gem of a recipe is a result of a search on BBC Good Food.  I have an undying passion for British sweets and had started out my web search for something traditional to the UK (think Parkin, Chelsea Buns, Bakewell Tarts...) but when I saw the photo for these golden goodies I was hooked.

The original recipe called for poppyseeds which omitted.  I would rather not sit around watching my daughter try to pick out each individual seed. I did make a few more changes to the batter ingredients too as I went along and it all turned out great.

The recipe also called for the addition of lemon juice to the frosting.  I went with lemon extract instead.  It gave the level of flavor I wanted without adding too much liquid to the frosting. For added creaminess, a bit of whipping cream was added.  Perfect flavor and consistency.

Let's get baking!

*adapted source recipe:  Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes, BBC Good Food


225g self-raising cake and pastry flour
85g golden brown sugar
85g fine granulated sugar
zest 2 lemons
3 eggs
100g plain, full fat sour cream
2 tablespoons whipping cream
175g butter , melted and cooled slightly

225g butter at room temperature
400g icing sugar , sifted
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons whipping cream
10 drops yellow food coloring


PREHEAT oven to 350F
LINE a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners

IN LARGE BOWL, whisk together flour, sugars and lemon zest
IN SEPARATE BOWL, whisk together remaining cupcake ingredients
ADD wet ingredients to dry ingredients stirring with a wooden spoon until no large lumps remain
DIVIDE batter up amongst muffin cups
BAKE 20 MIN or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
REMOVE from oven and let cool in tin 5 minutes.
TRANSFER muffins to cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting

IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter on MED speed for 2-3 minutes
ADD icing sugar, lemon extract and whipping cream
MIX on HIGH SPEED for 2-3 minutes
ADD FOOD COLORING while continuing to mix on HIGH speed
BEAT for another 2-3 minutes

PIPE onto cupcakes and ENJOY !


  1. These are beautiful! I love lemon myself, there's just something about that flavor.. :)

  2. Oh! These are perfect, and this is absolutely perfect timing. I woke up this morning craving something sweet, something cake-y or pastry-like, but not too 'dangerous,' fattening-to-the-waistline-wise. And I also wanted it to be homemade, by me, not store-bought (which I no longer have any faith in, ingredients/additives-wise). My first thought was chocolate (of course). But the more I thougth about it, the more I heard this little voice say, 'meh.' Then I thought about a very berry combination. Again I heard, 'meh.' Banana? Again with the 'meh', lol.

    But then I had a fantabulous 'a ha!' moment when I got your blog post today. Lemon! Of course! Lemon! And cupcakes! Perfect! Heaven!

    I've just baked up a batch about an hour ago, and I am one happy cupcake baking bunny. Thanks for the inspiration, and the perfect sweet remedy to my dilemma.

  3. Wonderful cupcakes!
    There is nothing like lemon flavor in the summer :)

  4. sounds delicious...and I would love to add the poppy seeds, even though hubby would not eat them! More for me! lol~

  5. These look delicious - will have to give them a go :)

  6. AnonymousJuly 22, 2012

    Lovely, I bet they taste so light and refreshing too!

  7. Linda,
    those cupcakes look amazing. Without trying them I taste the creaminess and sweet lemon flavor in my mouth!

    - Annika

  8. Hey linda, thank you so much for your kind comment about my Portuguese Custard Tarts. I have just been reading through a few of your recipes and will definitely be trying them out. They all look so scrumptious indeed! I also love how you capture the wonderfulness of your food in your photos.... just reading the recipes and looking a the pics is making my mouth water! I can't wait to taste the end results!

    1. how sweet, many thanks. I mentioned your lovely blog on my FB wall today so you may be getting some new visitors :)


Thank you for your comments!

Linda @ Lemon Drop