Happy Little Lemon Cupcakes

I love lemon treats, and these are no exception. These are my favorite cupcakes. I always choose this recipe for my birthday cake. I absolutely love them! The cupcakes are moist and sweet with a delicate lemon flavor. They’re fast and easy to make, and they bake beautifully. The frosting is rich and fluffy with a great lemon zing to it. It’s also very easy to make and it turns out perfect every time.

I was in a very Spring-y state of mind this weekend and decided these were the perfect choice for a light, fresh dessert. Then I decided, why not make them as bright and sunny as the weather?

Which is why I put sweet little daisies on top!

To make these cupcakes, you need unsalted butter, salt, baking powder, lemon zest, baking soda, sour cream, eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla. They require a lot of ingredients, but are quite simple, and very delicious!

To get started, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

Next, in a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Stir in the zest and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in half of the sour cream until just mixed in. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream until all of the ingredients are combined. Scrape the bowl, then stir the batter for another 20 to 30 seconds to make sure everything is mixed in.

Divide the batter into lined muffin pans (about two tablespoons of batter per cup). Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden brown. Allow these to cool before frosting.

For the frosting you need unsalted butter, finely grated lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. This recipe will frost all of the cupcakes with a generous amount spread on top, but if you want to swirl them high with frosting like I have done, you should make an extra half batch.

Cream the butter together with about one-third of the sugar and the milk. Once combined, stir in the zest. Add another third of the sugar to the mixture, along with the vanilla and half of the lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Finally, add the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Stir the mixture well until light and fluffy. Add color, if desired, and decorate!

I decided to do half white and half yellow frosting with mine, to match my little daisies. Rather than doing a yellow stripe in the white frosting, I chose to put white on the bottom with yellow frosting on top.

To do this, just place a single swirl of one color of frosting on the cupcakes, making one layer of that color of frosting. Then top them with a second, smaller swirl in the other color of frosting. Now you can top them with sprinkles or little flowers. I like to get my decorations made before I frost the cupcakes so that the frosting is still soft when I apply them, making them stick better.

To top the cupcakes with daisies, you’ll need a small amount of white, and a smaller amount of yellow, fondant. You could also do yellow and brown for sunflowers or black eyed susans. Use daisy cuttersto cut out a large and a small daisy from white fondant.

Next, use a straw (or other round cutter of the right size) to cut the flower centers out of the yellow fondant. Make sure to keep all of your cutouts covered with plastic wrap when you’re not working with them.

Now just use modeling tools to give the petals some definition. Lay the flower on a piece of shaping foamand gently roll the tool up and down each petal to cup it. Repeat on the smaller flowers with a smaller tool (I use the end if my paintbrush).

Place a tiny dab of water in the center of the large daisy and lay the small daisy on top. The water will act as a glue between them. Finish up by dabbing another tiny amount of water in the middle of the small daisy and placing the yellow piece in it to form the center of the daisy. You could also do these as single large or small daisies, rather than stacking them. The daisies can be made two or three days in advance to help save time.

These make me so happy. So. Very. Happy. Make them. You’ll see what I mean! Enjoy!

Creamy Lemon Cupcakes
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 1 lb. package (about 2 cups) sour cream

FOR THE FROSTING
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Stir in the zest and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in half of the sour cream until just mixed in. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream until all of the ingredients are combined. Scrape the bowl, then stir the batter for another 20 to 30 seconds to make sure everything is mixed in.

Fill the prepared muffin pans with 2 tablespoons of batter in each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden brown. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Cream the butter together with about one-third of the sugar and the milk. Once combined, stir in the zest. Add another third of the sugar to the mixture, along with the vanilla and half of the lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Finally, add the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Stir the mixture well until light and fluffy. Add color, if desired, and decorate.

Recipe by Darla

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I love that !
    But, I don't understand very well the recipe because I'm french ^^' I will ask someone to traduce me this page…

  2. Courtney says

    I made these for my sister’s bridal shower and you were right! Absolute perfection! Thank you THANK YOU for this amazing recipe.

  3. Kirsten M says

    Well I made these while waiting for the hurricane to get to the East Coast on Saturday, and they are the best lemon thing I have ever made! My lemon baked goods never have enough lemon in them for me, but these were perfect. Thanks so much.

  4. Danish girl says

    My second try with one of your recipes and these were amazing – absolutely beautiful. I live in Denmark and unsalted butter is hard to find. I used regular salted butter and added 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt rather than 1/2 which seemed to work well, I could possibly even have added a little more :)

  5. says

    Hi! These are beautiful! I have one question: What is the name of the icing tip that you used for the yellow frosting? I usually use 1M but this doesn’t look like it would be that.

    thanks!

  6. says

    I’m so glad you posted this! I was looking for instructions on how to make some flowers for a cake and your tutorial will translate well into black-eyed susans. Your cupcakes are so pretty. I’m going to have to make me a lemon cupcake this weekend!

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