best lemon cupcakes

April 22, 2013

in Cupcakes

What makes a cupcake the best? The word “best” is incredibly subjective, yet entirely appropriate for these lemon cupcakes. Laced with Meyer lemon zest and juice (use Meyer lemons if you can still find them), the cupcakes are wonderfully light and fluffy thanks to a combination of buttermilk and Greek yogurt.

Best Lemon Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

I finished off the cupcakes with lemony swirls of buttercream. Flecked with Meyer lemon zest, the frosting tastes like sunlight (a must for those days when we need to create a little of our own sunshine). Though you’ll be tempted to eat it straight from the bowl, one spoonful at a time, be sure to save some for the cupcakes!

Best Lemon Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

Best Lemon Cupcakes
2 1/3 cups cake flour*
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
6 Tbsp plain fat-free yogurt
2 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice

Lemon Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced (for optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with baking cups. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in lemon zest and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Combine buttermilk, yogurt and lemon juice in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).

Divide batter evenly among cups (about 2/3 full) and bake for 15 minutes, until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 2 minutes in pans on a wire rack, then carefully remove from pans and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.

To make buttercream, beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down bowl as needed. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice; beat on medium-high speed until light and airy. Fit a pastry bag with a 4B tip and pipe a spiral onto each cupcake; top with a lemon slice. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Make your own cake flour: place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Yield – 24 cupcakes
Calories – 250 (per cupcake)
Carbs – 36

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61 Comments

1 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 22, 2013

I squealed a little when we found meyer lemons at the grocery store last night!! I know how delish these cupcakes are, since it’s made with meyer lemons :)

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2 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet April 22, 2013

So bright and cheery! Love these cupcakes, Laura!

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3 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 22, 2013

Yes please! I have a bit of a meyer lemon obsession so these cupcakes are right up my alley!

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4 Sue/the view from great island April 22, 2013

Every time I visit your blog I leave with more recipes than I know what to do with—I love the idea of making your own cake flour, and we DO still have a few Meyer Lemons hanging around here in Southern CA!

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5 Maria/Pink Patisserie April 22, 2013

We can still get Meyer lemons here at Trader Joes thankfully! I love the additions of buttermilk and Greek yogurt. These are practically virtuous! Delicious looking Laura!

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6 Valerie April 22, 2013

Yes. Just…yes! That is all. :D

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7 Carol | a cup of mascarpone April 22, 2013

I’m still buying meyer lemons in my grocery store…YES, I can make these!!!

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8 Lizzy (Good Things) April 22, 2013

Beautiful recipe, beautifully shot, Laura… perfect for my citrus party! Please pop in and share this https://www.facebook.com/bizzylizzysgoodthings ; D

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9 Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) April 22, 2013

These cupcakes look so unbelievably delightful!

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10 Laura @ Family Spice April 22, 2013

Such a happy cupcake!!! Nothing like a lemon cupcake to brighten up your day.

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11 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 22, 2013

I love lemon cupcakes this time of year, and yours look irresistible Laura! So sunny and cheerful!

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12 Nusrat Azim April 22, 2013

Look at that cute, little, lovely, luscious cupcake !

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13 Laurie {Simply Scratch} April 22, 2013

Absolutely stunning!

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14 Gina April 22, 2013

Or you could say the are the best because they are three times the lemony goodness. I can’t get enough Meyer’s, I ran out long ago but picked up some today at the market.
-Gina-

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15 Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen April 22, 2013

These are the sweetest looking lemon cupcakes! They look seriously delicious too!

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16 Julie @ Table for Two April 22, 2013

i love lemon desserts – the more lemon flavor, the better! i love that you used cake flour in this – i feel that cake flour makes all cakes so much more moist (along with buttermilk) than AP. i’m a fan!! and i would definitely call this “the best” too if this were on my plate :)

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17 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 22, 2013

These make me happy just looking at them, I can only imagine how wonderful they’d be to eat. :)

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18 Suzanne Perazzini April 22, 2013

They certainly look like the best lemon cupcakes. I must try a gluten-free version with yoghurt and buttermilk.

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19 Liz April 22, 2013

Your lemon cupcakes look divine, Laura! I think lemon is my hubby’s second favorite flavor when it comes to desserts :) I need to treat him to a batch.

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20 ashley - baker by nature April 22, 2013

These certainly do look perfect!

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21 Deb April 22, 2013

A marvelous dessert for this lemon lover! The swirl of buttercream is irresistible!

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22 Minnie@thelady8home April 22, 2013

The cupcakes look delicious, fresh and mouthwatering Laura!!

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23 Liren April 22, 2013

These are just lovely, Laura! I’ve been squeezing out the last of my Meyer Lemons, too…I’ll be sad when they’re gone! Glad to know I wasn’t alone baking with them over the last week :) I think I could eat just a big bowl of that buttercream, all by itself!

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24 Anna @ Hidden Ponies April 22, 2013

Perfect spring cupcakes, I love that icing swirl too!

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25 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious April 22, 2013

I would like to agree with you on these but….I really need to try them so if you really value my opinion, send me a dozen. J/k ;)

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26 marissa @ the boot April 22, 2013

oh boy…these look as summery as can be! i immediately thought of my nana when i saw them, she adored anything lemon. :)

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27 Claire @ Claire K Creations April 22, 2013

Well they sure look wonderful Laura!

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28 Gourmantine April 23, 2013

Your cupcakes look stunning! I like the combination of yogurt and buttermilk, that should give an incredibly light result!

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29 Becky April 23, 2013

Your Lemon cupcakes are wonderful. Lemon is my hubby’s favorite kind of cake. I haven’t been able to find Meyer Lemons in a while now, so i may have to use regular ones

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30 Cassie | Bake Your Day April 23, 2013

My mouth is watering for one of these right now, Laura. I love lemon desserts!

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31 Tracy | peanut butter and onions April 23, 2013

anything with the word BEST in it.. is worth a try. These look great!

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32 Jen @ Savory Simple April 23, 2013

These look wonderful, Laura!

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33 Jennie @themessybakerblog April 23, 2013

This cupcake certainly looks like the “best.” All that lemony goodness in one cake–yum!

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34 Kate@Diethood April 23, 2013

BEAUTIFUL!!! I just wanna reach over and grab them, and get all barbaric on ‘em… nom nom nom!!

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35 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction April 23, 2013

These are gorgeous! Love lemon cake!

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36 Nami | Just One Cookbook April 23, 2013

Oh man!!! I want to eat these! I would love to try this with Meyer lemons. But I know regular lemon ones will be just as delicious. Very pretty elegant shot!

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37 Suzanne April 23, 2013

Laura these look yummy, I’ve been dreaming in lemon lately and I need to get baking!

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38 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 23, 2013

I would totally believe you when you tell us it’s the best because you have such good taste Laura! :D

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39 Patty April 23, 2013

So very pretty and Springy! Lemon is always a good choice, especially Meyer lemons ;-)

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40 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 23, 2013

They are so light and pretty, Laura! The buttermilk and Greek yogurt no doubt keeps them so springy and moist!

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41 Jennifer @ Mother Thyme April 23, 2013

These look incredible, perfect for Spring!

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42 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today April 24, 2013

The frosting tastes like sunlight? I must make them and they look awesome as well. Like little sunshines indeed :)

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43 Terra April 24, 2013

Best cupcakes? Well you have my attention, especially because I adore anything with lemon:-). They look fabulous! Hugs, Terra

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44 Karen (Back Road Journal) April 24, 2013

A perfect cupcake for spring.

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45 Julia April 24, 2013

I can definitely believe these are the best cupcakes ever! I love a good zesty lemony cupcake and have never tried making them with buttermilk or yogurt. I have yogurt in the refrigerator that is about to expire so I’m thinking a Best Lemon Cupcake recipe may be in store. ;)

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46 steph@stephsbitebybite April 24, 2013

I’ll take a FEW of these! Please

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47 Ana Helena Campbell April 24, 2013

I saw these cuties on Instagram! I totally believe you when you tell us they are the best. They look the best, the pictures are the best, the ingredients are the best, everything is the amazingly the best:)

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48 Chrissy April 24, 2013

Mmm these look perfect! I love the little lemon wedge slice to top it off. Also the greek yog/buttermilk trick is a good one!

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49 Jenn and Seth April 24, 2013

these are absolutely gorgeous! i can only imagine how wonderful they taste!

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50 Mercedes April 24, 2013

Nothing says spring to me like lemons and these cupcakes look spot on!

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51 claire @ the realistic nutritionist April 24, 2013

These are GORGEOUS!!!

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52 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 24, 2013

Meyer lemons are the best, they add such a wonderful almost floral flavor to everything.

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53 Lora @cakeduchess April 24, 2013

Lemon cupcakes are so lovely to have …especially Meyer lemon:)These are so bright and sunny, Laura :)

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54 Rosa April 25, 2013

So pretty and tempting! I’m sure they taste just as amazing as they look.

Cheers,

Rosa

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55 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} April 25, 2013

What a perfect Spring cupcake! Anything with Meyer lemon is just super special. Lovely photos!

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56 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts April 25, 2013

So pretty, light, and perfect for spring! I am loving all the lemon dishes out there lately!

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57 Nancy @ gottagetbaked April 25, 2013

These cupcakes are so pretty – they’re like little bursts of sunshine for my eyes. I can’t wait to try this recipe, especially since the hubs loves lemon flavoured desserts.

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58 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) April 25, 2013

I have Meyer lemons year round–no reason not to make these. Love them!

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59 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings April 25, 2013

I usually tread lightly when using the word “best” – though seeing all the ingredients in your cupcake make me believe that this could well be the best! Buttermilk? Greek yoghurt? Meyer lemon? Some of my fave baking ingredient! Why I didn’t think of this myself, I do not know! Will experiment with a gluten-free version!

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60 Lisa | Ravishing Hunger April 25, 2013

My favorite kind of cupcake! These look so lovely!

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61 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 28, 2013

I love the bright, fruity thing you have going on over here! First strawberries and now lemon. Mmm!

You did a super nice piping job on these. :)

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