best lemon 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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. 😉

  7. 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:)

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

  9. 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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