These Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream are a bright and bursting with lemon. Homemade lemon cake mix is blended with only a few ingredients and yield tender, moist cupcakes (or cake!). Yields 24 cupcakes or 2 (9-inch) cake layers.
Hello, Favorite Cake Flavor.
If you’ve been hanging around this blog the last 12 years, you know lemon and I have a thing. I love it wholeheartedly. So much so that when I’m asked “chocolate or vanilla” – I say lemon. There’s even a lemon dessert section on SS.
Earlier today I shared my lemon cake mix recipe and in this post I’ll show you how to turn the mix into the most incredible (you guessed it) cake! They flavor is perfection, the crumb texture is tender and the cake as a whole is that m-word that we only associate with cake. I topped these gems off with a giant dollop of homemade lemon buttercream.
How about I show you?
To Make These Lemon Cupcakes (or 2 9-inch cake pans) You Will Need:
- recipe for homemade lemon cake mix
- grapeseed oil (or light neutral tasting oil)
- lemon extract
Preheat your oven to 350° and line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. If making a cake, grease and line 2 (9-inch) cake pans.
Add all of the lemon cake mix to a large mixing bowl, or bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Then add in 1 cup water, 2/3 cup grapeseed oil, crack in 3 large eggs, and add in 1 teaspoon of both vanilla extract and lemon extract.
Mix on low speed, slowly increasing a bitt until the combined.
Measure 3 tablespoons of batter per liner. Bake on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until a tester comes out with only a few crumbs attached.
Allow to cool until safe to handle. Then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To Make The Lemon Buttercream You Will Need:
- softened unsalted butter
- sifted powdered sugar
- lemon juice
- pure vanilla extract
- lemon extract
In a large mixing bowl, add in 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter. Mix on low, for 2 to 3 minutes until light and creamy.
Gradually add in 4 cups powdered sugar that has been sifted. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl before each addition.
Mix until all the sifted powdered sugar is incorporated.
Gradually add in 2 tablespoons milk.
And 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Mix until thoroughly combined.
Lastly, measure and add in 1/2 teaspoon of both vanilla and lemon extract. You know the drill, mix on low until combined.
For a stiffer buttercream, add more powdered until you’ve reached the desired consistency. If you find the buttercream too stiff, add more lemon juice or milk.
Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with desired tip and frost cupcakes. I didn’t shoot this part because I need two hands while frosting, and I’m still not great at it 😅.
I garnished each one with a thinly sliced lemon half and coarse sparkling sugar. 💛
Prepare to die and go to lemon heaven after your first bite.
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting
FOR THE LEMON CUPCAKES (OR CAKE):
- 1 recipe lemon cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral tasting oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
FOR THE LEMON BUTTERCREAM:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 pinch fine salt, sea salt or Himalayan (optional)
- USA Pan (1200MF) Bakeware Cupcake and Muffin Pan, 12 Well, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized Steel
- Wilton SS-DAR-WI2105-7908 Aluminum Performance Pans Set of 2 9-Inch Round Cake Set, 9"
MAKE THE CUPCAKES or CAKE:
- Preheat your oven to 350° and line a standard muffin pan or alternatively, line and grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans. (see notes for lining cake pans)
- In a mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the lemon cake mix, water, oil, eggs, vanilla and lemon extracts.
- Mix on low to medium speed until incorporated.
- IF MAKING CUPCAKES: measure 3 tablespoons of the batter per liner.Bake the first batch of cupcakes on the middle rack for 14 to 16 minutes or until a tester comes out clean with only a few crumbs attached. Rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking. Remove and repeat with second batch.
- IF MAKING A 2-LAYER CAKE: divide the batter (about 2¼ cups) per 9-inch cake pan.Bake both cake pans on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 22 to 24 minutes or until a tester comes out clean with only a few crumbs attached. Rotate halfway through to ensure even baking.
- Remove and let cool completely before frosting.
MAKE THE LEMON BUTTERCREAM:
- Add softened butter to a mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Cream butter until smooth, about 2 to 3 mintues.
- With your mixer on low, gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar. Scraped the sides and bottom of the bowl before each addition. Increase the speed if necessary until incorporated.Sifting powdered sugar beforehand, insures a creamy smooth buttercream.
- With the mixer on low to medium-low speed, add in the lemon juice, milk, vanilla and lemon extracts.Mix until incorporated.
- If you need a stiffer frosting, simply add more sifted powdered sugar. If your frosting is too stiff, continue adding a little more milk.
- The frosting should be soft yet hold it's shape well.
- Here is my step-by-step for easily lining cake pans.
Homemade Lemon Cake Mix
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 medium lemons, zested
- 2¾ cup cake flour, see notes
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt, sea or Himalayan
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Use your fingers to massage the sugar and zest together until it resembles coarse wet sand.
- In a large mixing bowl, measure and add flour, lemon sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Use a pastry cutter (or a couple of knives or a fork will do) and cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until the butter is no longer detectable in the dry ingredients and it’s a super fine crumb.
- Store this cake mix in a air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- If refrigerated, remove and let come up to room temperature for about 30 mintues before using.
Can you Substitute cake flour for all-purpose?Yes! If using all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, you will only need 2½ cups all-purpose flour. However the cakes crumb/texture will be different. Nutritional Value Is for the Entire Cake Mix. Click Here To Use This Lemon Cake Mix!
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