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.
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.