Lemon Cupcakes

lemon cupcakes.

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This simple lemon cupcake recipe makes a batch of cupcakes that are bright with lemon flavor from fresh juice and zest. Add a creamy coconut frosting to finish them for a sweet dessert everyone will love.



For the Cupcakes

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

 For the Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, optional for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Make the Cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine. 
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add half of the flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix at low speed until combined.  Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture. 
  4. Add vanilla extract, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Mix until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.  Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with batter.
  5. Bake the cupcake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Ovens vary, so check on them early so they don’t overbake. Cool cupcakes for at least 10 minutes in the pan before transferring them to a baking rack.  
  6. Make the Frosting: Beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar in small batches while continuously mixing. 
  7. Add the vanilla extract, coconut extract, and milk, and beat the frosting for one minute.  It should be light and fluffy.
  8. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, pipe or spread the frosting on each one. Top with a sprinkle of coconut and lemon zest for decoration (optional).




Frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance.  If making in advance, store the frosting in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  Bring frosting to room temperature (about 1-2 hours) before frosting cupcakes. You will need to mix it so it’s light and fluffy.

Store the cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 2 months.