Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes are super easy to make and packed with zingy lemon flavour! Top with cream cheese frosting or enjoy plain… either way they are irresistible.
Love cupcakes? Try my super-easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes.
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Lemon lovers will fall head over heels for my Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes! These deliciously zingy cupcakes are topped with tangy cream cheese topping… absolutely dreamy.
Lemon Drizzle is one of my absolutely favouritest cakes – I just LOVE it! My recipe makes for a rather large cake and I am frequently asked if it can be used to make lemon cupcakes.
The answer is yes, but it makes a very large batch of cupcakes which can be a bit much. This lemon drizzle cupcake recipe makes a perfect dozen which is just right 😉
All in one lemon cupcakes
This is a super easy recipe that takes just mere minutes to make . All you have to do is measure all the ingredients in one bowl and mix together.
I love using a hand mixer for this but you can, of course, use a stand mixer if you prefer. This is such a simple recipe that it’s perfect for baking with children. More mature little bakers can make these unaided!
All I ask is that you use room temperature ingredients – that way you will avoid your batter curdling. If you milk is cold from the fridge, blast it for a few seconds in the microwave until tepid (not hot!).
Extra lemony flavour
These cupcake are truly lemony! There’s lemon juice and lemon zest in the batter but the real zing comes from the lemon drizzle.
I like to dip my still-warm cupcakes into lemon syrup made with sugar and lemon juice. This makes them extra moist and super tangy!
Lemon Cupcake Frosting
For me cupcakes = frosting. If you eat these cupcakes without the frosting they are technically lemon muffins, am I right? Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course!
I like to top my lemon drizzle cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting – the creaminess compliments the lemon flavour perfectly! You can also use a buttercream frosting, but I find it a bit too sweet for lemon cupcakes.
Make sure you use full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia preferably) and double (heavy cream) in the frosting. The ingredients should be cold – avoid overheating the frosting as it can split. Beating on a lower speed setting creates a smoother frosting!
Lemon Cupcake Variations
The simple lemon flavour is my favourite but you can experiment by adding a little elderflower cordial in the drizzle for lemon and elderflower cupcakes.
You can also add a scant teaspoon of Lady Grey or Earl Grey tea in the batter for sophisticated twist, Lemon Tea Cupcakes anyone? If you have some lemon curd you can use it as a topping instead of the frosting.
Decorating your lemon cupcakes
A lemon peel twist, small lemon slice or fresh lemon zest is the perfect simple garnish for this bake.
If you have some edible flowers in your garden, pansies or violets look absolutely gorgeous as decorations. Or you can use some wafer flowers or butterflies if you like!
Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes
For the cupcakes /cake
- 165 g (1 cup + 4 tbsp) flour plain / all purpose
- 165 g (1 ⅓ cups) sugar
- 2 lemons zest only (using juice in syrup below)
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100 g (scant ½ cup) softened butter or margarine (Stork)
- 2 eggs
- 80 ml ( ⅓ cup) milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 100 g (½ cup) sugar
- 2 lemons juiced
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 250 g | 1 cup + 2 tbsp full fat cream cheese cold
- 200 g (2cups) icing sugar
- 120 ml (½ cup) double cream cold
- lemon wedges patted dry, optional
- lemon zest or lemon twist to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180C | 350F. Line a 12 muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- Combine the milk and lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes. The milk will thicken and look curdled – that's what we want!
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Stir together to combine.
- Add the softened butter, soured milk and eggs.
- Start mixing on low speed to combine and gradually increase the speed to maximum until the batter is light and fluffy and completely smooth. You might need to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
- Divide the batter between 12 cupcake cases. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cupcakes are risen, fluffy and springy to the touch.
- Prepare the lemon syrup.Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Dip the still warm cupcakes into the lemon syrup twice. You can also brush the drizzle over the warm cupcakes with a pastry brush if you prefer. Cool completely before frosting.
- Put the cream cheese, icing sugar and half the cream in a bowl and whisk together on low speed until combined. Increase the speed, adding remaining cream until you have firm peaks. Be careful not to overwhip the frosting as it can split.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a generous swirl of frosting over the cupcakes
- Garnish with a twist of lemon peel or lemon zest or add small lemon slices just before serving.