June 29, 2022| By

Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
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Calling all lemon lovers - these Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes are for you! They're a super soft and fluffy cupcake packed with lemony flavor, drizzled with a beautiful lemon glaze, and topped with - you guessed it - lemon buttercream!

From the moist cake, luscious buttercream, and lemon drizzle, you'll swoon over these cupcakes. Make this easy and yummy treat to satiate your sweet tooth!

If you are a true lemon lover then you have to try my Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes and my Lemon Olive Oil Loaf with Lavender Mascarpone.

lemon drizzle cupcakes on a small cake stand garnished with sliced lemons

Who doesn't love lemon desserts? I could eat them year round! This lemon drizzle cupcakes recipe is one of those classic cupcake recipes that everyone will love. In fact, they're the best lemon drizzle cupcakes I've ever made/eaten.

This cupcake recipe takes the classic lemon flavour and elevates it to the max. The little lemon cakes are so fluffy with a beautifully moist crumb, then you have the light lemon drizzle which is a glaze/light lemon icing made with lemon juice and icing sugar... then top it off with a super creamy and smooth lemon buttercream - they're the perfect dessert!

Dont believe me? Try it for yourself 🙂

three cupcakes on a small cake stand with one cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

Ingredients

Chances are, you're drooling by now so let's get some lemons and make this easy Lemon Cupcake recipe!

This light and refreshing dessert is a simple recipe made with basic kitchen staples. Here's everything you will need, broken down.

a list of ingredients needed to make lemon drizzle cupcakes in bowls

Cupcakes

For the moist lemon sponge, you'll need:

  • Butter: Use unsalted, melted butter.
  • Vegetable oil: For moisture and that fluffy texture we love!
  • Sugar: This adds sweetness and moisture.
  • Eggs: To bind all of the ingredients.
  • Sour cream + Milk: These are essential additions to nearly all of my cupcake recipes. Not only do they add moisture but they also complement the tang of the citrus.
  • Flavors: Vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice. Use fresh lemons in order to capture the true essence of that flavor!
  • All-purpose flour: to provide structure to the cupcake
  • Baking powder & Baking soda: the leaveners. These react with the sour cream and milk to lift the cupcakes in the oven and makes the cupcakes rise!
  • Kosher salt: Just a pinch to get the right balance of flavors.

Drizzle

  • Lemon juice and powdered sugar or caster sugar: simply mix the two together (this is the secret to that beautiful lemon flavor!)

Buttercream

  • Unsalted Butter - at room temperature: it's important that the butter is exactly at room temperature so that the buttercream's consistency will be fluffy and light
  • Powdered sugar: powdered sugar provides sweetness and structure to the buttercream
  • Lemon extract, Lemon zest, Lemon juice: for lemon flavor of course
  • Heavy cream: the heavy cream adds a beautiful creamy and silky texture

Equipment

Now that we've talked about the everyday ingredients, let's talk about the equipment you'll need.

How to Make Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

Bake the Lemon Cupcakes

  • Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment OR a large bowl using an electric mixer - combine melted butter, oil, and sugar. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes, then add eggs one at a time.
  • Continue to whisk until the eggs are fully incorporated and then add sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk all of the ingredients together until a smooth batter forms.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and add to the wet ingredients. Fold into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Spray a 12-cup muffin pan / muffin tin with oil. Add cupcake liners and fill each muffin tin with cupcakes batter until it's about ¾ full (see the recipe card - I recommend using an ice cream scoop). Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Then allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack / cooling rack.
cupcakes batter in a muffin pan

Make the Lemon Drizzle

Make the lemon drizzle by combining powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice and whisking together until combined. It should look like a cloudy lemon syrup. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the lemon drizzle using a pastry brush (this is the best way) or drizzle with a spoon.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Then make this amazing lemon buttercream - cream butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for 3 minutes, then slowly begin adding powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. When adding the powdered sugar, start on low speed then increase to high speed once sugar is incorporated. Then add lemon extract, zest, fresh lemon juice, and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.

lemon buttercream in a mixing bowl with a paddle

Top it off!

Once cupcakes have completely cooled, spoon about 1 tsp of the drizzle onto each cupcake. Then add lemon buttercream to a piping bag or ziploc bag and pipe the buttercream on top. 

Optional, spoon lemon curd on top for added lemon flavor on these lemon drizzle cupcakes! 

Garnish Ideas!

For added measure, you can go the extra mile and make a lemon curd and drizzle it on top of the cupcakes!

You can also top these cupcakes with edible flowers for a beautiful aesthetic, especially if you're making these for special occasions.

lemon drizzle cupcakes on a table with sliced lemons

Tips for Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

Here are a few tips to make these easy lemon cupcakes!

  • Do not over-mix your batter. This will cause the cupcakes to sink in the oven and will also cause them to be tough. As soon as the flour is mixed in, stop mixing.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely prior to adding the buttercream. This ensures that the buttercream doesn't melt and that the cupcakes are completely finished cooking!
  • Do not overfill the cupcake liners. About ¾ the way full is perfect!
  • Check your cupcakes! Bake the cupcakes at the recommended time and then use a toothpick to see if it comes out clean (or with just a few crumbs). If they're still a bit undone, add them back into the oven and continue to bake for another 3 minutes.

Storing Lemon Cupcakes

These cupcakes are best eaten within 24 hours, however, if you would like to make them ahead of time, prepare the cupcakes and cover them with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator.

You can also prep the lemon buttercream

Substitutions

To make these cupcakes vegan and dairy-free: use vegan sour cream and your favorite plant based milk instead of sour cream and milk. Use vegan butter in place of butter. Then swap the eggs with a ½ cup of apple sauce.

For gluten free options: use Bob Red Milll's 1-to-1 gluten free flour in the same ratios as provided in the recipe card.

a lemon drizzle cupcake on a plate with more cupcakes behind it.

FAQs

What's the secret to moist cupcakes?

The key is fats - oil, butter, and sour cream specifically in regard to this recipe. Also, the amount of sugar used contributes to moist cupcakes. An overlooked tip for making sure your cupcakes are moist - do not overcook them!

How long do the cupcakes stay fresh?

These cupcakes with lemon frosting are best enjoyed within 2 days of baking. However, they can last up to 5 days when properly stored without the buttercream. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature and keep buttercream in the fridge.

Why do cupcakes sink?

There are a few reasons this can happen. The most common reason is opening the oven door while the cupcakes are baking, causing them to deflate from the sudden decrease in temperature.
Another reason is that you may have added too much batter to the cupcake tins or that your leaveners are no longer active (As in the baking soda and baking powder have expired).
Lastly, another culprit could be that the ingredients of the batter have been overmixed - there may be too much air in the cupcake batter. Be sure to only beat the batter as instructed and measure your ingredients properly!

More Dessert Recipes!

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

lemon drizzle cupcakes on a table with sliced lemons

Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes are a zesty bite size dessert packed with lemony flavor from the moist cake, luscious buttercream and lemon curd. Made quick and easy, this treat is sure to satiate your sweet tooth!
Serving: 16
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Calories: 481kcal

Equipment

  • 12 cup Muffin Pan
  • cupcake liners
  • Piping Bags optional
  • Piping Tips optional

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Butter unsalted, melted
  • 2 tbsps Vegetable oil
  • cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Sour cream
  • cup Whole milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsps Lemon extract
  • 2 tbsps Lemon zest
  • cup Lemon juice
  • cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt

Lemon Drizzle

  • 4 tbsps Lemon juice
  • ¾ cup Powdered sugar

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup Butter room temperature
  • 5 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon extract
  • 1 tbsp Lemon zest
  • 3 tbsps Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps Heavy cream

Lemon curd, optional

    Directions

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, oil, and sugar. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes, then add eggs. Continue to whisk until eggs are fully incorporated and then add sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk all ingredients together until a smooth batter forms.
    • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and add to the wet ingredients. Fold into the wet ingredients until just combined.
    • Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with oil. Add cupcake liners and fill each cup ¾. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Make the lemon drizzle by combining powdered sugar and lemon juice and whisking together until combined.
    • Then make the buttercream by creaming butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for 3 minutes, then slowly begin adding powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Then add lemon extract, zest, lemon juice, and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.
    • Once cupcakes have completely cooled, spoon about 1 tsp of the drizzle onto each cupcake. Then add lemon buttercream on top. 
    • Optional, spoon lemon curd on top for added lemon flavor! 

    Notes

    • Do not over-mix your batter. This will cause the cupcakes to sink in the oven and will also cause them to be tough. As soon as the flour is mixed in, stop mixing.
    • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely prior to adding the buttercream. This ensures that the buttercream doesn't melt and that the cupcakes are completely finished cooking!
    • Do not overfill the cupcake liners. About ¾ the way full is perfect!
    • Check your cupcakes! Bake the cupcakes at the recommended time and then use a toothpick to see if it comes out clean (or with just a few crumbs). If they're still a bit undone, add them back into the oven and continue to bake for another 3 minutes.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 643IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course: cupcakes, Dessert
    Cuisine: American

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