Easy Lemon Cupcakes From Scratch

This easy lemon cupcake recipe is the perfect light dessert for spring and summer! Lemon cupcakes made from scratch with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for a fresh lemon flavor. 

For more cupcakes made from scratch, try chocolate carrot cake cupcakes, streusel pound cake cupcakes, s’mores cupcakes or blue velvet cupcakes

Fresh Lemon Cupcake Recipe, Remodelaholic (1)

Easy Lemon Cupcake Recipe

There are few flavors that I love more than fresh lemon — from lemonade and lemon meringue pie to lemon bars (and I use lemon essential oil often, too!).

Fresh Lemon Cupcake Recipe, Remodelaholic (4)

These easy lemon cupcakes have both fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh lemon zest for an extra punch of lemon-y tartness. These are sure to please at an Easter potluck or baby shower! You might even be able to pass them off as healthy enough for easy brunch fare 😉 especially if you pair them with these lemon waffles or lemon poppyseed muffins!

Fresh Lemon Cupcake Recipe, Remodelaholic (2)

We frosted our lemon cupcakes with whipped cream and topped with blueberries for the perfect bite!

How to Make Lemon Cupcakes from Scratch

Making lemon cupcakes from scratch with fresh lemon is easy!

  1. Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Getting this mixture light and fluffy makes the cupcakes the perfect texture!
  3. Beat the eggs ingo the creamed butter and sugar mixture, one at a time, and then add the lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the dry mixture alternately with the buttermilk and lemon juice.

Then just bake and enjoy!

How To Make Lemon Cupcakes From Scratch, Remodelaholic (1)

Can I make my own buttermilk?

Yes, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, or don’t want to buy an entire carton, you can make your own buttermilk replacement by mixing regular cow’s milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar.

Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice with 1 scant cup (just less than a cup) of milk. Let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken, then use in your recipe.

Alternately, you can thin yogurt, sour cream, or kefir with a bit of milk as a substitute for buttermilk. It’s important to have both the dairy and the acid components for the texture and leavening of the lemon cupcakes.

Fresh Lemon Cupcake Recipe, Remodelaholic (3)

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How do I zest and juice a lemon?

There are many methods and tools for zesting and juicing lemons, but we prefer a fine grater or lemon zester like this and then a simple juicer like this.

Lemon Cupcakes

Print Recipe
Fresh Lemon Cupcake Recipe, Remodelaholic (3)
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest from about 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl
  • Beat in the zest and vanilla extract
  • Add dry mixture alternating with buttermilk and lemon juice, beating just until combined after each addition.
  • Divide batter into cupcake liners
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Cool on wire rack
  • Frost with fresh whip cream or frosting of your choice
Servings: 24 cupcakes

More lemon dessert recipes:

How To Bake Easy Lemon Cupcakes From Scratch, Recipe Remodelaholic

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Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. Since then, Remodelaholic has become a great community and resource for all those wanting to know how to make their builder-grade home BEAUTIFUL on a budget!

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