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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mousse Frosting

lemon cupcake2 Today, I wanted to share a fabulous cupcake recipe with you that is tasty, moist, easy to whip up and delicious, of course!

I am a lemon freak. I love all desserts made with lemon. Actually, add lemon to anything and odds are I’ll like it. Chocolate doesn’t stand a chance in my book. My husband completely disagrees, but I’ll forgive him for it! 😉

These cupcakes are made with really simple ingredients that we all have on hand, but what makes them extra special is the frosting! I folded in whipped cream into it to make a light and fluffy ‘mousse’. Oh mama, are they good! I like regular frosting as much as the next person, but add in some cream? Puh-lease.

lemon cupcake The only thing that could mess these up and/or make these not nearly as good as they could be would be in the baking process. DO NOT over bake these! If you think they are almost done, wait 20-30 seconds and test them again! And, I will tell you again–all ovens are different! In my oven, these took 21 minutes on the nose. My recipe says 20-25 minutes for a reason! I checked mine at 15 minutes, 18 minutes, 19 minutes 20 1/2 minutes and pulled them at 21 minutes. The toothpick method works for testing the doneness, but if you lightly touch the top of the cupcakes and it springs back, then you should be good to go. I’ll get off my soapbox now….

Perfectly baked cupcakes makes the world of difference in your cupcake-eating experience. Just sayin’!

So, get baking! Hope you love these as much as me!

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mousse Frosting
yield: 12
Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Ingredients:
for the cupcakes-
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk

for the frosting-
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In large bowl, whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Scrape sides and whip again. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and then stream in milk. Scrape sides and mix until batter is just combined. Scoop by the spoonful into prepared muffin tins evenly. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake 20-25 minutes or until just baked. (The last thing you want to do is over-bake these! Watch them like CRAZY!!) Remove from oven and cool completely.

For the frosting, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Remove from bowl and set aside. In the same bowl, whip butter, vanilla, lemon zest and powdered sugar for about a minute. You just want to break the butter up in the powdered sugar. With the mixer on, stream in the milk until the frosting starts coming together. Scrape the sides and whip it on high for about 2 minutes. Fold in the cream carefully. Once it’s all incorporated, you can frost your cupcakes. I used a piping bag with Wilton tip #1M, but doing it old school with a knife is totally fine too. Serve.

If there are leftovers, store in the fridge.

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58 Comments

  1. I love a good lemon dessert and these look amazing!

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    • Lauren — September 12th, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

      Thanks, Maria!

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  2. I’m SO with you–I love lemon more than chocolate!!
    And I love whipped cream as frosting! Yum!

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    • Lauren — September 12th, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

      Totally love lemon! Glad I’m not the only one!

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  3. I love anything lemon too and these cupcakes look amazing. I can’t wait to try that whipped cream frosting!

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    • Lauren — September 12th, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

      Whipped cream frosting is super yummy! Hope you get to try it!

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  4. I’m only recently a lemon dessert convert. I would happily go all lemon for one of these cupcakes! They are gorgeous :)

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    • Lauren — September 12th, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

      You’re just a recent convert? Where have you been? Lemon is so good!

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  5. These are beautiful!! Awesome recipe.

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    • Lauren — September 12th, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

      Thanks Katrina!

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  6. I’m with you, I take lemon desserts over chocolate any day. So light and refreshing. These look fab!

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    • Lauren — September 13th, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Jen!

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  7. I, too, love all things lemon and will choose a lemon dessert over anything else! My mouth was watering as I read the recipe; cannot wait to make these!

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  8. First time here…I am glad that I reached here…Straight away bookmarking your blog.
    I love lemon in anything..this is truly a hit recipe…Thanks for the recipe dear…
    If you have time do check out my blog..
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

    Aarthi

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  9. I love lemon, too! I remember when I was a kid I would cut a lemon in half and dip it in sugar and suck on it. Homemade lemon candy! Ha! :)

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    • Lauren — September 13th, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

      I’ve never thought to do that, but it kinda sounds yummy!

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  10. I am the same – I like chocolate, but lemon will win out any day!! These sound A-MAZ-ING!!

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  11. These look amazing…I cannot wait to try them, my boys love lemon, and I don’t mind it at all!!!

    Thanks!!

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  12. Love your blog!

    I love any baked good that has lemon in it! Looks amazing :)

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  13. Lauren, thanks for commenting on my site!
    Your pictures are amazing and I’m a lemon freak, too. I want one of those cupcakes, NOW!

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  14. I love lemon desserts… they look pretty and delicious!

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  15. I love lemon so much that last year I got a Meyer lemon tree for Mother’s Day…how about that! These look luscious!

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  16. these look so yummy and pretty!

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  17. OH!!! These look DELICIOUS!!! You always make everything look so good.

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  18. Is it possible to double this to create a two layer cake? Or perhaps increase by 50%? I’d love to make this recipe as a birthday cake for my husband, and would very much appreciate some guidance!

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    • Lauren — January 9th, 2012 @ 3:25 am

      Yes! It should be fine to make this in two 8 or 9 inch rounds. It may not take as long to bake, so watch it closely! Other then that, you should be good to go!

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  19. Hi Lauren!
    These cupcakes look so delicious, I had to give them a try! But both times I made these, they were a miserable fail. I followed your recipe exactly except for adding some lemon juice. The batter tastes great, but when I bake them, they rise up super high and all over my cupcake pan/into the oven then fall to nothing but about a teaspoon full of uncooked goo. I thought I had filled my cupcake pan too full the first time. The second time, I only put half or less in my pan and still had the same results. Could you please tell me what is going wrong? I come from a family of lemon lovers and would love to make this yummy recipe for them! :)

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    • Mandi — March 6th, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

      Hope you don’t mind if I jump in here, Lauren…

      Lindsey, it sounds like a chemical reaction. Is it possible that you used baking soda instead of baking powered [I’ve done this more times than I can count – that’s how I thought of it ;)]? The soda and the acid lemon juice will react [exactly like baking soda and vinegar] and cause a really nice, overflowing mess. Another thought I had is that possibly you used a tablespoon of baking powder instead of teaspoon when measuring? I’ve done that before too.

      Lauren, I can’t wait to try these. I haven’t had a really good lemon cupcake for the longest time. There’s never enough lemon.

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    • Robin — September 23rd, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

      I have this problem every time as well. This is my 3rd time making them as I keep forgetting the problem. I most definitely used baking powder every time and all fresh ingredients. I think that it should be more than a dozen but still they are flat, flat, flat! Sad that I have to remove this recipe from my Pinterest board because it looked so promising!

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  20. Oh Lemon. My favorite of all flavours. I was a liitle surprised by there being only lemon zest in this recipe and no juice? It’s in my recipes to try but I’m wondering how lemony it is considering…

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    • Lauren — February 17th, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

      I thought it was lemony enough…feel free to add the juice in and report back!

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  21. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It’s been hard finding homemade, from scratch (no box mix) cupcake recipes. Thanks for posting!

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  22. I knew these would be decadent! I made these for my hubby on sweetest day-his favorite dessert is LEMON. We ate them all in one sitting!!

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  23. My mother LOVES lemon desserts! As a matter of fact I kinda make fun of her because of her obsession:) As soon as I saw this recipe I emailed it to her. She’s so excited to make them…and I’m even more excited to try one (or two)! :)

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  24. Hi Lauren,
    I was cruising the internet looking for a lemon cupcake and will try this recipe for a party this weekend. Have you ever used buttermilk instead of milk or mixed the two? I do not fool with a recipe when I make it the first time….just wondering? And by the way, I am a card carrying chocoholic, but I, too, love lemon especially when the temps heat up. Nothing more refreshing to end a summer meal. But..the combination of citrus and chocolate is also a great one.

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  25. I’m making these for a baby shower. Can I make the cupcake part early and freeze them. Basso, do u know how much time is needed to cook mini size?

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  26. Superb post however , I was wanting to know if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Cheers!

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  27. I make lemon cupcakes with white chocolate mixed in………amazing!!!

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  28. That isn’t a mousse, other than that it looks nice.

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  29. hi Lauren
    I am exactly like you, L O V E lemon so much. I have a little problem to make this and your’e other beutiful recipes because I live in Sweden/Europe so please, please can you write this and all your’e recipes in grams so I and a lot of other people coul’d easyeer bake it??
    Thanx

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    • Stephanie — March 21st, 2015 @ 3:08 am

      I cup = 227grams. You should be able to calculate this with a bit of Maths :-)

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  30. what kind of butter are you using? salted or unsalted?

    I am a novice at baking cakes from scratch and a lemon chocolate lover.
    I would love to try this out one day soon.

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  31. I love lemon cake but I always find they turn out tough and dense. I imagine it has something to do with the acid in the lemon juice? Lemon drizzle is fine as dense cake, but I am forever disappointed with the density of a lemon cupcake which I want to be light.

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  32. I made these last night and they were a HUGE hit!! Thanks!!

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  33. Has anyone tried making these with a little lemon juice added and been successful? I only saw one other post and unfortunately, her cupcakes fell flat. Wondering if that had to do with adding juice or something else. I would love to make these but can’t imagine that just the zest will give it a lemony enough flavor for my lemon-loving family. :-)

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  34. I made these and they are delicious and the frosting is amazing. I was wondering what mistake I could have made in the blending of the cake batter that made it more like a muffin texture than a cupcake? I used cake flour and followed the instructions as written. Is the cake supposed to me like a muffin…a little on the denser side?

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  35. Can I freeze the cupcakes and the icing? I am baking several dozen cupcakes & would like to use your recipe but want to be able to freeze them, too many to bake. Thank you!

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    • Lauren — July 9th, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

      You can definitely freeze the cupcakes, but not so sure about the frosting. I’ve never thought to make it ahead.

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  36. Hi and thanks for a great recipe. Question: Can the frosting hold up overnight, and out of the fridge for a couple of hours?

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