Zesty Lemon Cupcakes

There is something especial about adding fresh lemons to your cake batter. The freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly grated lemon rind adds not only an amazing zesty aroma but it also tenderises and adds the freshest zesty lemon taste to your cupcakes. These cupcakes have a pale, fluffy and fine crumb texture. Ideal for those wanting a more delicate cake that melts in your mouth.

These cupcakes go amazing with any frosting. Choosing the perfect frosting depends on what flavours and texture you desire. They go perfect with traditional Buttercream, which tends to be sweeter than other frostings. If you are wanting something a little less sweet, you could pair these cupcakes with a silky Swiss Meringue Buttercream. If you love lemon, you could top them up with my Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Lemon also tastes amazing with other fruits, so you could use them as a base for a Raspberry Curd centre. As another option, you could also use them as a base for making Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.

Watch the full how to step by step video below.

How to make Zesty Lemon Cupcakes.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • Print

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes.

Author: Katherine Walton


-120 grams salted butter (room temperature)

-220 grams (1 metric cup) of caster sugar  

-2 teaspoons lemon rind

-1 tablespoon (20 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice 

-2 large eggs lightly whisked (room temperature) 

-150 grams (1 metric cup) self-raising flour  

-100 grams (3/4 metric cup) cornflour  

-175 ml milk (3/4 metric cup) (room temperature)


  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius fan forced (300 Fahrenheit; Gas Mark 2). Line cupcake baking tray with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
  2. Place butter in mixing bowl of stand mixer and beat until very pale. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Add caster sugar and continue to mix until very pale and well combined.
  4. Scrape bowl as needed.
  5. Add lemon rind and lemon juice and continue to mix until well combined.
  6. Add the whisked eggs in 2 batches, beating well between each addition.
  7. Combine flours together in a separate bowl ensuring they are well combined, then add 1/2 a cup at a time in batches with the milk into the batter and mix lightly on low speed until just combined.
  8. Scrape bowl as needed.
  9. Ensuring you do not over mix. Once the flour disappears in the mixture you can stop the mixer.  
  10. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a silicone spatula. Do not over mix.
  11. Fill the cupcake liners with batter in equal measurements. This recipe serves 12 cupcakes with 1/4 cup of batter for each. Otherwise fill 3/4 of the cupcake liner, depending on the size of your cupcake liner.
  12. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. But remember that all ovens vary. Check if cooked by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean it’s ready. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.


How are the ingredients measured in this recipe?

In this recipe and in all of my recipes I provide all ingredients in grams and in mL where applicable. I also provide the ingredient quantities in METRIC cup measurements. However, be aware that cup measurements and spoon measurements vary in different countries. Therefore, I highly recommended the use of scales where applicable to measure ingredients to achieve exactly what the recipe intends.

What is caster sugar and can I substitute it in this recipe?

Caster Sugar is also known as super fine granulated sugar. Not to be confused or replaced with icing sugar also known as powdered sugar. It is recommended that the caster sugar in this recipe is not replaced or substituted. The sugar will be creamed with the butter and not dissolved, therefore it is recommend to use fine granulated sugar instead of standard white sugar.

This recipe says to use self raising flour. Can I replace it or substitute it?

Yes you may substitute the self raising flour in this recipe. You may replace it by using 1 metric cup (150 grams) of plain flour plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

What is cornflour and can substitute it in this recipe?

Cornflour is made from corn, which makes it wheat free and gluten free. It is used as a thickener in common dishes such as sauces and gravies. In some countries it is also known as cornstarch, for which you may substitute it with in this recipe.

What can I do if my cupcakes are not baking as intended and burning or browning?

All ovens vary. If you find that your cupcakes are burning or browning before they are completely baked, you may need to adjust the temperature of your oven by lowering it by 10-20 degrees Celsius. The position of the baking tray in the oven can sometimes also affect baked goods. In some ovens placing your tray in the bottom may brown or burn your cakes from the bottom. The same can occur by placing your tray in the top rack if your oven’s heating element is located on the roof of the oven. Always check and learn how your oven works.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you have any questions. Enjoy!



  1. These look great! Lemon cupcakes are definitely one of my favourite treats. I posted my favourite drizzle cake recipe a little while ago, maybe you could check it out and see what you think? Have you tried making these with both lemon and lime? I bet that they would taste even better! Thanks for sharing! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah my mum would love that, I’ll defo check it out! That’s very strange, a few people have said that now. I’m not sure what is going on. When I’ve accessed it on my tablet it works fine. I wonder what’s happening. Maybe try going “Justanotherbaker.com”, that should work. Thanks a lot for letting me know! 😁


      2. Hi again ☺️

        I tried your link and it worked when I clicked on it through the email I received. But here on the comments I can’t click on it. I started following you as well but not sure if it actually worked!


      3. Ah glad that the link worked on your email. Yes your follow came through (I hope mine came through to follow yours, as well) I’ll post another comment with just the link, might work. I really don’t know what is happening with my page, it’s starting to annoy me a bit 😅


  2. These look amazing! I could just about do with one of those right now 😄 Lemon cupcakes are definitely one of my favourite treats. I posted a recipe for my favourite lemon drizzle cake a little while ago, maybe you could check it out and see what you think? Have you tried making these cupcakes with both lemon and lime? I bet that they would taste even better! Thanks for sharing! 😁


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