Lemonade cupcakes from scratch are a refreshing citrus twist on cupcakes. With a delicate crumb and bright flavor of lemon running through the cupcakes and frosting, these homemade cupcakes are a summer treat every lemonade lover will enjoy.
For me, summertime means lemonade. I can’t think of a more refreshing flavor than tangy, sweet lemonade. It’s no secret I love lemonade desserts this time of year.
These cupcakes take that lovely lemonade flavor that tastes just like a mid summers day to me. It makes cupcakes feel perfect for this hot summer weather.
MAKING LEMONADE CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH
Don’t be intimidated by homemade cupcakes. While I am all about the short cuts with some baked goods like these orange creamsicle cupcakes, which use a box mix as a base, it’s hard to beat homemade cupcakes.
Making cupcakes from scratch isn’t hard. You only need a few basic ingredients: butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, the zest and juice of a couple of lemons, milk and baking powder. Pretty standard really.
To make the cupcakes, cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer. You’ll know the butter and sugar is ready to go when it is light and fluffy. Now you can add the eggs and vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer. Keep beating the eggs and vanilla in until everything is mixed together well.
Once you have the butter, eggs, and sugar ready to go, get out a medium bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and whisk it together. Then add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients in several small batches, mixing until just combined.
Be careful not to over mix. Over mixing will cause the gluten in the flour to over develop and your cupcakes will be dense and gummy instead of delicate and moist. Food 52 breaks down avoiding over mixing with this golden piece of baking wisdom: Do the minimum amount of mixing necessary to make a uniform dough.” Or in this case batter.
Once you have the thick cupcake batter mixed up, beat in the milk, lemon zest and lemon juice until it is just combined. At this point, spoon the batter into lined cupcake tins, filling two thirds of the way up. Then bake in a 350 degree oven for about 21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cupcake.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
While the cupcakes come out of the oven perfectly delicious and full of sweet, tart lemonade flavor, everyone knows it’s all about the icing. And this homemade lemonade buttercream is to die for.
It’s rich and creamy and full of lemon flavor. Even better? Making the lemonade buttercream frosting is no more difficult than making regular buttercream.
To make it, cream together butter, powder sugar, lemon zest and juice, lemon extract and vanilla. Once those ingredients are well combined, add a tablespoon at a time of heavy cream to your mixer, beating after each addition. Repeat until the buttercream reaches a thick but pliable consistency. At this point, you can spoon it into a piping bag fitted with an icing tip.
When the cupcakes have cooled, you can pipe your icing on. Then finish each cupcake by decorating with a slice of lemon and enjoy!
OTHER LEMONADE THEMED SWEET TREATS PERFECT FOR SUMMER:
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- For The Cupcakes
- 1 stick 1/2 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 1 C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 C whole milk
- zest + fresh juice of two 2 large lemons
- For The Frosting
- 1 C unsalted sweet cream butter softened
- 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 zest and juice from 1 large lemon
- 1 tsp pure lemon extract
- 3-5 TBSP heavy whipping cream
- 1 Disposable piping bag fitted with a medium star tip
- 2 lemons sliced into quarters
- To Make The Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Using stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until creamed.
- Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined
- In a medium bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients Continue to beat until combined, batter will be thick.
- Beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice on low speed until just combined.
- Spoon batter evenly into the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full.
- Bake for about 21 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when done.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To Make The Frosting
- Using a standing mixer, cream together the butter, powder sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, lemon extract and heavy whipping cream
- Mix on medium speed until combined, creamy and stiff
- Scoop the frosting into the piping bag and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes
- Top with lemon slices