Rating: 3.5 stars
638 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 160
  • 4 star values: 130
  • 3 star values: 146
  • 2 star values: 145
  • 1 star values: 57

Like a perfectly moist lemon cake—in adorable cupcake form—this recipe more than satisfies a sweet tooth. (Even total chocolate devotees will be asking for another.) The dessert comes together in exactly an hour, and that’s by design. We devised a from-scratch batter and icing that are both simple enough to whip up on a weeknight. You’ll use an electric mixer to make the dough, then pour it into 12 lined muffin cups. The mini cakes bake in 20 minutes, and after they cool completely, you’ll ice them with a creamy and tart concoction of butter, confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest and juice.

Kristin Evans Dittami


Credit: Charles Masters

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
1 hr
Makes 12 cupcakes


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350° F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the  vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

  • Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

  • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to rack(s) to cool completely.

  • Make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest, juice, and salt. Frost the cupcakes.

Nutrition Facts

318 calories; fat 16g; saturated fat 10g; cholesterol 76mg; sodium 167mg; protein 3g; carbohydrates 40g; sugars 28g; fiber 1g; iron 1mg; calcium 37mg.