Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream_Hero

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Our vanilla cupcakes with lemon buttercream are so delicious! Simple vanilla cupcakes paired with an easy lemon buttercream – a perfect dessert!

This easy lemon buttercream is prepared with fresh lemon juice and zest. I opted for a Meyer lemon because I prefer to flavor. If you want to tone down the lemony flavors, simply reduce the amount of lemon.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream_Hero

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Our vanilla cupcakes with lemon buttercream are so delicious! Simple vanilla cupcakes paired with an easy lemon buttercream – a perfect dessert!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 95kcal


  • Cupcake pan


Simple vanilla cupcakes:

  • 1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup 1 stick room temperature butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or use sour cream

Easy lemon buttercream:

  • ½ cup 1 stick room temperature butter
  • 2 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 small Meyer lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk


Prepare the simple vanilla cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Add the baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.

Prepare the wet ingredients:

  • In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until it is pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes total.
  • Add the egg, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla and crème fraîche and mix until combined.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients:

  • Add half the flour and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour and continue mixing until it is combined. Be careful not to overwork the mixture.

Bake the cupcakes:

  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin liners in the tin, filling each muffin liner up about 3/4 of the way. Use the back of a teaspoon to smooth out the tops of each cupcake.
  • Transfer to the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes:

  • Transfer the vanilla cupcakes to a wire rack and cool them completely, about 1-2 hours at room temperature.

Prepare the lemon buttercream:

  • Add the butter to a mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat for 1-2 minutes until it is creamy. Sift half the powdered sugar into the bowl and mix until incorporated.
  • Sift the remaining powdered sugar into the mixture along with the lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix on high for 3 minutes or until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. If the buttercream seems stiff, add a splash of cream or milk. If it is too loose, add a spoonful or two of powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency.

Ice the cupcakes

  • Ice the cupcakes using a piping bag, butter knife, or makeshift piping bag (ziplock bag with the bottom right corner snipped off). Enjoy!


*Cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container. They will be good for 2 days at room temperature or 5 days in the fridge.


Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 116mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin C: 1mg
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