Lemon Stuffed Cupcakes

These luscious lemon stuffed cupcakes are perfect for the springtime or for Easter. They are a feast for the senses with their bright sunny yellow filling, moist and deliciously fluffy cupcake bases and lemon cream cheese frosting on top. If you like lemon meringue pie, the lemon curd filling in these lemon cupcakes is also sure to appeal to your palate. These homemade lemon zest cupcakes are so delicious and well worth whipping up!

Lemon stuffed cupcakes with buttercream icing and lemon slices on a marble table.

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You won’t regret making these amazing lemon stuffed cupcakes. Everything from the soft, light cake to the zingy lemon curd filling and sweet creamy frosting is perfect!

If you love the tang of citrus, and especially lemon, you might also be interested in making lemon posset brulee, pavlova with lemon curd, or one of these tasty lemon recipes!

Lemon cupcakes with creamy frosting, lemon-filled cupcakes.

Why You’ll Love These

Delicious:  These lemon cupcakes are such a treat if you enjoy citrus flavors. The pillowy soft vanilla cupcakes are filled with silky lemon curd as well as homemade lemon frosting. There’s nothing not to love about these lemon cupcakes!
Centerpiece-worthy: Whether you’re planning a spring garden party, a summer BBQ or you simply want to make something beautiful, this lemon cupcake recipe would make a breathtaking centerpiece.
Easy to make: Don’t worry about making these because they aren’t difficult at all. Even if you don’t bake much, there is nothing tricky or difficult about the recipe.

Lemon filled cupcakes with icing are sitting on a cooling rack. The icing is in a daisy flower pattern.

Key Ingredients for Lemon Filled Cupcakes

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

All-purpose flour: You can’t make light and fluffy cupcakes without flour. Regular all-purpose flour works just fine here.
Baking powder: Helps achieve a fluffy lightness.
Vanilla extract: To add a delicate flavor to the cupcakes. Use pure vanilla extract, not the synthetic kind. Feel free to use another extract to change up the flavor.
Lemon zest and juice: To make the lemon curd filling and also for the lemon frosting. As lemon is the dominant flavor in these lemon cupcakes, make sure you use fresh lemon juice and zest for the best-tasting result, and to make a real lemon lover out of absolutely anyone who tastes these cupcakes!
Egg yolks: The main component in the lemon curd filling. These add richness, help with the consistency and help achieve that lovely sunny yellow color.
Sugar: You need white granulated sugar for both the cupcake batter and the lemon curd, and powdered sugar for the lemon frosting.
Salt: A pinch of salt counteracts the sweetness and adds a layer of depth to these lovely cupcakes.

Ingredients for a lemon stuffed cupcake recipe on a marble table.

How to Make Lemon Cupcakes

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Mix the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar: Mix for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
Mix in more ingredients: Next, add in the eggs and vanilla extract, then mix in the flour mixture and the milk alternately, a bit at a time, finishing with flour.
Fill a muffin tin: Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners in a 12-hole muffin tin.
Bake the lemon cupcakes: Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until done.
Start the filling: While the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt in a pan for about 10 minutes to make lemon curd.
Finish the lemon curd: Whisk the butter into the lemon mixture and pour into a bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and leave to cool.
Make the lemon frosting: Beat most of the powdered sugar with lemon juice and then add the remaining powdered sugar and beat some more, then transfer to a piping bag.
Hollow out the cupcakes: Hollow out the center of each lemon cupcake with a knife or piping bag tip.
Add the frosting and filling: Pipe the frosting around the outside edge of each cupcake and fill the hollowed out part with lemon curd, then chill for 20 minutes and serve!

Lemon cupcakes on a plate with milk and lemons. The lemon filling is dripping out.

Substitutions and Variations

Gluten-free option:  If you want a gluten-free version, use your favorite all-in-one GF flour alternative. The all-in-one kinds have the baking powder, stabilizers and so on, to ensure your cupcakes still come out light and fluffy.
Change the flavor: Sub almond extract or coconut extract for the vanilla extract if you like, or even swap the lemon for orange.
Make mini cupcakes: If you’re using a mini muffin tin and mini cupcake liners, reduce the cooking time by about 5 minutes.

Lemon cupcakes with a glass of milk on a plate. The icing on top looks like a daisy flower with lemon curd in the middle.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizers:  If you are making these for the spring or summer, you might like to offer some light snacks as well, perhaps pimento cheese sandwiches or red pepper dip.
Sweet treats:
For those with a sweet tooth, spring pretzel bites, carrot cupcakes, or even a coconut cottontail tequila margarita might go down well!

A hand is holding a lemon-filled cupcake.

How to Store Lemon Cupcakes

Store:  Keep these covered and refrigerated, and they should stay fresh for about 4 days.
Freeze:  Freeze them in a single layer for up to 2 months.
Thaw:  Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.

Lemon cupcakes on a cooling rack.
Lemon stuffed cupcakes on a white plate with lemon filling.

Top Tips

Don’t stop whisking the lemon curd: If you don’t whisk the egg yolks while the lemon mixture thickens, you’re going to end up with scrambled eggs instead of smooth lemon curd!
Save time and effort: Using a vanilla cake mix and/or lemon curd from the grocery store works if you’re pressed for time! You can also make extra lemon curd, which is always a favorite filling.

A plate of lemon cupcakes with icing and lemon curd on top.

Lemon Filled Cupcakes FAQs

What tip works best for the frosting?

I used a Wilton Piping Tip 6B (here) so you could use that or a small or larger one if you prefer.

Can you use store-bought frosting?

Well, you can but some has a thin consistency. This means it works for most types of frosting but as it’s supposed to both frost the lemon cupcakes and keep the lemon curd filling in place, you might want to thicken it up with a little powdered sugar before use.

Can you use salted butter?

Although the cupcakes call for unsalted butter, using unsalted isn’t going to make any difference if you halve the amount of salt in the recipe.

Lemon cupcakes with a bite taken out, stuffed with lemon curd.
Lemon filled cupcakes on a white plate beside a glass of milk.

Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon stuffed cupcakes with buttercream icing and lemon slices on a marble table.

Lemon Stuffed Cupcakes

5 from 53 votes
Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 13
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
You won’t regret making these amazing lemon stuffed cupcakes. Everything from the soft, light cake to the zingy lemon curd filling and sweet creamy frosting is perfect!
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Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

For the Lemon Curd

  • 4 egg yolks large
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest about 1 medium sized lemon
  • 1/3 Cup lemon juice fresh, about 2 or 3 lemons
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Lemon Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice fresh

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside for now.
  • In the bowl to the stand mixer, beat on high the butter with the sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on high until just incorporated. About 1 minute.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on medium until mixed in.
  • Add 1/2 of the milk to the bowl and beat in. Continue adding the flour mixture and milk alternately ending with the flour, beating between addition.
  • Divide the batter between each muffin cavity filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the cupcake bounces back when pressed. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • In the meantime, let’s make the lemon curd. Whisk together the eggs yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt in a medium saucepan. Heat on low, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to become thick, about 10-12 minutes. Whisking keeps the eggs from “scrambling” and curdling so it is vital for this step.
  • Remove from heat and whisk the butter in immediately.
  • Pour into a small mixing bowl and cover immediately with plastic wrap. The plastic will keep a skin from developing on the curd. Set aside to cool completely. The curd will continue to thicken and the plastic will peel off when cooled.
  • Once everything has cooled, start with the buttercream. In the bowl to your stand mixer, beat the butter on high until smooth.
  • Add 1 and 1/4 cups of the powdered sugar and the lemon juice and beat until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag.
  • Use a small knife or the tip of a piping bag to hollow out the middle of the cupcake.
  • Pipe the frosting around the edges of the hollowed out middle. The frosting will act as a barrier and provide a decorative edge.
  • Fill the hollowed out cavity with lemon curd to the edge of the icing. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes before enjoying.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

These luscious lemon cupcakes with light and delicate ingredients like sugar and lemon zest as well as vanilla, are tangy, sweet and perfect if you love lemon meringue pie. The fluffy, pillowy cupcakes are filled with lemon curd and frosted with a lemon buttercream frosting. They’re easy to make and keep for several days. They also freeze well, so you might even want to whip up a spare batch!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Sally Murdoch wrote:

    5 stars
    Lemon desserts are my fave. This one did not disappoint!

    Posted 3.14.24 Reply