Moist lemon cupcakes topped with smooth lemon buttercream and filled with a hidden lemon curd centre.
As promised when I shared my recipe for lemon buttercream a couple of weeks ago, here’s my recipe for lemon cupcakes with a hidden lemon curd centre (although you don’t have to include the lemon curd if you don’t feel like it).
They’re a variation of my easy vanilla cupcakes, but I’ve flavoured them with fresh lemon zest instead of vanilla extract. Just like the vanilla cupcakes, they’re extremely easy to make. I use an all-in-one sponge, so everything gets chucked in one bowl and mixed up, and as it’s all in one bowl there’s hardly any washing up 🙂
Can these cupcakes be made with lemon extract instead of lemon zest
I think they taste best made with fresh lemon zest, but you can switch the lemon zest for 1 tsp of lemon extract if you prefer.
How do you remove the middle of the cupcake for the hidden lemon curd centre?
My favourite way to remove the middle of the cupcake is to use my piping nozzle (I use a JEM1B nozzle but any large nozzle would work). Push the wide end of the nozzle about 1cm into the cupcake – this will create a circular cut at the top. Then use a teaspoon to scoop out the middle (you can then nibble on these as a little treat for the cook).
If you don’t have a suitable piping nozzle, then you can simply push a teaspoon into the middle and scoop it out, but you won’t end up with as neat a circle.
You can also buy cupcake corers just for this purpose, but I really don’t think it’s necessary as you can achieve results that are just as good using the piping nozzle.
What icing goes with lemon cupcakes?
I’ve decorated my cupcakes with a choice of either buttercream made with fresh lemon zest and juice, or buttercream made with lemon extract.
If you head on over to my lemon buttercream recipe, you can find out how to make each type as well as the advantages of each version over the others. You can also find lots of ideas for using up any leftover lemon juice as these cupcakes only use the zest.
If you’d prefer to make lemon cupcakes without buttercream, then you can try my recipe for lemon drizzle cupcakes.
Other recipes for lemon lovers
If you’re a fan of recipes bursting with lemon flavour, then make sure you take a look at all of my delicious lemon recipes including these lemon drizzle cupcakes, lemon amaretti biscuits and gin & lemon scones.
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- Zest of 1½ lemons
- 165 g self-raising flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 3 medium eggs
- 165 g soft margarine or butter
- 165 g caster sugar
- 1½ tsp milk
- 1 batch lemon buttercream
- 4 tbsp lemon curd
- 12 cupcake cases
- Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcakes cases.
- Finely grate the zest of one and a half lemons.
- Put all of the cake ingredients into a large bowl (grated lemon zest, 165g self-raising flour, 1½ tsp baking powder, 3 medium eggs, 165g soft margarine, 165g caster sugar, 1½ tsp milk). Beat on a low speed (either using an electric mixer or by hand) until all of the ingredients are fully combined.
- Divide the mixture equally between the 12 cupcake cases.
- Bake your cakes for 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once baked, leave the cakes to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you're adding the hidden lemon curd centre - Scoop out the centre of the cupcakes (take a look at my tips above the recipe for the best way to do this). Add 1 tsp of lemon curd to the centre of each cupcake.
- Make your lemon buttercream.
- Pipe your buttercream onto the cupcakes and serve.
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.
Nutritional Information – Including Lemon Curd & Buttercream
Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.6g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat 28.7g | Saturated Fat: 14.2g | Sodium: 216mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 58.7g
FREE FROM/SUITABLE FOR
The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary, and product recipes can change over time.
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Tree Nut-Free
- Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free
Some brands of lemon curd include sulphites. If you need your cupcakes to be sulphite-free, then please choose carefully, or make your own at home.