Sunday, March 24, 2013

Really Moist Lemon Cupcakes for Lemon Lovers


"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
- Anne Bradstreet  

Hi everybody! I'm happy to be back to blogging! I've missed you. And I've missed baking. Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement after I posted an update in January. You guys are the best. I'm happy to say I'm feeling a lot better. And now that I've felt the first sun of spring, I feel positively  invincible and that all things are possible. I think I must run on solar. (I am a California girl after all.)
This recipe is full of lemon zest and juice for lots of fresh lemon flavor.

This is a great recipe to kick off spring. Lemons just scream spring to me, and lemon desserts are great for Easter. And it's almost here! These would be awesome for an Easter gathering.

I love lemon desserts, they are one of my favorites. I like my lemon desserts FULL of lemon. I need my lemon flavor strong. These cupcakes reflect that. The cupcakes themselves have a great straightforward lemon flavor. The buttercream is also full of lemon. This frosting would be great on white cupcakes, or even white chocolate cupcakes, yum!

This recipe is super easy. Basically you just add everything to a pot and stir.

If you are using another flavor of frosting and you like a really strong lemon flavor for the cupcakes, I would even say they could be a bit stronger, so I've added instructions in the recipe to do that.

I like to sprinkle the baking soda and salt to the top of the flour and then stir, so it doesn't end up in one lump. I think it makes them incorporate easier. Of course you could stir the dry ingredients together first, but I don't really think that's necessary in this recipe. And who wants to dirty a bowl if you don't need to? ** Edited to add, you will get the best results if you mix the dry ingredients together first (I've noted this in the recipe.)

On the other hand, if you want the flavor a little more toned down you can always decrease the lemon juice and zest to do that.

This is my finished batter. It's bright yellow/orange because I have my own free range chickens and their yolks are bright orange. I mention this because if you are using supermarket eggs your batter will be much more pale. Just an FYI.

Speaking of zest and juice, these are very important aspects to this recipe. You really do need to use fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest needs to be really fine. The best way to do that is to use a Microplane, this is one of my most favorite kitchen tools. I use it to grate Parmesan cheese and chocolate as well as zesting citrus. It allows you to take off only the top layer of the yellow peel, don't get any white pith into your zest or it will be bitter.

These are the cupcake liners I used and I'm loving them! They are thick and foil lined. So the cupcakes are easy to remove. They are greaseproof and I love that they stay true to their color even after they come out of the oven. They are cheap too! I bought these at Walmart. I will definitely be looking for more of these in the future. (Reynolds isn't paying me anything to say this, I just love them.)

For this recipe I took My Favorite White Cupcakes Recipe and adapted it to make it lemon . The great thing about this recipe is how easy it is. Seriously you really just throw it all into a pot and stir. This is the easiest cupcake recipe I've ever made. Which is great for a beginner, or for children. Or for those who don't like a lot of work, but appreciate a great homemade cupcake. (I fall into the last category.)

Pouring the batter into their liners

Another thing I love about these cupcakes is how moist they are. They really are super moist and tender.

Cupcakes cooling on a rack, these smell so good coming out of the oven!

 The buttercream recipe is a standard American buttercream, a butter and powdered sugar base. Which usually doesn't excite me and which most people think is way too sweet. But when you add something tart like lemons to all of that sugar, it really balances out the sweetness and turns this frosting into something special. I could eat this frosting with a spoon, I love it so much. In fact I needed to put the bowl in the sink and rinse it so I would stop licking the bowl.
Making the buttercream

I fed one of these to my husband (who isn't really a dessert lover) and he really loved it. I sent the rest of the batch to his work and they received rave reviews! Especially from the lemon lovers.

I wish you a happy Easter! I hope these cupcakes bring you and your family as much joy as they did for me!

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Oneida silverplated butler's tray and Pretty silver cake server from Italy available at my Etsy shop, House of Lucien. For updates on future coupon codes like House of Lucien on Facebook!

Edited to Add - Some people were having issues with these not rising, this has been fixed! Thank you for all who helped in figuring this out. I've adjusted the recipe to note the changes.

Really Moist Lemon Cupcakes for the Lemon Lover

an original recipe by me, Melissa aka The Alchemist

makes about 20 cupcakes, the recipe can easily be doubled if you need more.

Like I mentioned in the post, this recipe has a great lemon flavor and the buttercream also has a strong lemon flavor, I believe they pair very well together as written. But if you are using a different flavored frosting recipe and want the cupcakes to have a really strong lemon flavor, I would increase the lemon juice to 3/4 cup, and decrease the water to 1/4 cup. If you want them with less lemon flavor I would use less zest, about 1 Tablespoon.


1 cup (2 sticks) (228 g.) butter

1/2 cup (4 oz)  (118 ml.) fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup (4 oz) (118 ml) water

1 1/2 cups (300 g.) sugar

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup (4 oz) (118 ml.) sour cream or plain yogurt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest, lightly packed

2 cups (300 g.) flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, gas mark 4.

In a large saucepan melt the butter with the lemon juice and water on medium high heat. When the butter is melted remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the sour cream (or yogurt), beaten eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest and whisk together. Let this mixture cool completely before preceding, in the fridge, or room temperature is fine. Just make sure it's not warm. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together, then whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. The batter will be somewhat thin, you will be able to pour it in the cupcake liners.

Prepare muffin pans with cupcake liners. Pour (or ladle) the batter in a measuring cup with a spout (or a similar vessel with a pouring spout) and pour the batter into the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, this is important to the success of the cupcakes, don't fill them half way full, or fuller than 3/4 of the way. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Don't open the oven until 18 minutes have passed. Sometimes recipes say to turn the pan half way through cooking time, don't do this here. The reason is because there is so much moisture in this recipe you need that cooking time before opening the oven or else they may fall, and never rise.

Cool cupcakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream

This recipe has a great strong lemon flavor. I think it's perfect as is. It would be great paired with a different flavored cupcake. If you are concerned about the lemon flavor being too strong, I would start off with less zest, (start with half of the amount) and start with half the amount of lemon juice and taste it. You can always increase the zest and juice to your liking.

This recipe makes enough frosting to generously pipe the buttercream on the cupcakes. I had just a bit left over, (you can see from the pictures how much I used on each cupcake.) If you are spreading the frosting on, or if you know you will use much less, I would halve the recipe.


1 lb. (4 sticks) (456 g.) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 lbs (652 g.) powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon lightly packed fresh lemon zest finely zested from a microplane

1/3 cup (78 ml.) fresh lemon juice


Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer beat the butter well, about 1 minute with a stand mixer, 2 minutes with a hand mixer. Add about half of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, lemon zest and juice, then beat well, but start off on low until the sugar is mixed in, so it doesn't go flying all over the kitchen. Once it is incorporated add the rest of the sugar, (start on low again) then increase to high speed and beat until very fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer, or 5 with a hand mixer. If you want the frosting more stiff, add more sugar, if you want it more loose, add a little milk. Use right away. If you aren't going to use it right away keep it at room temperature until you do, for a few hours anyway. If you aren't going to use it until the next day, refrigerate it. The next day you will first need to bring it to room temperature then beat it again. Refrigerating it will make it hard since it is mostly butter. This frosting freezes well for at least 6 months. Make sure it's wrapped very well so air doesn't get into it. When ready to use, bring it to room temperature and then beat again.

I hope you (and those you serve them to) love these cupcakes as much as I do!!


Unknown said...

Hi from your newest follower :)

stopping by from the sweet2eat linky party.

These look yummy, you can never have enough lemon! I also love those little cupcake stands! Wow! They are so cute :)

looking forward to reading more of your posts :)

Shel @ Sweet Petite

Brooke said...

These look and sound amazing! I posted some Lemonhead cookies over at last week. Lemon is my favorite! Thanks so much for the new recipe. Have a wonderful day!

Cooking Quidnunc said...

Lovely! I am obsessed with lemon and so these cupcakes look fantastic to me.

Jamie @ Huckleberry Love said...

I am definitely a lemon lover and these are making my mouth water! I would love for you to come and share these at our linky party.

Hope to see you there,


Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa, very good to see you blogging again and again bringing us more wonders to learn from! I love that this post sounds so full of life and as much zest as there is in the cakes themselves. Thanks for sharing, i wish you the very most wonderful Spring you can have, and great to hear you are feeling so much better again. I must try this recipe; and that quote - if it isn't more than true!!! Cheers ♥♥♥

Sew Lah Tea Dough said...

Yum yum YUM! I love the sound of these, I am a lemon lover too and will for sure try these out :-) Pinning to my baking board now! Thanks for hosting.

Hannah ♫
Sew Lah Tea Dough

Susan said...

These look fantastic! We have a lemon tree in our yard and I am always looking for an exciting lemon recipe. I'll be making these soon! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday's Table!

Unknown said...

Love your tutoral for these lovely lemon cupcakes. They are beautiful and look luscious. Thank you for sharing.

We may have met by chance...but we become friends by choice.

Rita said...

Yum! I love lemon. I can not wait to try these.

Unknown said...

Oh I am so glad to see that you are back in the game! I have had to take time off twice from blogging due to health and I know how it goes. These cupcakes look amazing! I love Lemon! Thanks for sharing at Show Me Your Plaid Monday's!

Anonymous said...

That looks yummy! I super LOVE your blog as I love to bake too! Thanks for the sweet comment and following. I'm following you as well :)

Unknown said...

I've really been on a lemon kick lately. Love that you made your buttercream lemon also. Thanks for sharing at Thursday's Treasures, I featured you on my FB page today!

All My Happy Endings said...

Hi there! I have ventured over from Thumpin’ Thursday. I'm enjoying this little peek into your world! Just lovely! XOXO, Mandi @ All My Happy Endings

cooking with curls said...

Those look yummy! I love lemon, it's such a happy flavor :) Have a wonderful Easter.


The Alchemist said...

Joan, I saw that on your facebook how you are on a lemon kick! Thank you so much for putting on your facebook! You're awesome!

Mandi - Thanks so much, I'll check out your blog too!

Anne K - Thanks!!

MyCleanerLabelLife said...

Okay...I need to read more of you! I am not the best is so precise..I can cook though! I am now baking all of our bread products at home so your tips will come in handy! I am hosting a hop tomorrow at and the link is already up! Swing by if you can!!

Unknown said...

Melissa!!!! SO happy to see you!!! Of yes, I am pinning these little lovelies!!!!!


Anonymous said...

These look and sound amazing!
Thank you for linking up to Much Ado About Monday on Huckleberry Love. Please come back every Monday and party with us!


Unknown said...

Hopping through with the Thumping Thursday Blog Hop! Hope you have a great day!

Huckleberry Love said...

These delicious looking cupcakes are being Featured today on Huckleberry Love! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Much Ado About Monday. Stop on by to grab your "I Was Featured" Button and display it proudly! Have a great weekend and we hope to see you back on Monday. :)


Jeannie said...

They are beautiful with the pearls on top and the photo set up is spectacular.

Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick said...

You had me at "lemon." ♥ These look amazingly decadent!

Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick

Christine said...

I'm a Lemon nut!! LOVE it!!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality last week! HAPPY EASTER!!

Unknown said...

Those sound lovely! I think the lemon flavor would be perfect for spring! Thanks for partying with us at Time To Sparkle!

Lisa Boyle said...

These look wonderful! Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe tuesday!" Guess what? I am featuring this recipe this week! Congratulations! :-) Sorry my post is going up late. I wasn't online over Holy Week and Easter. It should go live in a couple of hours. Please be sure to stop by and grab an "I've been featured" button. :-) Many blessings, Lisa P.S. Can't wait to see what you share this week!

Udhaya said...

I stumbled upon your lemon cupcake recipes when I was looking for a lemon cake recipe. I must say that those cupcakes look amazing! Perhaps I would give it a try later today =)

Unknown said...

Hi Melissa!

Stumbled upon your site a few days ago while looking for a good lemon cupcake recipe and came across your site. Tried your lemon cupcake recipe awhile ago but it didn't come out like yours, no doming whatsoever and two even sank. I followed your recipe to the letter and I'm not a newbie baker either. Has this ever happened to anyone who has tried the recipe? Please help, I really love lemons! :-)

The Alchemist said...

Flor Mayo - I'm so sorry to hear that the recipe didn't work for you. This recipe is adapted from my favorite white cupcake recipe,

which is a recipe I make often, and people have told me it's their go to white cupcake recipe. I just checked the ingredients to make sure it was correct with the white cupcake recipe (only changing out some of the water for lemon juice etc, and halving it, that recipe is doubled what this one is) and it looks fine.

There are so many factors to consider when baking. Do you live here in the states? I know some people live in other countries where the ingredients may be slightly different.

It sounds like there was too much moisture in your cupcakes, I would omit some of the water in the recipe and possibly increase the flour slightly and see if that helps.

Happy Baking!

Melissa @ The Alchemist

Unknown said...

Hi Melissa!

Thanks for replying, I live in Asia but I've made plenty of cakes with sourcream in them and have never had a problem and the recipes I often use are also written by American bakers. I'll try omitting some of the water as you suggested and see how it comes out. Again, thanks for sharing your recipes! The pics are amazing!

Unknown said...

Hi melissa!
Yeh i had the same problem today i tried it but thr same thing happend !! I think there is alot of butter in it !!

Bel said...

Hi, I live in Dubai and tried your recipe this evening. It turned out amazing, even without the icing it was so delicious, but ofcourse I did go with half the quantity of icing and it was meant to be. I was worried though, after adding the flour to the batter, it started bubbling a bit, though i took off the pan from the stove before adding the flour. Not sure if i should hve left the batter to cool first, but Thank you for all your efforts and especially for sharing it with us your delicious recipes.

Unknown said...

Hi, I just tried this recipe and it didn't work for me either (did not rise properly). Could it be that it should be baking powder instead of baking soda?

Jenna said...

Unfortunately I did not read the comments for these cupcakes before I tried them. Mine did not rise either. Sorry.

The Alchemist said...

Jenna - I'm so sorry I don't know what's happening with this recipe. I've been told that they have worked for some people, (and they do work for me, of course, or I wouldn't have posted the recipe here.) But yeah, they don't rise for a lot of people. I wish I knew why. I've added a disclaimer above the recipe to alert others. I'm sorry I didn't do it earlier, I wish everyone had the success that I did with this recipe. If I find out the problem I'm definately going to update this.

Amy said...

These cupcakes were amazing! I made them for my husbands birthday and received a ton of complements! :) Thank you for sharing!

Pauline said...

I don't know if this will actually address the problem ppl are having with this recipe, but I did notice something when I was just baking these cupcakes that might explain it. I filled my first batch of liners about half way, out of habit and accidentally added more to a few. The few I added more to rose just fine, the ones that were only half filled did not. So, it might just be that you must fill the liners to 3/4 like the recipe says. The next batch I made sure to fill appropriately and they turned out fine. This may or may not help, but its just an observation I made as I was just baking them.

carol said...

Hi I am always looking for new lemon recipes and these look yummy the ingredients list you simply say flour and I was just wondering whether the flour you use is plain flour or self raising flour

The Alchemist said...

Pauline - Thank you so much for that observation! That is so smart, and I think very helpful. I'm going to add that info with the recipe, thanks so much!

Carol - It's plain, all purpose flour.

Bon Vivant said...

If you cool the butter/lemon sugar mixture..this will eliminate the issue of the cupcakes not rising. The baking soda is activated too quickly if the butter mixture is to warm. Delicious cupcakes. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I agree with the previous poster. I did it both ways and they did not rise when the butter mixture was still warm. When I let that cool completely, they did rise. I noticed the baking soda foaming very quickly when the mixture was warm.

The Alchemist said...

Bon Vivant and April - this is so smart, I don't know why I didn't think of this. I'm so glad I asked for help with this. Thank you so much. I'm going to change the recipe to note to cool the mixture first. Thank you!

Annie said...

I got impatient and didn't let the butter mixture completly cool either- it did foam a bit- but the flavor is still AMAZING and we are eating them anyway ;D

This recipe is a keeper and I will def be doing it correctly next time!! (and piping some lemon curd inside).

lemonfergie said...

So I love lemon and these sounded awesome but I had key lime juice and limes for zest on hand and thought I would sub those and do key lime cupcakes instead and holy wow are they ever amazingly delicious! This is a keeper recipe =)
I agree with the above comment that piping some lemon curd (key lime in this case) would kick it up even another level of citrus awesomeness!

Unknown said...

Best Lemon cupcakes ever !!!! First time i used my small silver paper cups the cupcakes turned fine...However i had an issue while using the standard size cupcake liners,, the batter came out and spread on the tray:( ...

The Alchemist said...

Hira ali - I'm glad you liked the cupcakes! If the batter spills over it's usually because they are filled too full.

Sarah - That sounds really awesome, thank for sharing!

Lek said...

Hi!i tried this cup cakes yesterday and it was amazing all my friends love it, its the best moist cupcake i had thanks for sharing your recipe

Tania said...

Hi first I need to steal Shel Young's title, and second I have just made these yummy cup cakes and I have to say more lemony would be great, but they are fantastic with the butter cream. So cheers to you!!. I found my mix not as runny as yours looked in the pic I think because my mix was not 100% cooled,...but they did puff up nicely (big fan of bicarb soda and citrus i use it in pancakes and my sticky date pudding). I need to freeze some not sure if you have done so but I assume they will be ok. Keep on Creating x

Mom said...

Fantastic recipe and just wonderful lemon flavor. These have been through two test runs (to the delight of my family) now and will be the base cupcakes/frosting for my daughter's birthday party tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing.

Laura Loves Cake! said...

Hi Melissa

Do you think this recipe would be able to be adapted to make a sandwich cake? I have 2 x 15cm long would you say I'd need to bake them for? Any left over batter could make cupcakes which I'd then freeze, so the quantities wouldn't matter so much, but do you think it would work in sandwich tins instead of cupcakes?

Thanks for your help, happy baking to you :)

The Alchemist said...

Laura Loves Cake - Yes, I'm sure you can make a sandwich cake, although I'm not sure of the times to bake them. This will depend on the thickness of the cake. I would just watch it carefully.

Good luck!

Tom Leith said...

The crumb texture came out coarse and not especially moist. There is little water in the batter and I'm thinking the flour did not gelatinize very well (even though it was quite thin). I'll try again with a little more water and beat the batter a little longer.

Hayley Frohs said...

I made these and they are amazing! Thanks for the recipe! I'm wanting to use this recipe to make a cake. Has anyone done is successfully and do you know how long it cooks?

The Alchemist said...

Hayley - You can definitely make a cake with this recipe. The timing will depend on what size layers you do, either 8 or 9 inch and how thick the layers are. Bake them according to any standard cake recipe for the size you are making, The time will be anywhere from 22-30 minutes.

Unknown said...

I tried this recipe over the weekend in preparation for a birthday party I am baking for at the end of the month for a friend. I have no words other than PERFECTION, PERFECTION and PERFECTION! They are moist yet still fluffy and they are definitely my new fave cupcakes! Thank you!!

Unknown said...

Hi Melissa! I REALLY LOVE THESE CUPCAKES, SO MOIST AND YUMMY,but i'd just like to ask if I could omit the water and just use a whole 1 cup of lemon juice. Personally I feel that 3/4 is enough but my hubby thinks its still not tangy enough.>.<

Bree Kopp said...

I was so excited to make these cupcakes today! I'm very sad they didn't turn out right. I read all of the comments and let the butter mixture cool completely before adding the dry ingredients, and they still didn't rise. I also thought they were more dense than fluffy. Wish they turned out! Was in the mood for something lemony...

The Alchemist said...

Joey - Yes, you can definitely do that.

Unknown said...

HI Melissa !

Recipe turned out great!! I increased the lemon juice to 3/4 cup and omitted the water as you suggested and all was good. Just wondering have you tried other fruit flavors such as strawberry, (maybe using a puree) and follow the same procedure? Also, could I do it with milk to replace the fruit juice to make a very moist vanilla? Great Work ! and thanks for sharing !

Unknown said...

Can I replace the butter with oil? I rarely stick up on butter but I always have oil on hand.

The Alchemist said...

Joey - I wouldn't. butter doesn't have as much fat as oil, oil is 100% fat, butter has some milk in it. The problem is, these cupcakes are so moist, I'm afraid that using oil would make them, "wet." But if you do it and it's successful, I'd love to know about it.

The Alchemist said...

D Dawkins - I'm so glad you liked them! I have made them in vanilla, as a matter of fact, this recipe I based on from my "My Favorite White Cupcakes Recipe." Here

I have used them to make a passionfruit cupcake using passionfruit puree and it was very successful. I haven't blogged about it.

I do have a strawberry cupcake I love, called Pink Velvet cupcakes. Here

those are more fluffy, but still moist.

Happy baking!

nicnmike said...

Hi, can the butter for the batter be salted? Ugh, I already melted it, so I hope so. But maybe I'll leave out the salt if not... :P Thanks!

The Alchemist said...

nicnmike- Sure, but I wouldn't omit the salt, just use 1/2 tsp instead of 3/4 tsp.

Nic and Mike's latest research project said...

Oh, hooray! OK, I'll taste it and see. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I have tried this recipe several times and only twice I got the cupcakes to rise properly, the flavor is always fantastic though.
I don't know if I'm doing it right,but sometimes I cut the recipe in half, could it be the problem?

also I beat the egg until is very foamy and add it together with the sourcream, vanilla and lemon zest when the butter, lemon juice and water mixture is still hot, is that rifht??

then when the mixture is cold I add the dry ingredients and the batter looks very foamy instead of liquid

I hope you can advice me to get it right

thank you very much.

The Alchemist said...

Candela Busso - I'm glad you like the recipe and I'm sorry you are having problems with it.

First, I don't beat the eggs until they are very foamy. I just beat them until they are broken up.

As I mentioned in the recipe, I just melt the butter, add the first set of ingredients, wait until it's room temperature, then add the rest. I also don't beat the batter. I just mix it together until it's all been incorporated.

I don't think it's because you are halving the recipe.

I hope that helps!

Melissa @ The Alchemist

Carolyn said...

Not sure what went wrong. Tried this a few days ago and they were very flat - never raised and were a bit dense/soggy... just not really the right consistency. Tried it again tonight and they were rising in the oven and I was stoked but fell in the middle with 5 minutes to go (13 minutes in). Then they got really crispy/crunchy/brown on top circumference and aren't quite done in the middle even at the 20 minute mark. I halved the water the second time to make them less dense/soggy but have a new set of issues now! They are delicious but I probably won't be making these again sadly. I'm an experienced baker and have created my own desserts or modified things on the fly so I confused why these have failed twice. The frosting on the other hand is absolutely heavenly.

Soozdog said...

So I love lemon. I made these this morning and they completely sunk in the middle. What did I do wrong! I double checked the recipe and I did everything just right as far as measurements etc.

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

These were terrible - dense, soggy, doughy - they didn't rise AT ALL!

I looked at the original white cupcake recipe, and this recipe is quite different. Sour cream/yogurt was reduced and water/lemon juice added. Also, the cornstarch was omitted. I believe that is the issue, causing them to cook improperly. Baking soda would be a good addition, as the acidity of the lemon juice would help the cupcakes rise more.

If this is supposed to be a modified sponge cake, then the eggs need to be beaten until foamy. If this isn't supposed to be a modified sponge cake, then it's just a terrible muffin recipe.

The Alchemist said...

Carolyn and Soozdog - I'm sorry they didn't work out, I really am. I hate it when recipes don't work.

Rachel - I'm not sure what's going wrong. When I make lemon cupcakes I follow my own recipe. The same recipe that is here. I actually google for my own recipe because it's easier for me to find that way. I've made these, this same recipe, at least a dozen times with great results. Anyhow, I'm not the only one either, there are some comments here of people who have been successful as well. I'm not sure what's going wrong for the people who it doesn't work out for.

The original white cupcake recipe this one is based on is a white texas sheet cake recipe.

I think you are looking at the wrong white cupcake recipe. The one these are based on is here
That recipe does not have cornstarch in it. (The other white cake recipe on this site does have cornstarch in it, so I think you're looking at the other one.) Also there is baking soda in this recipe.

Overall, I'm super sorry they didn't work out for you. I still don't know the answer to fix it for the ones who this recipe doesn't work for. But as long as it works for me and others, I feel confident to keep it here on my blog.

The next time I make these, I'm going to go slow, and take note if I have any changes to make that might help and edit the recipe.

Unknown said...

Hi ms alchemist, I really admire your cupcake recipes and im really amazed on how you frost your cupcakes. I really get frustrated when i frost and its not as good as yours, can u give me some tips. I want my cupcakes to look good and attractive especially when my friends come over and i let them try what i baked. Thanks in advance

Krystal M. said...

When you add the eggs to the butter mixture, should it be cooled some? I'm asking because if you add egg to something that's still hot, won't it begin to cook the egg? I'm assuming that it should be slightly cooled, but I'm making these for my roommate's (who LOVES lemon) bday (today...EEK!) and I want them to be perfect!

The Alchemist said...

Krystal - Yes, you're thinking is correct. But my experience has been that after you add the sugar, and then the sour cream, it cools down the mixture enough to make the mixture not cook the eggs. But yes, the mixture shouldn't be hot.

Good luck and Happy Baking!

Cha said...

hi. mine cracked a little on top. oven too hot or too much dry ingredient?fyi 1/2 cup lemon juice = 3 whole lemons. other than that, smells great! taste awesome!

Emily Wells said...

I made these this morning and they are AMAZING! The only difference I made was to add about a tablespoon of grated zest to the batter before baking. I have never had a homemade cupcake turn out this light and moist. The texture reminds me exactly of a cupcake from a boxed mix but without the weird "boxed mix" after taste, if that makes sense? The husband, kids and I inhaled these!!

Saima said...


I made the lemon cupcakes yesterday but they did not rise. A first for me if I am honest. By baking soda do you mean bicarbonate soda and by flour do you mean plain or self raising flour?

Kind Regards

Jan said...

I just took these out of the oven. They smell great and test great but some had a small hole or indention in the middle. What did I do wrong? I did notice that when you mix it(dry with wet) the mixture does bubble. Should I have waited awhile before putting in the oven or put in oven immediately?

roxane said...

II would like to use this recipe as a standard cake recipe with two 8" or 9" cake pans but I am worried about the cake not rising.
Would it be beneficial to add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder as well?
Would it work as a cake recipe as I described above.
Thank you. It sounds like a winner.

The Alchemist said...

Saema - I'm sorry they didn't rise for you. Baking soda is bicarbonate of soda, and flour is all purpose.

Janis - I'm sorry I have no idea what happened! No you don't have to wait to cook them, but you just need to make sure the mixture is cool.

Roxane - Yes you can make it as a cake, sure you could add baking powder, it wouldn't hurt. When you make it as a cake you need to grease the pans well, just cook them for about as long as another recipe of the same cake size that you are using, calls for.

Good luck!

Gina said...

Hello...I found your site while I was searching for lemon cupcakes. I made these and they were heavenly. A lite refreshing lemon flavor. I made as written and it made 12 cupcakes and enough to fill a 6 inch cake pan. I topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting. So delicious. I am your newest fan. Thank you so much. Gina

Unknown said...

Need to know if I can make this into a cake instead of the cupcakes. I love the cupcakes and have made them many times and love them.
Just wanted to try and make them into a cake....can I? How long do I bake it for?

Melissa said...

Hi there! Thanks for posting your recipe. Unfortunately it didn't work out for me =(.

I made sure the mixture was completely cook before adding the flour mixture, but it still bubbled up like crazy.

I did some research and it sounds like the problem is over-leavening. Either by beating too much or too much leavening agent.

For the person who beat the eggs until white and fluffy, most certainly that was the problem. When a cake is over-leavened, the crumb does not have enough structural integrity to support the weight of the cake and it falls.

For me, I believe I should have let the baking soda fizzle out and let the batter rest before filling the cups. When the soda aerates the batter like it did for me, less batter goes in each cup - further exacerbating the problem of structural integrity.

I am going to try this again and make some adjustments. I will let you know.

The Alchemist said...

Debby - Yes, you can make it into a cake. I would bake it as long as another cake recipe of the same size. Like if it's an 8 inch cake, bake it about the same time as another recipe in that size cake.

Unknown said...

Followed the recipe exactly for my work Bake Club, perfectly moist and delicous lemon cupcakes!

Lots of compliments, thanks for sharing. Looking foward to testing your other baking recipes.

Unknown said...

Hi Melissa!

I just wanted to let you know that I made these cupcakes in October of last year for an office Halloween party and won the baking contest. Since then, they have been my most requested birthday treat.

I'm making them again this week for my boss's birthday. When I asked him what he wanted, his eyes widened and he gushed, "Please make those awesome lemon cupcakes!"

I never change a thing in the recipe. No substitutions, nothing. They are absolutely perfect, just as you made them!

Thanks for this fabulous recipe!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us!Lemon cupcakes are just delightful!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Those cupcakes look amazing. How do you get the frosting to look so good? They look like little, edible works of art! I am a cupcake aficionado and always looking for ways to increase my cupcake knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I should have read the comments first because mine indented, although moist, not as lemony as I hoped. But there is a aftertaste of baking powder that everyone asked me about, "what's that taste". I followed the recipe perfect, but once they come out of the oven to cool, they sink. I'm going to try to reduce the water, use baking powder instead because I'm at high altitude. They are light and moist, but there is a issue with the rising. I'm a advanced baker, and never saw a recipe call for so much baking soda with lemon juice, it just doesn't work together. Happy baking.

Jan said...

I have made these twice and they just do not come out for me. I do let the mixture cool down and do fill it up 3/4 but it still sinks in the middle (or indent). And do not open door after 18 minutes. Your white cupcakes come out perfect for me. Can anyone help me? Only 1 cupcake came out perfect -----Just Crazy!

goelvira said...

Hi Anne, I know you posted this recipe back in 2013 but I just found it after making the most horrible lemon cake recipe ever! I seriously almost started crying because it was so dense and tasted like flour! Anyway, I decided to look for another recipe and miraculously found yours!!! I just finished making the cupcakes and they are the BEST BEST cupcakes I've EVER made!! They turned out soooooo moist and light!! I'm so excited over this turnout that I can't wait to present them to my sister and family for her birthday tomorrow!! Thank you for saving me!! Love them so much!!

Unknown said...

Hello! This recipe looked wonderful and I stocked up on ingredients to make them this morning. Unfortunately, even though I am someone who reads recipes and comments VERY thoroughly before making them (especially blog recipes), I sadly didn't read down far enough to see that people were having issues with the cakes not rising. It happened to me! I was so disappointed. I am trying to improvise as I go; I only bake 2-3 at a time and am adding more flour and chilling the batter in between baking rounds. They are becoming more solid with each flour addition. I believe once I get to the end of the batter they will be cupcake-y! It's really a shame because the flavor is so great - I was actually eating some of the batter by the spoon before baking, haha! I still am not sure what has caused them to be skinny, fallen, spongey little gooey rings of batter, but I hope to get them fluffy and perfect by the end, because the flavors are all there.

Unknown said...

I went to cooking school and pastry was my niche. I've made and experimented with countless lemon cake recipes and have to say this one is theeeee very best. The batter base itself is like a lemon curd and the resulting texture is lite and flavor are A+. Plus the cakes, even though they taste and feel delicate, once completely cooled, are easy to work with to fill, for instance. About the cake not rising, it is imperative that you follow her directions and make absolutely sure NOT to add the flour/BAKING SODA/salt mix to the batter until the batter is COLD. What's happening is that if the mix is warm even the slightest, it will activate the baking soda and partially 'kill' it's rising power, starting the chemical reaction before it gets into the oven.

Wonderful recipe, thank you!

(I fill these with my lemon curd and then ice with dark chocolate ganache frosting)

Jan said...

Thank you Kathi for that tip, I made them twice and both times a disaster. Will do it your way next time

Unknown said...

Nice Blog. Thanks Admin

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Karen said...

Has anyone tried making a cake with this recipe? How did it come out?

Has anyone tried adding limoncello to the recipe?

Unknown said...

I just made these ! Although it says you edited the recipe for this problem but it still happened to me! My cupcakes were sinking in the middle and didn't rise

Angela To said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela To said...

I've made this recipe several times and have sometimes had issues with the cupcakes sinking, but the flavor is always delicious even if they sink. To make sure they turn out fluffy and rise, I've found that I need to make sure the batter is runny and smooth as she describes before baking them. If the batter isn't runny/smooth (I've had it look thick with lots of bubbles), mix a bit more or I've even added a tablespoon of water to help. When you get it right they are the most delicious fluffy lemony cupcakes!

Unknown said...

I made these for my granddaughters birthday party a week ago and they were fabulous! Came out looking just like they should and raised perfectly, but i did fill them 3/4 like you said. My only issue was that they tended to stick to the liners to the point that i had to scrape the rest of the cake out with my teeth (cause yeah, they were that delicious. Lol). Any suggestions on how i can avoid that happening? I'm making them again today for the Superbowl. Spray the liners with Pam, maybe? Btw, my son in law took some leftover cupcakes to work to share with coworkers after the party, he works at a John Besh restaurant in New Orleans, and he said they lasted about 2 seconds! Even the pastry chef had one and said it was one of the best cupcakes she'd ever had! Wow! Kudos to you! You know I'll be sharing that story for many years to come! Lol. Fyi, the only change i made was to add a brick of cream cheese to the frosting, because I like the tang that cream cheese gives to sweet frosting. Anyways, I thought you'd like to know! Thank you for posting this recipe, it's going in my keepers file for sure! :)

The Alchemist said...

I am so happy to hear that you had success with these! What an honor, i love John Besh! But you must be a great baker, since you are the one that did the baking! And I agree with you about the cream cheese in the frosting, it sounds like a great addition.
About the wrappers sticking, you can try spraying them with non stick spray like you mentioned, or try using some good non stick cupcake liners and see if that helps. Thanks for the feedback, and good luck with this next batch, I hope they turn out perfectly!

Unknown said...

Hi Melissa! I'm wanting to make lemon cupcakes for my daughter's birthday but really want to make your "Best Fluffy and Moist White Cupcakes" (from April 23,2013) with lemon but don't know how to adapt, especially since I'm baking at altitude. And I see that this recipe is your original white cupcake recipe adapted. I'd love your help!! I got rave reviews from your "BFMWC" after they had been frozen and then they and eaten so I figure it's a keeper!!!

Unknown said...

Thank you! This recipe turned out perfect! Moist, zesty and delicious. Best lemon cupcakes ive made yet!