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Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

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Meyer Lemon Cupcake

Time: approximately 1.5 hours start to finish; 30 minutes to prepare batter and distribute into cups; 25 minutes to bake and make icing; 20 minutes to cool; 10-15 minutes to frost

Serves: 24-30 cupcakes

Inspired by: Arnie and Alice gave us a whole basket of beautiful Meyer lemons last night. Thank you Arnie and Alice! It’s Shannon’s birthday gathering tonight in a couple of different places so I decided to get started using a few of the lemons for cupcakes. I’ve always loved anything super lemony and the icing on these accomplishes that. This is a mishmash of a lot of different recipes I’ve noted over the years for lemon cake and icing with my various tweaks. This recipe will use 2-5 Meyer lemons depending on the size and amount of juice. I used three small lemons that were pretty juicy when I made this today. There are of course many things you can do to make these look very pretty, but I prefer to keep them very imperfect and very “homemade” in appearance.

Meyer Lemons

Ingredients for the batter:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter – softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3-5 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or cake flour might make them even lighter)
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (1 small 8 oz container)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (1 small 8 oz container)

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 half cup unsalted butter – softened (1 stick)
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar (1 16 oz box)
  • 4-5 tablespoons juice of the Meyer lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel


  • Start by grating the outside of the skins of the Meyer lemons until you have enough zest (approximately 6 teaspoons – only grate the yellow skin, not the white part under that as it can be bitter).
  • Then juice the lemons in a small bowl until you have enough juice (approximately 5 tablespoons).
  • In a large mixing bowl; mix the butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Add the lemon peel and vanilla extract. (When the lemons peel has a nice flavor use more, if it’s too bitter use less).
  • In a separate bowl – combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix well. Batter will be thick.
  • Add the sour cream and yogurt and mix well.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups with 1/3 – 1/4 cup of batter (depending on whether you want 24 or 30).
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes – until they are barely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes.
  • You can make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling —
  • Combine the butter and confectioners sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Add the vanilla, half of the lemon juice (reserve half), 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon peel (reserve the other 1/2 teaspoon) and beat until smooth and creamy. Keep adding additional lemon juice until you get your desired frosting consistency and flavor. (I like a lot of lemon juice for a very lemony frosting, but if add too much the frosting will be runny. If it does get runny, add additional confectioners sugar to thicken.)
  • Once they are cool, frost the cupcakes and sprinkle each one with just a few tiny pieces of grated lemon peel.

    Meyer Lemon Cupcakes Pre-Baked

    Meyer Lemon Cupcakes Pre-Baked

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