These lemon bar cupcakes are super moist lemon cupcakes filled with lemon bar filling and topped with lemon cream cheese frosting and more lemon bar filling. These cupcakes have a strong lemon flavor and perfect texture. They use honey for extra sweetness and lemon zest and fresh lemon juice for tart lemon taste.
I have been compensated by Wholesome Sweeteners, Inc., maker of Wholesome® sweeteners for my participation in this campaign.
These lemon bar cupcakes are the perfect treat for the lemon lovers in your life. They take the powerful flavors of lemon bars and put them in cupcake form. These are an easy dessert to win over anyone who likes lemon desserts that have just the right amount of sweetness and are a little tart.
These cupcakes are made using Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Raw and Unfiltered Honey. Wholesome has high quality honey and other sweeteners that I feel good about using in my bakes. It is harvested by beekeepers in designated organic zones in deep forests of South America!
Why This Recipe Works
- Lemon flavor- These cupcakes have lemon in the cupcake, filling, and frosting for a strong lemon flavor throughout!
- Moist cupcakes- These cupcakes are moist and tender cupcakes with a texture that you can only get from the best homemade cupcakes.
- Delicious filling- The homemade lemon curd filling makes these the best lemon cupcake around. The creamy lemon filling just takes it to another level.
- Easy recipe- Filled cupcakes can be intimidating, but this lemon cupcake recipe breaks everything down into very simple steps.
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Raw and Unfiltered Honey- This is a raw and unfiltered honey which means it retains some of its naturally occurring pollen.
- Unsalted butter- Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Sour cream- Use full fat sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking.
- Oil- You can use canola oil or vegetable oil.
- Sugar- I used Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar.
- Buttermilk- Use full fat or reduced fat buttermilk. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Powdered sugar- I used Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Powdered Confectioners Sugar. Make sure this is sifted to ensure a smooth icing.
- Fresh Lemons- I used medium sized lemons. After zesting the lemons you can juice them for fresh lemon juice!
Step By Step Instructions - Lemon Bar Filling
Here is how to make and bake this lemon bar filling.
STEP 1: Mix. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, salt, and honey.
STEP 2: Cook. Heat the pan on the stove over medium low heat. Mix it with a rubber spatula until it thickens and reaches 170°F. This should take roughly 2-3 minutes.
STEP 3: Mix in butter. While it is still hot from the stove, mix in the cubed butter. Mix it until the butter is melted and mixed in.
STEP 4: Pour. Pour the lemon filling into a bowl and place plastic wrap over it. Then, place it in the fridge to cool completely.
Step By Step Instructions - Lemon Cupcakes
Here is how to make and bake these lemon cupcakes. This recipe uses an electric mixer. I used a stand mixer with paddle attachment. A hand mixer will make beating the butter harder.
STEP 1: Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
STEP 2: Dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
STEP 3: Beat butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, use your mixer to beat the butter, oil, honey, and sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. It will be light and fluffy when it is done.
STEP 4: Wet ingredients. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sour cream, and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix it until combined.
Note: It will appear that the batter is separated due to the acid in the lemon. This is fine.
STEP 5: Combine. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk to the batter. Mix it on low until just combined, then add the next ⅓ dry ingredients and remaining buttermilk. Mix it on low until just combined and then add the remaining dry ingredients.
STEP 6: Scoop. Use a cookie scoop to fill each muffin liner ⅔rds full. Do not overfill.
STEP 7: Bake. Bake them for 16-18 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.
STEP 8: Cool. Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake tray for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step By Step Instructions - Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Here is how to make the lemon frosting and assemble these lemon cupcakes.
STEP 1: Sift powdered sugar. Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl.
STEP 2: Beat butter and cream cheese. Beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2 minutes until it is creamy.
STEP 3: Combine. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix it on low speed until it is combined. Then, add the other half and mix it again until combined. Next, add in the lemon zest and salt before mixing on high until the frosting is creamy.
STEP 4: Core. Use a cupcake corer or a sharp knife to cute a hole in middle of the cupcake going halfway down it. You can throw out the removed centers.
STEP 5: Fill. Use a ½ tablespoon scoop to fill each cupcake with lemon bar filling.
STEP 6: Frost. Use a large cookie scoop to add frosting to the top of each cupcake. Then, spread it with an offset spatula.
STEP 7: Swirl in. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon filling in the middle of each cupcake and use a spoon to drag it through the frosting.
Expert Baking Tips
- Flour- Make sure to spoon and level the flour. If you stick the measuring cup into a bag of flour, it will compact it. Compacted flour will cause a dry cupcake.
- The butter and sugar needs to be beaten well to aerate the butter. If you don't the cupcakes won't be as soft.
- If you want to make use of the cupcake cores you can mix them with leftover frosting to make lemon cake balls!
Yes it can! Freeze the cupcakes after they cooled by wrapping in plastic wrap. Freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before filling and decorating.
These cupcakes are still good without the lemon curd filling, but I strongly recommend adding it. It really brings the cupcakes to another level!
Yes it can! bake for 8-10 minutes instead.
Storing and Freezing
These lemon bar cupcakes need to be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge up to 5 days. The cupcakes taste best when set at room temperature for 1 hour before eating.
The decorated lemon cupcakes can be frozen in an airtight container. Freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
Other Lemon Recipes To Try
Lemon Bar Cupcakes
- 1 ¾ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoon Oil canola or vegetable
- 2 tablespoon Organic Fair Trade Raw and Unfiltered Honey
- ¾ cup Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar
- 2 Lemons zested
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice 1 lemon juiced
- ¼ cup Sour cream room temperature
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup Buttermilk room temperature
Lemon Bar Filling
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 ½ cups Unsalted butter room temperature
- 16 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 4 cups Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Powdered Confectioners Sugar sifted
- 2 Lemons zested
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
Lemon Bar Filling
- Start the filling first, so it can cool completely. In a medium sauce pan, add sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and honey. Use a whisk to mix it together.½ cup Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar, 3 Egg yolks, 2 Lemon zested, 1 teaspoon Cornstarch, 2 tablespoon Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon Salt, 2 tablespoon Organic Fair Trade Raw and Unfiltered Honey
- Place on the stove over medium-low heat. Mix using a rubber spatula. Mix until it thickens and reaches 170°F. This took me 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the cubed butter. Mix until melted and mixed together.¼ cup Unsalted butter
- Pour the filling into a bowl and place plastic wrap over the filling. This will prevent a film from forming over the top. Place in the fridge to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin. Line with muffin liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.1 ¾ cups All-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, ¼ teaspoon Baking soda, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Using a mixer, beat the butter, oil, honey, and sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. It will become light and fluffy.6 tablespoon Unsalted butter, 2 tablespoon Oil, 2 tablespoon Organic Fair Trade Raw and Unfiltered Honey, ¾ cup Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar
- Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, sour cream, and eggs. Mix until combined. The batter will appear separated, but it isn't. It is just the acid from the lemon.2 Lemons, 2 tablespoon Lemon juice, 2 Large eggs, ¼ cup Sour cream
- Add ⅓rd of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk and mix on low speed. Add another ⅓rd of the dry ingredients and the rest of the buttermilk. Then, finish with the rest of the dry ingredients½ cup Buttermilk
- Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough into the muffin liners. Fill ⅔rds full. Any more, and cupcakes will over fill.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes. The cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes sit in the hot pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Set aside.4 cups Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Powdered Confectioners Sugar
- Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2 minutes until creamy.1 ½ cups Unsalted butter, 16 oz Cream cheese
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Then, add in the other half of the powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add in lemon zest and salt and mix on high until creamy.2 Lemons zested, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Use a cupcake corer or a sharp knife to cut a hole in the middle of the cupcake about ½ way down. Toss the tops of the cupcakes.
- Use a ½ tablespoon to fill the cupcakes with the lemon bar filling.
- Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the frosting on top of each cupcake. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting on top.
- Use 1 teaspoon of the lemon filling and place in the middle of the cupcake. Use a spoon to drag the lemon through the frosting.