These Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes are light, fluffy, and have the perfect balance of sweet and tart! Topped with a homemade strawberry buttercream frosting, these treats are great for a spring or summer BBQ, potluck, or picnic!
These fluffy strawberry lemon cupcakes are like strawberry lemonade in cupcake form!
The base of the cupcake is made with lemon extract and fresh lemon juice for a flavor that is not too sweet and not too tart but has a great lemonade taste. The texture is fluffy and light, perfect for summer!
The best part of these cupcakes has to be the frosting! The homemade strawberry buttercream frosting is made with strawberry jam and confectioners sugar making the perfect topping that rounds out the deliciousness of the cupcake.
As a trained pastry chef, I am used to playing with lots of flavors- but something about lemon has me always coming back for more. I LOVE these lemon shortbread cookies, this zesty lemon buttercream, and these lemon meringue cookies which have me *swooning*.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- The cupcakes are moist and fluffy all at the same time.
- You’ll love how the tangy strawberry frosting complements the lemon flavor.
- These cupcakes are a great addition to any summer party or potluck!
- Cake Flour – This special flour is key in making the cupcakes fluffy and soft. It is much softer than all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – These two leavening agents help the cake to rise so that it’s fluffy and not dense.
- Salt – This is a key ingredient in all baking. It helps to bring out the flavors and ensures your leavening agents are activated.
- Unsalted Butter – It’s important to use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Granulated Sugar – This is a cupcake after all, so it needs to be sweet!
- Lemon Extract & Lemon Juice – These two ingredients give the cupcakes their delicious natural lemon flavor.
- Lemon Extract – Adds an additional more concentrated lemon flavor to the base of the cupcake.
- Eggs – The eggs help bind everything together so the cupcakes are set when baking.
- Egg White – Helps the fluffy texture by adding air to the batter
- Buttermilk – This is a key ingredient to fluffy cupcakes! It tenderizes the crumb and adds richness.
- Unsalted Butter – Makes up the base of the frosting adding a rich and comforting buttery flavor.
- Confectioners Sugar – This fine-milled sugar blends in with the butter and jam to create a smooth consistency with lots of sweetness.
- Strawberry Jam – Adds strawberry flavor, texture, and beautiful pink color.
- Cream – Used to create the desired thickness in the frosting.
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY LEMON CUPCAKES
- Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside while making the cupcake batter.
- Whisk the dry ingredients: Add the cake flour, leavening agents, and salt into a medium-sized bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Cream the butter and sugar: Add the butter to a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed for 1 minute before scraping down the bowl and adding the sugar. Mix until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Then, add the lemon juice, zest, and extract and mix until incorporated.
- Add the eggs: To the wet lemon mixture, add the egg and two egg whites. Mix on medium speed for one minute until distributed into the batter.
- Mix in the dry ingredients with the buttermilk: To the bowl, alternate 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time following the buttermilk making sure to start and end with the dry ingredients.
- Assemble and bake: Use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop to distribute the batter into the prepared muffin liners filling 3/4 of the way. Bake for 12-22 minutes or until the cupcakes are set in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Make the Strawberry Buttercream
- Cream the butter and sugar: Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream on low speed slowly bringing up to high until the butter is evenly mixed with the sugar. This will take about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the strawberry jam & cream: Add the strawberry jam along with the cream and continue to mix on medium speed until a light pink frosting is formed.
- Frost the cupcakes: Add the frosting to a piping bag with your favorite tip or use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. Serve and enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BUTTERMILK FROM SCRATCH
If you can’t find buttermilk at the store, no worries! You can easily make your own using a few easy steps.
Simply fill the measuring cup with ½ cup of regular milk and take out 1 teaspoon. Replace it with lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes and voila! You’ve got homemade buttermilk.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- When mixing the wet and dry ingredients, its VERY important to not overmix. Overmixing will result in tough cupcakes that won’t be fluffy.
- Be careful not to overfill your cupcake liners! These cupcakes don’t rise a ton, so filling them too high will result in spillage over the sides while baking.
- Start with room temperature ingredients. This will help everything mix together more easily and prevent any clumps in the batter. If you forgot to take out your butter, learn how to soften butter quickly.
- Before frosting, make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled. Otherwise, your frosting will melt right off!
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing: Store cooled and frosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Freezing: Cupcakes freeze well unfrosted or frosted. To freeze, place cupcakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze for 60 minutes. Once frozen, transfer cupcakes to a freezer-safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to three months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying.
Can I substitute the cake flour for all purpose? Yes you can but the cupcake wont be as fluffy. You can make your own cake flour too! For every cup of flour, remove 2 tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons corn starch. Mix well and you have cake flour!
Can I make this with fresh strawberries? Not in this recipe. I didn’t use fresh strawberries here because they would add too much moisture to the frosting.
Can I make this with bottled lemon juice? Yes of course, the measurements are the same.
WAYS TO ENJOY
- Garnish your cupcakes with sliced lemon, or strawberry, or decorate with flowers.
- Instead of strawberry frosting, try using a tart lemon buttercream frosting.
- These cupcakes can also be topped with mascarpone buttercream frosting for a light, sweet, and tangy flavor.
- Sprinkle with homemade streusel topping to add a crunchy layer of texture and flavor.
Fluffy Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes
- 1 ¾ cup cake flour (207g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113g) softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- 1 egg (50g)
- 2 egg white (70g)
- ½ cup buttermilk at room temperature (118mL)
- 1 cup butter unsalted at room temperature (227 g)
- 3 cups confectioners sugar 340g
- ⅓ cup strawberry jam 105g
- 1 tsp cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a medium size bowl combine the 1 ¾ cup cake flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- In the bowl of a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the ½ cup butter for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and add 1 cup sugar.
- Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon juice and ½ tsp lemon extract. Mix again for 10 seconds.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, 2 egg whites. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add in 1/3rd of the dry ingredients, then half of the buttermilk and alternate, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Mix only until combined. Do not overmix.
- Using a 3 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the muffin liners ¾ of the way full. Bake for 21-22 minutes or until the cake is set.
Make The Strawberry Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add 1 cup softened butter, and 3 cups confectioners sugar. Cream on low building up to high when the butter has incorporated most of the sugar so it doesn’t spill out of the mixer.
- Mix on high for 1-2 minutes
- Next add in the 1/3rd cup strawberry jam and mix on medium for 1 minute. Add the cream and mix again for 10 seconds.
- Frost the cupcakes using an offset spatula or piping bag and tips.