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Small Batch Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

This recipe for small-batch lemon cupcakes is great for those days that you know you do not need to whip up a whole box of treats.

lemon cupcake with buttercream frosting

There are days when you know you should NOT make a whole batch (2+ dozen) of cupcakes.  The reasons may vary and you might be the only one who knows why, bless your heart.  And then a little special someone wants a sweet treat.  What’s a gal – or guy – to do?  The answer is simple – make a small batch of lemon cupcakes.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

These sweet little treats aren’t made with lemonade, but they are light and delicious.  The batter easily makes six cupcakes with enough leftover for you to lick the spatula.  If you have lemons, you could add some fresh grated lemon zest to make them even better.

I love to top cakes and cupcakes with simple buttercream icing.  (You can get my recipe by clicking here.)  My topping is not snow white because I prefer to use organic powdered sugar and real vanilla (which is BROWN).  If you are really ambitious, you can make these babies with ALL organic ingredients.

How To Make Lemon Cupcakes

For this easy cupcake recipe, you need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
lemon cupcake ingredients

The easiest way to make these is to use a stand mixer. However, you can definitely make them using a large mixing bowl. Start by whipping butter at medium-high speed in a mixer bowl. Add sugar and mix until creamy. Add egg, milk, and lemon extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients at a slow speed until the batter is moist. Turn speed onto medium-high and beat until smooth.

lemon cake batter

Spoon into prepared muffin pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

cupcakes in a pan to be baked

Depending on the cupcake liners you use, the recipe will yield 4-6 cupcakes. A batch made four cupcakes using these stand-along cupcake liners.

baked lemon cupcakes

Allow the cupcakes to cool before decorating.

buttercream frosting in a mixer

Homemade buttercream is always a great option for topping these sweet treats.

lemon cupcakes with vanilla buttercream
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4.54 from 26 votes

Small Batch Lemon Cupcakes

Delicious lemony cupcakes topped with buttercream icing, they’re sure to brighten someone’s day.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Keyword Lemon Cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4 cupcakes
Calories 165kcal
Author Lynda

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Whip butter at medium-high speed in mixer bowl. Add sugar and mix until creamy. Add egg, milk, and lemon extract.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
  • Add flour mixture to wet ingredients at slow speed until the batter is moist.
  • Turn speed onto medium-high and beat until smooth.
  • Spoon into prepared muffin pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool before decorating.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1mg
lemon cupcake with buttercream frosting

These little treats are great at any time of the year, but especially so in Spring.  You can top them with some shredded coconut that has been tossed with green food coloring and it will look like fresh new grass.  For Easter, you could add a couple of jelly beans on top and serve them in small terra cotta pots.

Cupcake in flower pot

Hungry for more sweets?  Check out these other dessert recipes on Southern Kissed:

  • Easy Peach Cobbler – Make this easy cobbler and top it with a scoop of ice cream for a sweet, semi-homemade dessert.
  • Ooey Gooey Butter Cake – Tastes just like Paula Deen’s famous cake that is served at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge.
  • Mini S’mores Pies – These sweet little pies have the great flavors of campfire s’mores without the campfire hassle.
  • Lemon Cake Roll – A sweet, lemony cake is rolled with a layer of luscious cream and fresh blueberries. It’s like a springtime version of a Swiss Cake Roll.

Mocha Cupcake with homemade buttercream frosting
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Recipe Rating




Beth

Sunday 19th of July 2020

Hi Lynda! I made these wonderful lemon cupcakes a few days ago and they turned out absolutely wonderful :) I enjoyed them along with ermine frosting that I added lemon zest to. I didn't have lemon extract so I subbed for zest and it turned out amazing!! This'll now be my go to base recipe for all my small batch cupcakes. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Lynda

Monday 20th of July 2020

Thanks, Beth! I am so delighted that you enjoyed them.

Sana

Saturday 18th of April 2020

How many min if in microwave??

Lynda

Saturday 18th of April 2020

I don't know. I have not tried it.

Zia

Saturday 7th of October 2017

I'm so excited to try these! I don't have lemon extract on hand, would I be able to use lemon juice in lieu of the extract? I am verrry new at making homemade cakes/cupcakes. Thank you for any advice.

Lynda

Monday 9th of October 2017

I don't recommend it. Here's an article from Chowhound that addresses it: https://www.chowhound.com/post/substitute-lemon-juice-lemon-extract-284486

Olesea

Saturday 7th of October 2017

This is my to-go recipe. Easy, fast and not too many ingredients. Delishhh Thank you

Lynda

Saturday 7th of October 2017

Thank YOU! Your comment made my day.