Mini Lemon Cupcakes with Perfect Silky Buttercream
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: 36 mini cupcakes
Mini lemon cupcakes with the silkiest lemon buttercream.
Lemon Cupcakes
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons (5⅛ ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt (I used fat free)
  • ¼ cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (5⅝ ounces)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
Lemon Kissed Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • ½ cup egg whites (I used 3 extra-large but pasteurized egg whites work fine)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⅛ cups (2¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • <1/8 teaspoon table salt
Lemon Cupcakes
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; fill mini cupcake tins with 36 cupcake wrappers; set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla; set aside
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on high speed for several minutes or until light and fluffy; at this point you can’t really overbeat the batter, you want to get as much lightness at this stage as you can; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed for one minute after each; scrape the sides of the bowl with the spatula
  6. Reduce speed to low and slowly add ⅓ of flour mixture and then ½ of wet ingredients; repeat with ⅓ of flour mixture and remaining wet ingredients; add remaining flour mixture and remove from mixer immediately (there should still be lumps in the batter)
  7. Gently fold batter so that you can no longer see any dry ingredients but there are still some small lumps; do not overmix
  8. Evenly distribute batter into cupcake wrappers; I find this easiest with a medium cookie dough scoop or small ladle
  9. Bake cupcakes for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from a center cupcake; do not overbake
  10. Set cupcakes aside to cool and prepare frosting
  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk attachment, whisk, spatula and candy thermometer with a paper towel and vinegar to clean (if any grease is on these items your meringue will not work)
  2. Place egg whites and sugar in mixing bowl over pot of simmering water; water should not be high enough to touch mixing bowl
  3. Whisk mixture slowly but constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Remove from stove and attach bowl to electric mixer with whisk attachment
  5. Put mixer on low to medium speed and whisk until meringue is shiny and thick and bowl has cooled down to room temperature; if bowl does not cool and meringue has formed, you can put an ice bath under the mixing bowl while it is mixing
  6. Once ready, replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment and add cubes of butter one at a time mixing on low speed until the mixture is light and creamy; if mixture gets lumpy, keep mixing for several minutes; if it gets runny, place bowl in fridge for 10 minutes before continuing to mix
  7. Stop mixer to scrape sides of bowl and continue to beat on low speed for another minute
  8. Add lemon zest, vanilla, and salt and mix on medium speed until the SMB is light and creamy
  9. Frost cupcakes as desired (I prefer piping for swiss meringue buttercream)
Cupcakes adapted from Sweetapolita
Buttercream adapted from Sweetapolita
Cupcakes are best that day or refrigerated overnight; may be frozen up to one month and served at room temperature
Recipe by Keep It Sweet Desserts at