Lemony Spring Cupcakes

Although there are still (officially) a couple of weeks until spring, the first appearance of daffodils in my garden have already cheered me up! It’s been a busy couple of weeks (see below) and I realise I have been slack in posting, but I promise lots of lovely posts in the coming weeks.  Today I have been baking cupcakes for my friend Beejal’s birthday and I wanted to share an easy recipe for lovely moist lemon cupcakes with a lemon curd frosting.

Spring offers so much inspiration and there is so much to post about…Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day, Mother’s Day, lots of ideas for Easter, the arrival of some wonderful seasonal food.  I have also been invited to attend a cookery demonstration at The Caldesi Cookery School in London and no doubt will come back with some recipes to share and will soon be hosting my first ‘give away’ competition courtesy of Hotel Chocolat so there is lots to come.

Last weekend I had one of the most amazing adventures of my life as I spent the day in the kitchen of  The Waterside Inn, a three Michelin starred French restaurant in the tiny village of Bray overlooking the River Thames.  It was truly amazing to see how the famous “Roux” kitchen works right from the inside. It was a slick operation, let me tell you, nobody wants to drop the ball in that kitchen! I was extremely well looked after and it’s an experience that will stay with me forever…though I won’t be changing my career to become a chef anytime soon!

I also popped along to The London Cocktail Club to take a masterclass, also for Beejal’s birthday.  A few Mojitos and Passion Fruit Martinis down the line and we were mixing like pros!

Back to cupcakes, since I am forever on the hunt for tasty cupcake recipes to try, the gorgeous Vanessa Kimbell sent me a sneaky-preview of a recipe (Vanilla, Elderflower and Rhubarb Cupcakes) from her soon-to-be-published cookery book Prepped! Though as I’m still perfecting my rhubarb jam and elderflower syrup I will have to share these with you at a later date.

For now, here are my Lemony Spring Cupcakes with a Lemon Curd frosting.  My top baking tip for the perfect cupcake is to buy a packet of disposable piping bags (Lakeland sell them). You fill your piping bag with your batter (I use a pint glass to hold the piping bag to free up two hands) then snip off the bottom and pipe the batter into the cases until they are two-thirds full.  It is much easier than using a spoon and I find gives a more even finish.  You could wash the bags or use re-usable ones but the Lakeland bags are great value.  I also use a muffin tray (Wilton) which is deeper and holds the cupcake case better as the cakes cook. Take special care when separating cupcake cases as even the slightest dint or crimple will make a difference to the finished product!

Lemony Spring Cupcakes

Ren Behan
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Butter Cream
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Cupcakes
Servings 18


  • 375 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 120 ml milk
  • 120 ml vegetable oil rapeseed is best
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
  • 115 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Lemon Curd Buttercream

  • 110 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon essence
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon curd
  • 2 tablespoons of milk


  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole and a 6 hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and leave to one side.
  • Measure out the milk, oil and vanilla in a jug and also leave to one side.
  • Whisk the butter and sugar in a mixer until very pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix.
  • Add the flour mix and milk/oil mix alternately to the mixer until it is combined – be careful not to over mix.
  • Add the grated lemon zest and mix once more.
  • Pipe the mixture into the prepared tin with cases or spoon in until they are two-thirds full.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the Lemon Curd Buttercream

  • Beat the butter, lemon essence and zest for about three minutes until the butter is pale.
  • Add half the icing sugar and beat again until smooth.
  • Add the remaining icing sugar and beat again.
  • Add two to three tablespoons of milk to loosen the mixture a little if it is too thick.
  • Pipe your buttercream onto your cooled cakes or spread on with a spatula. Decorate with spring flowers and sprinkles or smarties…!
  You may also like to read my homemade lemon curd post here:

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  1. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thank you so much!

    A Twitter friend also suggested using zip lock bags instead of disposable piping bags, which was a good suggestion!

  2. Made With Pink says:

    >Wow, these look absolutely beautiful and delicious! Love the spring time feel of these. My husband loves anything lemon, so I may have to give these a try when we get back from holiday.

  3. Sally - My Custard Pie says:

    >Some really good tips about getting a perfect cake here. The piping bag method is a great idea.

  4. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks Susan, they are lovely and light!

    Sarah, you spotted one solitary butterfly! Usually I make lots but these were speedy and I had one saved from my last batch! Yes, you just make a little indent and I store them at a right angle in a box or on a piece of cereal box!

  5. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    >The sight of a daffodil always cheers me up at this time of year! I have a butterfly cutter like that and it makes them look much more convincing when they have a little fold like that, I must try it.

  6. Susan's blog says:

    >These look very beautiful indeed and I love lemon anything so will try then, thanks!

  7. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks Julie, I hope they turn out well! The cake should be lovely, crumbly and soft!

  8. >Like the look of these, will definitely be baking these, will also be pre-ordering the cookery book by Vanessa.

  9. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Ah, yours would have been the best but my time-management skills failed me in being able to find rhubarb! It was everywhere last week! You are welcome here anytime Vanessa!

  10. Vanessa Kimbell says:

    >The best cupcakes ever as always!! Just lovely .. when can I pop in for a cup of tea ? xx

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