Moist, fluffy and bursting with zingyness these lemon white chocolate cupcakes are a lemon lover’s dream! Filled with a zesty lemon curd and topped with an incredible smooth and creamy buttercream, you’ll love the refreshing citrus flavour in every bite.
Lou’s recipe overview
TASTE: Light and zesty lemon with sweet white chocolate
PROS: Perfect all year round
CONS: None at all
Just when I realise I haven’t made cupcakes for ages along come 2 new flavours in 2 days. And they’re both full of fabulous citrus flavours.
If you love orange, then check out the Jaffa cake cupcakes, but If you love lemon, then trust me you will love, love, love this recipe. Probably just as much as I know you love my lemon drizzle loaf cake.
But I know you guys already love these lemon white chocolate cupcakes already, you couldn’t get enough of them when I popped a peak up on the Facebook page.
So as you’ve all asked for the recipe, here we go…
Keep reading for lots of recipe tips, hand information about ingredients and equipment, frequently asked questions and the full printable recipe.
You’ll love this recipe because…
Trust me even if you’re not a huge lemon fan, these cupcakes are so light and the buttercream so smooth and creamy, that I’m sure they can change your mind.
- Perhaps its because these cupcakes are so soft with just a touch of lemon?
- Or is it those creamy chunks of white chocolate?
- Could it be the lightly whipped smooth zesty buttercream?
- Or maybe it’s because they are filled with my favourite homemade lemon curd?
- And let’s be honest, they look far too good to resist. Don’t they?
If you’re in any doubt about the beauty of lemon cake, then take a wander over and check out my lemon drizzle loaf.
What you’ll need to make this recipe
View my Amazon shopping list with equipment and ingredients
First up before you start baking, I always recommend getting everything you need, ingredients and equipment, ready so you’re not having to hunt around halfway through making your cupcakes.
So with that in mind, here’s what you’ll need…
- Unsalted Butter – Add ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt as well as the salt brings out the sweetness and creaminess of the butter. If you prefer you can use slightly salted.
- Lemon Curd – I use lemon curd to flavour my cupcakes and buttercream as it gives a real zesty tang. If you prefer you can use a lemon extract to add the flavour instead. It’s super concentrated so you don’t need a lot, and if I’m using an extract I love the Nielsen Massey lemon extract. For the cupcake filling, I absolutely love my gin lemon curd.
- Lemon Zest – I love adding an extra lemon hit with fresh lemon zest; it really adds to the zingyness. Just make sure to only take the lemon peel not the bitter white pith underneath the skin.
- Plain or All Purpose Flour – You can also use self-raising flour if you prefer to use it that already has the raising agents added. Just leave out the baking powder from the ingredients list.
- Whole Eggs – Its really important that your eggs are at room temperature as well, it means them super easy to whisk up and get plenty of air into them.
- Caster or Superfine Sugar
- White Chocolate
- Icing or Powdered Sugar
TOP TIP: If your eggs are not at room temperature. Pop them whole into a bowl of warm tap water for 10-15 minutes and they will whisk up nice and easily.
As with all of my recipes and especially my cupcake recipes, only a set of basic equipment is needed and you’ve probably got it all sat in the cupboard already. So here’s what you’ll need…
- Handheld mixer or stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment
- Large mixing bowl
- Deep cupcake tray or muffin tray
- Cupcake liners
CHECK OUT: My Top 10 Essential Baking Tools video to find out more about what I use and my secret tool for perfect cupcakes.
How to make the recipe
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card
The cupcake batter
- Combine the sugar and butter – Add the sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand held mixer until light and fluffy. The mixture should be smooth and creamy in texture.
- Add in the eggs – Add the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, beating well until the mixture is thick and frothy. Make sure everything is well combined.
- Add the lemon – Zest the lemon, being careful to only take the yellow skin, then fold into the cupcake batter. If you are using extract instead, add this now and mix through.
- Combine the dry ingredients – Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add into the batter mixture. Fold everything together until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated and the batter is smooth.
- Add the white chocolate – Fold the chips through the cupcake batter with a rubber spatula until they are evenly distributed.
- Fill the cupcake liners – Line a cupcake pan with liners, then using an ice cream scoop divide the cupcake batter equally between each liner, until ⅔s full.
- Bake the cupcakes – Pop the cupcakes in a preheated oven for 16-18 minutes and allow them to completely cool before filling with marmalade and decorating.
TOP TIP: If your cupcake batter feels too thick and heavy, add a tablespoon of milk and mix in well to loosen slightly. Don’t add too much otherwise the mixture will become too wet and runny.
The buttercream frosting
This lemon white chocolate buttercream frosting is super easy to make; we’re just going to whip up a few simple ingredients in less than 10 minutes.
- Whisk the butter – With a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high for about 3-4 minutes. The butter will become pale in colour, light and airy.
- Add the icing sugar – A tablespoon at a time add the icing sugar to the butter. Whisk everything together between each addition, until fully incorporated. The buttercream will be smooth but thick.
- Add the lemon curd and melted white chocolate – Add the curd first and whisk again for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chocolate and mix well again.
TOP TIP: Whipping the butter before adding any other ingredients, makes it light and fluffy and incorporates in air for a smooth and creamy texture. Trust me, your buttercream will be transformed!
Frequently asked questions
The recipe makes between 12-16 cupcakes, depending on how much batter you use for each of the cupcake. An ice cream scoop is ideal for getting even cupcake sizes. The recipe can easily been scaled down for a small batch recipe.
The cupcakes are best stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
The cupcakes are best eaten when they are freshly made, but if stored correctly they will last up to 3 days.
Yes, you can freeze un-iced cupcakes which you can frost and decorate when you are ready to eat them. Just pop the un-iced cupcakes in a sealable freezer/ Zip-loc bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Remember to defrost thoroughly before using.
I get asked this question a lot but as I’m not an expert in eggless baking, I don’t want to give you the wrong information. Instead why not head on over to Gemma at Bigger Bold Baking who has a great post on egg substitutes in baking.
Recipe notes and top tips
These cupcakes really are delicious and easy to make, but for the most perfect cupcakes make sure you follow these top tips.
- Always measure your ingredients – Baking is a science, so if you really want to create the best bake you can, ditch the cup measurements and invest in a set of digital kitchen scales for accurate measurements. It is so easy to add too much flour or not enough butter when using measuring cups.
- Invest in an ice cream scoop – Trust me, this is one of my top 10 must have baking tools! If you want to make sure all your cupcakes are the same size, then give an ice cream scoop a try. You will need about 1 scoop of cupcake batter per liner; so it’s about ¾s full.
- Whip you buttercream for the smoothest buttercream – Start with room temperature butter, then whip the butter on its own for about 3-4 minutes of medium-high speed until its pale and fluffy. Not only will it be incredibly smooth, it will incorporate air to make it lovely and light.
- Use an apple corer for removing the cupcake centre – The best way to core out the centre of a cupcake to add a filling. Keep the cored cupcake and pop it back in the top of the cake, or they’re baker’s offcuts perfect for taste testing.
Lemon White Chocolate Cupcakes
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
For the Lemon White Chocolate Buttercream
For the Filling
- 100 g Lemon Curd
- To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 180C and line a deep muffin tray with cupcake cases.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened. Alternatively, you can make the cake batter, in a large mixing bowl, by hand or with an electric hand whisk.250 g Butter
- Add the sugar to the softened butter and beat together until light and fluffy.250 g Caster Sugar
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed mixture. Beat well between adding each egg. If the mixture begins to curdle, add a teaspoon of flour.4 Eggs
- Add the lemon zest and lemon curd, or lemon extract if preferred, and mix until well combined.2 tbsp Lemon Curd
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the mixture. Gently mix together until the cupcake batter is soft and smooth.
- Fold the white chocolate chips into the cupcake batter making sure they are evenly distributed.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cupcake cases, approximately 1 scoop per case.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the buttercream: Add the white chocolate to a small heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until all the chocolate has melted. Alternatively, melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer with the balloon attachment, whip the butter until pale and creamy. Start on low speed for 2-3 minutes, increasing to medium/high for 4-5 minutes. Alternatively use a hand held mixer.
- Add the icing sugar a 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and gently beat in. Continue until all the icing sugar is combined and the butercream is light, airy and smooth.
- Add the lemon curd or lemon extract to the buttercream and mix through until well combined. Then add melted chocolate and mix again until fully combined.1 Lemon
- To decorate: Using a small sharp knife or an apple corer, remove the centre of the cupcake and fill with the lemon curd. Replace the remove cupcake core to seal in the filling.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a piping nozzle with the buttercream. I used a Wilton 2D open star nozzle. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes and then decorate with sprinkles.
- The cupcakes are best kept in an air-tight container at room temperature.
- The cupcakes will keep fresh for up to 3 days.
- You can freeze the un-iced cupcakes in a sealed freezer bag for up to 1 month. Remember to defrost thoroughly before eating.
- If you have any buttercream leftover, pop it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for 3 months.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.