Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Delicious simple lemon cupcakes with blueberries and homemade cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I finally did it.

I turned my beloved lemon blueberry layer cake into cupcakes. Remember when I made that cake 2 years ago? I remember baking the very cake in those photos. The month was February. The weather was bone-chilling cold and the wind hailing around the apartment building shook me to the core. The pipes in our apartment had froze, burst, and flooded only a month before. I figured “now’s a good time for some dessert sunshine.” And I haven’t looked back since.

I’ve made that cake more times than I can count. I even made several cakes for my friend’s wedding reception one year. For which I bought a gazillion pounds of cream cheese and lemons. I was waist deep in cake batter and somehow flung cake batter INTO MY EYE but the look on the bride’s face made eye-verything worth it.

By the way, it really does make a wonderful wedding cake!

Delicious simple lemon cupcakes with blueberries and homemade cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So here we are 2 years later! The weather feels just as cold (hey. i thought it was spring?) and I’m ready to take that lemon blueberry layer cake up a notch.

With these cupcakes, I amped up the lemon flavor. I also made sure there’s a higher ratio of blueberries to cake. Because bursts of juicy baked blueberries beats everything on this planet, right?** The lemon blueberry cupcakes are much fluffier than the cake version and I simply equate it to working with less batter. The less batter you work with, the less risk you have overmixing.

Let me geek out for a sec because I’m actually asked about this a lot. When you overmix batter or dough, you overwork the gluten strands in the flour. They become super elastic which results in a denser, chewier, somewhat gummy-tasting baked good. If you’ve ever made cupcakes or cakes that should be as fluffy as marshmallows and you end up with pound cake… overmixing could be the culprit. Always keep this in mind when you’re whipping up that cake or cupcake batter– use a low speed when combining the dry and wet ingredients. Low speed and mix s l o w. Slow and steady wins the cake and cupcake race, mmmk?

How to make lemon blueberry cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Back to the sparkly lemon blueberry cupcakes. They’re similar to lemon cupcake recipes you’ve seen on my blog and in my book before– understandably so! I’m a firm believer in when you find something you love, don’t fix it. Or just buy it in every color imaginable as evidenced in my madewell tee collection (so soft, I love these shirts!). This is my favorite lemon cake and cupcake base layer and I felt inspired to try them again. All I did was switch up the frosting and a couple ingredients.

How to make lemon blueberry cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

To bring these lemon cupcakes to the next level, I reached for Sunkist Meyer lemons. Hey, did you know that a Meyer lemon is actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin? Because of their sweet taste and low acidity, Meyer lemons are fantastic in lemon desserts especially cupcakes.

As far as the other ingredients go? Well, I’m going to be honest. And completely GEEKY again when I say these cupcakes are easy peasy lemon squeezy. Insert laughing emoji and/or eye rolling emoji here.

All awkward rhymes aside, though, making the cupcakes is actually pretty quick and simple. All starts with creaming butter and sugar together. To loosen up the batter, we’ll add milk. Not just any milk; I prefer buttermilk in these cupcakes. Buttermilk is used solely for moisture and flavor. Baking soda is typically paired with buttermilk, but again– we’re only using buttermilk for moisture and flavor. Not to react with the chemical leavener. Got it? Baking powder lifts ’em right up and pure vanilla extract compliments the butter and lemon flavors.

Quick tip: don’t overfill the cupcake liners. 2/3 full, max. That’s my go-to level for all cupcakes. You’ll get flattish/very mildly round tops that can hold a bucket of cream cheese frosting each. Is there any other acceptable amount?!

**except for cream cheese frosting.

Deliciously simple lemon cupcakes with blueberries in each bite and cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

They’re everything that lemon blueberry cake is, but cuter.

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Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature (I use low fat)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest (about 3 Sunkist Meyer lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice (about 2 Sunkist Meyer lemons)
  • 3/4 cup fresh (110g) or frozen blueberries1

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • optional: lemon slices and extra blueberries for garnish

Special Equipment

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. This recipes yields 15 cupcakes, so you'll have a 2nd batch.
  2. Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients then add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat everything just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Finally, fold in the blueberries.
  5. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners - fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired. Taste. Add an extra pinch of salt if needed.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton #12 round tip. Top with lemon slices and blueberries if desired.

Make ahead tip: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

If using frozen blueberries, toss in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour before adding to the batter. This helps prevent them from sinking.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Craving something over-the-top? Fill these Meyer lemon blueberry cupcakes with homemade lemon curd. If I had any in the fridge and wasn’t losing photo light, I would’ve done it in a heartbeat! Always have that stuff at the ready. Trust me.

lemon curd

Today I’m working with Sunkist! Thanks for helping me promote brands and products I enjoy.

Deliciously simple lemon cupcakes with blueberries in each bite and cream cheese frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

105 comments

  1. Hi Sally – do you think I can use your “simply perfect vanilla cakes” as a base and add lemon juice and zest with the sour cream, blueberry folded in last? Can’t wait to try!

    much thanks

    vicki

  2. Do you suggest using fresh or frozen blueberry? I can never decide which is best to use in a recipe.

  3. The batch I made turned out realm dense. This has happened to me many times when making cupcakes in the past. I have no one to teach me how to bake so most of what I have learned I figured out by trail and error. I am pulling my hair out in frustration! What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Melodie! Maybe I can help. Here are some quick tips for next time:

      Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature
      Don’t overmix the batter, at all!
      Bake in the center of the oven.
      Bake 1 batch at a time.
      Make sure the butter is softened and not melted at all.

  4. Hello Sally, just a quick question, do you find, that baking in ceramic (stoneware or glass) cupcake/muffin pan makes them somehow better baked? In one of your recipes the yield was for 14 cupcakes, so i baked in my normal pan plus in 2 ceramic cups, and i found that, even though i had to bake them longer (i took the pan earlier and left the cups for about 5 minutes longer), the cupcakes baked in ceramic cups had much better texture. Please tell me what you think, if it is worth the investment, coz it is a bit of pain to find ceramic cupcake pan outside of US. Thank you very much for all your work!

    • Hi Irina! Honestly, I’ve NEVER noticed a difference in texture. I’d say you noticed a difference because only 2 were baked at a time. Even if I use my metal muffin pans– if I bake only a couple muffins or cupcakes at a time, they sometimes taste better than when I bake an entire batch.

  5. Hi Sally, thank you for such a quick reply, but i haven’t baked them alone, i put all the cupcakes together: the tin with 12 cupcakes and the two cups, the cupcakes in the tin were baked quicker, so i took them out, and left the two cups for extra five minutes. And what i noticed in texture- that the cupcakes in the tin/baking tray were a bit more dense in texture, when the ones in the cups came out a bit fluffier (in a good way). For now, i just decided to experiment a bit more by baking them in cups (even though it is a bit of a pain). You could be right that it might of been just one off coincidence.

  6. I am not a fan of cream cheese….Is there another frosting recipe you would recommend pairing with this delicious sounding cupcake?

  7. Hi Sally!

    I don’t always have access to Meyer lemons, do you have any suggestions for using regular lemons? Will the flavor be too strong? Should I use less zest? Just curious. I did make this recipe with Meyer lemons and my family and I loved it! They put in a request to make more, but I ran out of Meyer lemons and just have access to regular lemons (I live 30 miles above the Arctic circle).

    • I’ve made these lemon blueberry cupcakes in the past year several times with just regular lemons. No changes at all! Just a simple swap. Enjoy!

  8. Hi Sally, could I replace the blueberries in this recipe with raspberries or strawberries? Can’t wait to try these! 🙂

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