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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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

111 comments

  1. Sally, I CANNOT express my joy for this recipe!!! I am OBSESSED with the original Lemon Blueberry cake, and the fact that I can make it again into CUPCAKES?!!!! MY LIFE IS COMPLETE! You are truly a master chef! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 

    Have a blessed weekend! 

    cant wait to stuff my face into these! <3 xxx

  2. These look amazing!  As I type this, it is flurrying so these bring sunshine to a yet another dreary day!  Making the perfect cream cheese frosting is getting the best of me.  I soften the cream cheese to what seems to be room temp and still I get lumps.  Any tips/tricks?  Thanks!

    • Beat the heck out of it before you add any other ingredients. That always works for me! I hate cream cheese lumps. 

      • Agreed! Super high speed for a couple minutes to really rid those lumps. Sometimes a whisk attachment (if using a stand mixer) is best.

      • I did forget once to beat the cream cheese before adding additional ingredients, and it was very lumpy. I smoothed it out beautifully by putting it all in the blender and whirring it around at high speed for about 30 seconds. Worked perfectly!

  3. These look amazing! I just made your lemon blueberry layer cake for Easter and it was deemed “the best thing I’ve ever made” by my friends and family. Can’t wait to give these cupcakes a try!

  4. I plan on making these cupcakes today!  This recipe sounds so fresh and inviting.  Are Meyer Lemons only available during a particular season?  I don’t think I’ve ever noticed Meyer Lemons in the produce section, but heading out this morning to shop specifically for this recipe.  Looking forward to adding this to my list of “keepers”.  Thank You Sally !!

    • Depending where you are in the US, Meyers are available year-round. I see them most from January – May though. If you can’t find them, you can use regular lemons. Let me know how you like the cupcakes!

  5. Just curious where you find Meyer lemons. I have never seen them in my local stores. Do you have to buy them online? I know I can substitute regular lemons, but I kind of want to know what all the hype is about with this variety. 

    Thanks!

  6. These look magical! Plus, “easy peasy lemon squeezy” is delightful and I’ll now be using it all day!

  7. These look amazing and one of my favorite combos! 

  8. WOW!! So delicious!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe Sally

  9. Hi Sally! Have you tried the Meyer lemon (or any lemon for that matter) with your Jumbo Blueberry Muffins? I’ve been adding the zest and juice of 1 lemon to the wet batter for about 6 months now and haven’t looked back! Can’t wait to try the cupcakes now.

  10. These are so beautiful! I love blueberry muffins but I don’t think I’ve had them in cupcake form yet. 

  11. Thank you Sally for creating these mini versions of your most popular cake! I just bought some meyer lemons from farmer’s market and was wondering what I should make, now I’m inspired. Have you ever used white whole wheat flour or gluten free flour for this recipe? We’ll see how much self control I’ll have with these beauties hanging out in my kitchen. I need to share with my buddies 🙂

    • Gluten free- I have not. White whole wheat? Yes! I actually just made these again this past weekend and I used white whole wheat flour. Just as tasty. I personally could not tell a difference.

  12. Your Lemon Blueberry Cake is my absolute favorite cake!! Can’t wait to try making this cupcake version soon! 🙂 

  13. Hi Sally, 
    I love your recipes and I use them or use them as a basis to coming up with my own twist on recipes. Have you ever done any gluten free cupcake or cake recipes? I have to make gluten free cupcakes for a wedding and I’m having a hard time settling on a recipe.  Thanks!

    • To be honest, I haven’t played around much with gluten free cupcakes. Let me know if you find any good ones because I’d love to test some out!

  14. These look amazing. I absolutely love anything with lemon in it.

  15. Hello Sally!
    I am making two cupcakes, both with variations of cream cheese frosting (green tea and coconut), but due to time constraints, I have to make and frost them a day before they are being served. As it is cream cheese, there are mixed reviews on whether to refrigerate or leave at room temp. I’m worried about melting, drying, or flavors from the fridge ruining the cupcake. Please let me know what you would recommend (using frosting from your gingerbread cupcake recipe).

  16. OOOH! I’m so excited to make these! Sally, you are my hero.

  17. I made these last night with regular lemons not really thinking correctly and was wondering why there were not very sweet.  Also the bottom half of the cupcake seemed soggy, maybe from the blueberries, but I used fresh blueberries.  I am hoping to remedy the lack of sweetness in the cupcake with the icing.  Any suggestions? 

    • Do you think you underbaked them? You can add a little more confectioners’ sugar to the frosting to add some extra sweetness. And maybe decorate with sweetened shredded coconut, too. (If you’re into coconut!)

  18. Hi Sally!
    Whenever I bake something with frozen blueberries, i have a hard time to make it pretty. Either they turn the color of the batter, or if i put them on the top of each muffin before baking the baked muffins look horrible with dark color everywhere.
    Do you have any tips on how to make pretty using frozen blueberries? 🙂

    • Flora, how about tossing them in 1 Tablespoon of flour before adding to the batter. The flour can coat them so hopefully they won’t turn the batter a purple color.

  19. Hi Sally! I will be baking these tomorrow and I noticed a discrepancy between the frosting ingredients list and the frosting ingredients in the directions. The list says to use 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk and the list does not mention the use of salt. However in the frosting directions, it says to use 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut milk or cream and 1 teaspoon of salt. Should I assume the ingredients list is correct? Thank you 🙂

  20. I made these yesterday and they tasted like cheesecake. Sadly, the texture was way off. They came out too dense and too firm. I don’t think they rose enough. I know I added the baking powder. Could the oven temperature be cooler than what I set it too or is this a problem of over-mixing or under-mixing? I was careful not to exceed any amount of prep time needed for each mixing step. Would cake flour be a better fit, if so, what amount should I use? Or, should I try sifting all-purpose flour next time?

    • Elizabeth, could you describe the texture a little more for me? I’m unsure how these could taste like cheesecake. Do you mean they were too wet inside? Do you think they were underbaked? If they were very wet, I would suggest more flour so sifting may not be the answer. Or, rather, were they just very dense like poundcake? If the latter, sifting could help.

      • Oops! I apologize for the confusion. They were very dense like poundcake but the flavor combination of frosting with cake was like cheesecake. The flavors were wonderful! I loved the flavors! I am new to baking and decorating thank you for any advice and tips! 🙂 I wish I could send you pictures. I can’t wait to display these and the raspberry lemon cupcakes I’ll be making for my daughter’s 2nd birthday (flower fairy theme). I wonder if you could recommend a light color chocolate with vanilla cupcake?

      • You can post pictures to my Facebook! 🙂 I’d love to see!

      • Hi Sally,
        I forgot to reply when it happened. Anyway, when I made these and they came out dense it was because the bottom oven element was near broken – so they were undercooked.  I had no idea until I was making something I definitely knew how to make and it took a half hour longer than usual and had to partially broiled in order to be cooked!

  21. Okay, great!! You can expect to see photos sometime in July. But in the meantime here is a link to the decorations I bought to get an idea of what I’ll be doing – notice the pretty cupcake stand to the right.

    http://partyandco.com.au/categories/party-themes-and-party-ideas/girls-party-themes/meri-meri-fairy-magic-party.html

  22. Hey sally, my birthday is in may, and I’m going to make you lemon blueberry cake for  my birthday cause IT LOOKS SO GOOD. I was going to comment there but somehow the comment writing thing disappeared. But anyway, the recipe says 345 grams of flour, but the notes says 360 grams of flour. Maybe you should check that? And if I use cake flour, I’m supposed to use 300 grams of cake flour right?  That cake looks OMG FABULOUS and I’m going to top it with a whipped cream cheese frosting. I CANNOT WAIT 😀

    • Kayla, looks like the comment section wasn’t showing up. Probably got mixed up when I was editing that post recently. Fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!

      It should be 345g sifted all-purpose flour, not 360. And about 325g cake flour. Just checked my written notes 3x!

  23. So delicious, as are all your cupcakes! I left the cream out of the frosting and added a teaspoon of lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for some extra lemon flavor. Would highly recommend!

  24. Hi – I actually have a question about the Red Velvet cupcakes but I am unable to post a comment there and I think the question would apply to this recipe as well.

    You say that when wanting to make a double batch of cupcakes it’s best to make 2 separate batches instead of doubling the ingredients. Usually when I’ve made large amounts of cupcakes I’ve just doubled the ingredients and it’s been OK, but those have been different types of recipes, generally those with oil rather as well as butter.

    So my questions are:
    1. Are there types of cupcake recipes for which when making larger amounts it would be OK to double the recipe amounts instead of making two separate batches? Is it just ones like Red Velvet which have egg whites added at the end? For this lemon blueberry recipe you warn about overbeating too so I’d say there would be the same issue?
    2. Instead of making a double batch, could I make 1 1/2 batches by increasing a recipe by 50% or would I still need to make two separate batches?

    Thanks!

    • Really the only reason is because I find it is so much easier to overmix when you are working with a lot of batter. Overmixing will over develop that gluten, which can result in tough and much too dense cake. So I always urge to make two separate batches, unless you are super careful. That being said, 1.5x a recipe will yield more batter and it might just be best to make a 2nd 1/2 batch. Looks like the comments were turned off on that post, but I just fixed it!

  25. Hi Sally! Sumner is here and I’m loving all of your fresh and fruity treats! Question about these cupcakes: do you suppose I could sub the lemon zest with lemon extract? Can’t seem to find half decent lemons at my grocery store. Thanks!

  26. I just made these and they are fantastic. I love your page so much! thank you for all the awesome recipes 

  27. I love the mini-me cakes. I would like to eat the entire family, mama cake and babies. There, I said it.

  28. These gorgeous little things just scream summertime! They look so fresh and so delish! Cannot wait to give them a try!

  29. Hi Sally,

    I just took these out of the oven and the liners pulled away from literally all of the cupcakes in the first batch (it looked like I didn’t fill them enough though I used my standard two scoops 1.5T each). This has never happened to me before and I was wondering if you can shed some light on what i did wrong! They taste fabulous and the consistency seems great! I just took the liners off and put the cupcakes in new ones and will frost tomorrow.

    Thanks for any help!

    ~se

  30. Hi sally! So I have been wanting to see some piping videos…. would you ever be willing to do that?! I make a lot of cupcakes.. (and I work at a bakery, but I don’t really deal with the cupcakes there. Sad faces.)
    But I make cupcakes for people out of my home once n awhile and would love some videos! I mainly frost them the same way every time..a rosette and I guess something like looks kind of like an ice cream cone lol.. idk. But the big circle tip like this cupcake u did is so pretty! I’d love to see a few different ways to frost!!

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