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These lemon blueberry cupcakes are supremely soft and moist with fresh lemon flavor. Sweet blueberries dot every single bite and you can finish them off with my tangy, ultra creamy cream cheese frosting. Tasters and readers have been raving about this recipe for years!

Reader Lauren commented: “Fabulous! The cake is so moist and bursting with flavor. The frosting is truly delectable. Main tip: frost quickly or refrigerate before frosting as it does warm up very quickly in the piping bag!”

lemon blueberry cupcake with bite taken out of it.

I’ve made lemon blueberry cake more times than I can count. Have you ever tried it? It’s a very popular cake recipe and I even made several of them for a wedding reception. 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. 😉

Today we’re turning it into cupcakes. They taste like sunshine!

Here’s Why You’ll Love These Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

  • Brilliant fresh lemon flavor.
  • Soft, moist, & fluffy.
  • Blueberries complement the tart lemon.
  • Cream cheese frosting is sweet, but not-at-all cloying.
  • For extra lemon flavor, you can fill them with lemon curd.
  • Crowd-pleasing dessert option (honestly, these fly off the serving tray) that’s perfect for spring and summer… or in the middle of winter when you crave some sun!
lemon blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on blue cake stand.

I originally published this lemon blueberry cupcake recipe in 2016 and have made them several times since for various occasions, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, and other events. The recipe hasn’t changed except for a slight update to the frosting to help it hold shape—you no longer need milk or cream.

Why This Recipe Works

We’re basically making my lemon cupcakes with blueberries and a different frosting. The recipe stems from my lemon blueberry cake and you can find a 6-inch variation over on my sunshine citrus cake page. I love the cupcake version because they pack more lemon flavor and they’re actually much lighter than both cakes. The batter is so simple and comes together with 10 ingredients.

Did You Know? Cupcakes are typically fluffier than layer cakes because you aren’t stacking them and therefore weight isn’t packing them down.

And Did You Know This Too? You’re also working with less batter, so you don’t really risk overmixing. You see, when you overmix batter, the flour’s gluten strands become quite elastic which results in a denser, 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.

Grab These 10 Ingredients:

lemons, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, blueberries, and other ingredients on counter.

This is a no-frills cupcake recipe requiring a handful of basic baking ingredients and a mixer to bring them all together. Here are some key ingredients you need:

  • All-Purpose Flour: The cupcakes are pretty light using a careful ratio of wet to dry ingredients, so cake flour isn’t really necessary. Just use regular all-purpose flour here.
  • Creamed Butter & Sugar: A base of creamed butter and sugar (instead of melted butter or oil) often helps achieve a soft, cake-like structure. Make sure it’s proper room temperature butter.
  • Whole Milk: Milk with fat such as whole milk, buttermilk, or 2% milk is your best choice here. (Nondairy milk is great in a pinch.)
  • Lemon Zest & Juice: Grab a few lemons for this recipe. You need both the zest and juice because each provide something different. Lemon zest gives you a refreshing, light lemon flavor, while the juice adds that familiar tart tanginess often associated with the citrus. Beat the lemon zest with the butter and sugar because fat carries flavor.
Use a Zester & Juicer
  1. Citrus Zester or Grater: A good portion of flavor comes from the lemon zest, so this tool is a necessity. I use and love this citrus zester. A cheese grater on a fine grating setting or a microplane work too.
  2. Citrus Juicer: Of course you can just squeeze out the juice by hand, but if you love baking or cooking with citrus or enjoy fresh-squeezed juice, a citrus juicer is convenient!

The batter is thick, which keeps the blueberries suspended in each cupcake. Toss the berries in a little flour before folding into the batter, a secret trick that also helps prevent them from sinking.

And to avoid over-flowing, fill the cupcake liners only 2/3 full:

11 lemon blueberry cupcakes on wire cooling rack and 1 off of the rack.

Plenty of blueberries in each bite, just as if you were making blueberry muffins!

Can I Use Frozen Blueberries?

Yes! Use the same amount and do not thaw.

Can I Switch the Berries in These Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes?

These cupcakes are a conversation starter and I know from experience after making them about 100x for various events. Most guests LOVE them with blueberries, but some have asked if you can prepare them with raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries. The answer is yes! Simply replace the blueberries with your favorite berry. Slice the blackberries in half and use chopped strawberries.

creamy cheese frosting in glass bowl on marble countertop.

#1 Success Tip for Cream Cheese Frosting

The top frosting choice for today’s lemon blueberry cupcakes is always a tangy cream cheese frosting. The frosting uses a little less butter and confectioners’ sugar from my usual cream cheese frosting (what I use most often for carrot cake cupcakes) and many appreciate that it’s not quite as heavy nor sweet. One reader, Victoria, said: “…So light with great lemon flavor and juicy berries! And the cream cheese icing isn’t too sweet.”

No matter the ratios or quantity of ingredients, always make sure you’re using block cream cheese when preparing cream cheese frosting. You do not want to use spreadable cream cheese (the kind you use on bagels) because your frosting will turn to liquid.

Other Frosting Options

Friends, family, and readers have swapped the frosting for other options including:

  1. Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Lightly sweet and holds intricate piped shape.
  2. Whipped Frosting: Fluffy texture, lightly sweet, holds piped shape, easy to make.
  3. Lemon Buttercream: For extreme lemon flavor!
  4. Vanilla Buttercream: Great basic choice that holds piped shape.
  5. Whipped Cream: Lightest option and hardly sweet. This is what I like to use when I fill the cupcakes with lemon curd.

Again, the cream cheese frosting included in the recipe below is my go-to. It won’t maintain a super intricate piped shape, but holds a basic swirl with a round tip such as Ateco #808 piping tip. If you’re just learning how to use piping tips, my piping tips guide is a helpful resource.

Are you bringing these cupcakes to a party? I use this cupcake carrier all the time to help store and transport frosted cupcakes.

lemon blueberry cupcakes decorated with cream cheese frosting, a blueberry, and lemon slice.
bite taken out of a lemon blueberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

Let my team and I know if you try this recipe. You can also follow along on Facebook or subscribe via email to receive my best baking recipes. Something sweet for your inbox!

Print
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lemon blueberry cupcake with bite taken out of it.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 15 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Deliciously simple lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting. They’re sweet, fluffy, and make any day feel like summertime!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) 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
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup (115g) fresh or frozen blueberries, tossed in 1 Tablespoon flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • optional: lemon slices and extra blueberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. This recipes yields about 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. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and then beat on medium-high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients and then turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour in the milk and lemon juice. Beat until just combined. Fold in the floured blueberries. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners—fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18–21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30–36 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11–13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. 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, vanilla extract, and salt and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes. Taste and add an extra pinch of salt if desired. If you plan to frost intricate designs with this frosting, refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes first.
  6. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with optional garnish, if desired. I used Ateco #808 piping tip in the pictured cupcakes. You could also use a small icing spatula. Refrigerate decorated cupcakes uncovered for at least 20 minutes to help set the frosting before serving.
  7. Cover and store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. A cupcake carrier makes storing and transporting easy.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Plain cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. If frosting is thick/stiff after refrigerating, bring to room temperature and beat it with your mixer for a minute to help loosen it up. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2–3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Special Tools: Electric Mixer (Stand Mixer or Handheld), Citrus Zester, Citrus Juicer, Cupcake PanDisposable Piping Bags or Reusable Piping BagsAteco #808 Piping Tip, Cupcake Carrier
  3. Whole Milk or Buttermilk: I usually use buttermilk. Buttermilk helps produce supremely moist lemon cupcakes. If you don’t have buttermilk, use whole milk instead. You can use lower fat or nondairy milks in a pinch, but the cupcakes won’t taste nearly as rich and moist.
  4. Room Temperature Ingredients: All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read more about why room temperature ingredients are important.
  5. Amount of Batter/6-Inch Cake: This recipe yields between 3-4 cups of batter which is helpful if you’re reviewing the Cake Pan & Conversions page. You can use this batter for a 6-inch layer cake and see my 6-inch cake page for complete details and instructions.
  6. 9-Inch Cake: Follow my Lemon Blueberry Cake recipe.
  7. Filling with Lemon Curd: You can fill these cooled cupcakes with lemon curd if desired. If you need it, my Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes include detailed instructions and a video for filling cupcakes.

Keywords: lemon blueberry cupcakes

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. 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? 

    1. 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!)

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

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

  4. 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).

    1. 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!

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

    1. Try tossing them in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour before adding to the batter. This can help prevent them from sinking!

  6. Hi Sally! I’m baking cupcakes for a baby shower and am trying to choose between this recipe and your blueberries ‘n cream cupcakes – which would you recommend?? I’m going to add some blue food colouring into the frosting to celebrate the baby boy on the way 🙂

    1. you can’t go wrong with either, but I personally LOVE these! Lemon and blueberry are a perfect match.

  7. Hi Sally, I’m going to make these cupcakes for coworkers birthday and have a question about the frosting. Do think the frosting is “stiff” enough to use a Wilton 21 tip? I want it to hold the shape and wasn’t sure what the consistency of the frosting will be. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Heather! I find that refrigerating the cream cheese frosting before piping helps it hold a beautiful shape. I always spoon the frosting into the piping bag, then refrigerate it for 1 hour. It really helps!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I made these last year for my daughter’s grad party *with* lemon curd and they were a huge hit. Amazing.

    This year, for her birthday, she wants a cake – can I use this for cake or should I just go with your Lemon Blueberry Layer cake recipe? I’m using Meyer Lemons either way.

    Thanks in advance,

    Marie

  9. WOOOOOOOOW AMAZING SOOOOOO DELICIOUS!! My husband did a taste test And said you better keep me out of the kitchen or there won’t be any left to take tomorrow to my moms for Mother’s Day. lol honestly Sally you are so amazing and have a true talent for baking!! I learned so much from you! Now thanks to you for easy to follow recipes/directions I have so much more confidence in baking! I’m planning on buying your recipe book. Happy Mother’s Day to you! Many blessings to you and your family.

  10. Love these cupcakes.

    One thing this site has taught me…
    How you mix things matters.

    I never could get cupcakes textures right. I would follow the directions but still…dense cupcake. Or weird texture.
    Sally really has a way with explaining WHY. And not missing steps!

    I took a bit longer with mixing the wet ingredients because I used a new hand mixer that was cheap that took me a bit to get use to. I have had it as back up forever for my other (cheap) hand mixer. Which has been slowly dieing. My son had been playing with the beater to that one and I couldn’t find it..lol.

    Sally has made sure to say.. Mix butter until it gets a smooth/creamy texture. Do this! (Also has a kind of fluff airy texture).

    The over mixing can happen fast
    once you add flour.
    When I mixed the flour. I did it till it was pretty much incorporated enough. Then added lemon and buttermilk and scrapped the sides good. And that’s when I beat it up good one last time.
    I kept it quick. Then added blueberries.

    (I did not have buttermilk..I can never find it in stores ..lol..so I used lemon to sour it. .used a lil too much lemon. Still worked fine!)…

    I usually just do my own thing with cream cheese frosting because I have made it a ton. Never have used milk/cream.
    I decided to follow her recipe…and its very runny. I kind of wish I didn’t use milk.

    I did get a lil adventurous and added almond extract. I have never used it and added a tad too much. It’s very strong.
    It’s not bad with lemon cupcakes though. The flavor needs to be a little less. The thing it does not go with is blueberries(altho it may if it was a bit less almondy ..).

    I may add a bit of cream cheese tomorrow in hopes it’ll help the texture and it’ll tone down the almond.
    I think next time I’ll do the lemon cake and do a cream cheese frosting..but separate it and add almond extract to some for layers ..or maybe I’ll try a buttercream almond frosting too…because my husband likes buttercream but I find its flavor is just SWEET.

    The flour trick with blueberries kinda worked.
    I have some cupcakes with clusters at the bottom. May have happened cause they went in there like that tho.

  11. Hi Sally,
    These look amazing! Could I make these in mini bundt pans? What would the cooking time be?

  12. Hi Sally ,

    I’m a big fan of your blog. You are my first one to turn to and whoever tastes what I bake turns into one of your fans too 🙂
    I have a question, fresh or frozen blueberries are not easy to find in the area where I live (Middle East) and I if I find it … It is veryyy expensive . I have little dry blueberries can I use it? If yes … how should l?

    Thank you for sharing all these recipes ❤️

    1. You can definitely use dried blueberries in this cupcake recipe. I recommend about 3/4 cup in the batter.

  13. Hi, Sally! Can the icing be frozen without being on the cupcake? If so, how long will it keep? I can’t wait to try these! Thanks!

    1. Hi Jamie, Cream cheese frosting freezes well for up to 3 months. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.

  14. These are perfect! So light with great lemon flavor and juicy berries! And the cream cheese icing isn’t too sweet. I actually got 9 out of a half batch.

  15. Made this recipe into a 6 inch layer cake today for my son’s birthday. Used the juice of 1 lemon instead of the cream in the frosting and it was amazing. Love you Sally!

  16. I made these cupcakes today. They taste so fresh and lovely. I used fresh blueberries; these are so good.

    I also made lemon cream cheese frosting (using basic cream cheese frosting with 2 Tablespoonful of freshly squeezed lemonade) and added some yellow color to make it look like lemon color.

  17. I forgot to rate the recipe. Thank you so much for your creativity and for sharing them with us.

  18. Looks so delicious! Cant wait to try this. I want to make a 6 inch layer cake from this recipe. Can I make this with Lemon extract instead of fresh lemon? How much quantity of extract would I need ?

    1. Hi Shivani, I much prefer to use real lemons here for the best taste. I’m unsure of the exact amount of extract to use in its place.

  19. I made these with your lemon buttercream frosting for a coworker’s birthday and they were a big hit. I substituted coconut milk yogurt for the buttermilk and heavy cream (frosting) because some people are sensitive to dairy. They were light and delicious. I will definitely be making these again.
    I decided to make these after I made Sally’s lemon blueberry layer cake for my husband’s birthday earlier this month.

  20. Hi Sally! Huge fan! I was wondering about the buttermilk — I can typically only find buttermilk that is 1%. Is that normal and/or does it make much of a difference?
    I know low-fat versus full-fat regular milk does, but I didn’t know about buttermilk.

    1. Hi Katie, We usually use a lower fat buttermilk as that is what is sold in stores here. It won’t make a difference. Enjoy the cupcakes!

  21. I made your lemon cupcakes and added blueberries last time–delicious! Ready to try this one, but curious about altitude adjustments. I live at 5300′. Thanks for any insights!

    1. Hi Ashea, I wish I could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  22. These are fantastic! I reduced the sugar in the cupcake to just under 3/4 cup and they were still plenty sweet. I also used only 1 cup of confectioners sugar in the frosting and it was perfect! The frosting makes twice as much as is needed for the cupcakes, so could easily be cut in half and there is still plenty. I am absolutely adding this to my go-to list of awesome desserts that are easy to make. Thank you!

  23. I like a more dense cupcake. Would I be better off using the cupcake recipe, which you indicate is fluffy, or the cake recipe?

  24. What type of frosting would you recommend if I needed to do piping decorations? I am afraid if I do cream cheese, I won’t get tight, pretty designs.

  25. I am so in love with these cupcakes and this recipe is great!! it´s so amazingly delicious!! I will do it again and I want to try the Blueberry lemon layer cake for my birthday! it´s my favourite now!! Thank you soooo much for this!

  26. So delicious! I made these wish some Meyer lemons from my tree. I skipped on the blueberries, and the recipe still worked perfectly. I used you lemon buttercream as frosting instead and it was amazing. Definitely going to be making this every year with my lemons. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Emily! What a treat with fresh Meyer lemons, thank you so much for giving this recipe a try.

  27. I made these and paired it with a whipped cream frosting and it was So Good! Could I use raspberries in place of blueberries?

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