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!”
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!
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:
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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.
#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:
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Lightly sweet and holds intricate piped shape.
- Whipped Frosting: Fluffy texture, lightly sweet, holds piped shape, easy to make.
- Lemon Buttercream: For extreme lemon flavor!
- Vanilla Buttercream: Great basic choice that holds piped shape.
- 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.
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!
Deliciously simple lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting. They’re sweet, fluffy, and make any day feel like summertime!
- 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
- 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.
- Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. A cupcake carrier makes storing and transporting easy.
- 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.
- Special Tools: Electric Mixer, Citrus Zester, Citrus Juicer, Cupcake Pan, Disposable Piping Bags or Reusable Piping Bags, Ateco #808 Piping Tip, Cupcake Carrier
- 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.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
- 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.
- 9-Inch Cake: Follow my Lemon Blueberry Cake recipe.
- 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