Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting, a blueberry, and lemon wedge

I turned my beloved lemon blueberry layer cake into cupcakes. Remember when I first made that cake? 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!

overhead image of lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting, a blueberry, and lemon wedge

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?

lemon blueberry cupcake batter in a glass bowl

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.

2 images of lemon blueberry cupcake batter in a cupcake pan and cupcakes after baking

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.

lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting, a blueberry, and lemon wedge

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

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lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting, a blueberry, and lemon wedge

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15 cupcakes
  • 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

  • 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
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest (about 3 Meyer lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice (about 2 Meyer lemons)
  • 3/4 cup fresh (110g) or frozen blueberries*

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
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 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 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Blueberries: If using frozen blueberries, toss in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour before adding to the batter. This helps prevent them from sinking.
  4. Zester: Here is the one I own and love – inexpensive and great quality.

Keywords: lemon blueberry cupcakes

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 in a glass jar

169 Comments

  1. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    more lemon zing and more juicy blueberries for an already lemony, berry-filled cake? sounds good to me!!

    1. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says:

      Sally, you’re making me want to get get married again just so I can serve these cupcakes at my wedding! My cake was awful. I bought a “budget cake” and because she was in a hurry, it looked great but she froze the cake to save on decorating time. It tastes awful!!! That’s it, time machine, going back for my re-do. The presentation here is stellar as always Sally! 

  2. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    Oh my gosh! These cupcakes look soo delish and pretty! And I love that you added a little bit of science in the post to explain how each ingredients works to make this cupcake both moist and flavorful. I’m so glad I made a trip to the farmer’s market this past weekend. I just bought Meyer lemons! And now I know what to do with them!

  3. I am looking forward to trying these out! I have been consuming fruit nonstop the past few days, so what better way to continue eating fruit than combining it with cake?! My roommates will be so excited!

  4. Oh my gosh! They look so fluffy! I once attempted berry cupcakes but they turned out more like muffins (which are still delicious) but not the same. These look incredible so I will definitely try these

  5. Lynn @ Fresh April Flours says:

    OH YES to Meyer lemons! I used them in my ever popular blueberry lemon pie bars on my blog 2 years ago and that recipe went ridic on Pinterest. And I TOO made blueberry lemon cake and cuppies for my BIL’s wedding last year, and what do you know… People went nuts over them too. 

    Blueberry and lemon– new choc & PB?? 

  6. You know I love these, Sally!!! They are so bright and pretty, and lemon lemon lemon 😀 I want to make a version with coconut frosting, one with strawberry, and one with lemon. And then eat them all myself 😉

  7. It’s so funny you say that it makes a good wedding cake, because I’ve been hired to make a lemon wedding cake in the summer and I was still playing with cake batters. Now I’ll give yours a shot! I’m sure it will be perfect.
    And cupcakes…heck yeah! 

  8. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    Omg AMAZING! Lemon and blueberry have to be the world’s best combination of springy flavors. Thank you for being a genius. 

  9. Tori//Gringalicious says:

    Yes, please!!!! Come to me my precious sweet yummies with all your lemony goodness!

  10. Layla | Gimme Delicious says:

    Meyer lemon + blueberry is a dream combo. These cupcakes look super moist and delicious! 

  11. Can I ask where you purchased the teal blue cupcake pan? 

    1. it’s from anthropologie– I just checked and I can’t find it on their website anymore 🙁

  12. demeter | beaming baker says:

    You did it! And it’s everything we could’ve hoped for. 🙂 There’s nothing like a sunny dessert to ward off the bitter cold of winter/let’s face it, East Coast Spring. Batter in the eye: happens to me all the time, but not eye-very time. 😉 
    It’s currently raining buckets here in Maine, and it’s as gloomy as can be. I woke up pretty much grumpy, but these sunny, gloriously frosted cupcakes make me feel all better. 🙂 Meanwhile, your frosting skills put me to shame!
    Easy peasy lemon squeezy: Lololololol. That is all.
    Have a great weekend, Sally. xo

  13. Leah @ Grain Changer says:

    I looooove that you used meyer lemons for this recipe. I’m totally smitten with them right now. I picked up a bucket of them a couple weeks ago (for a DOLLAR – love you, Italian Market!) and can’t stop putting them in everything I bake (and squeezed in my water – <3 <3 ). Dying to try these cupcakes now! 

  14. These look so yummy! Thanks for another great recipe. 

  15. If I wanted to make large muffins. What would I adjust? I have been waiting for you to develop this recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. In a jumbo muffin pan? The bake time would be much longer. Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top, then use the same baking time and temperatures I use in this recipe. The bake times will be about the same.

  16. Any chance you could ever come to Barnes & Noble in Center City Philadelphia?

    1. Hey Susan! I came to a B&N in downtown Philly this past Fall for my book tour. I don’t think I’ll be back any time in the near future, but if I do I will update my book tour page.

  17. I think I’m going to have to make these VERY soon. I have been craving all blueberry lemon foods lately, breads, muffins, I even saw a monkey bread recently. Maybe its because I just want it to be spring and warm out, instead of the shoveling I had to do this past Monday.

  18. London || Gluten Free with L.B. says:

    I am soooo with you.  Ever since Spring hit I have been craving all things lemon!!  So much so that I just made some lemon cupcakes with blueberry frosting that will be otb soon.  Great minds think alike 🙂  I’ll definitely have to give your lemon cupcake recipe a try!!

  19. So interesting what you said about overmixing – I have definitely had final products turn out like that before. Good to know! Lemon + blueberry is pretty up there with my favorite flavor combos. These cupcakes look so gorgeous and delicate! Love!!

  20. Sheryl | When Hungry says:

    As expected from you Sally! Those cupcakes are so cute! I will not pipe the frosting on those cupcakes, I will DIP them in a bowl of your cream cheese frosting instead.
    A lemon that is “a cross between a lemon and a mandarin” sounds interesting. I would love to try that Meyer lemon.

  21. Hi Sally,I live in Germany and can´t get Meyer lemons. Can I use ordinary lemons? 
    Thanks!

    1. You sure can! No changes necessary.

  22. It is SO COLD here! Yesterday was the worst; I had to break out my peacoat and scarf again! Philly weather makes zero sense.

    I’m a huge weirdo in that I don’t like citrus-y baked goods. Or blueberries. But Boything does, so I’ll probably be shanghaied into making these (he’ll use my words against me: “You say you don’t bake for you!”). I’ll just have to make sure to get the correct amount of blueberries since they go bad so fast, and I abhor wasting food.

  23. These look amazing! Love the combination of lemon and blueberries!
    These will go on my “to make” list!! (and at the very top of that list!)

  24. Thank you so much for making these cupcakes.  I have been waiting for them and can’t wait to try them!

  25. I was obsessed with this cake! I still get compliments on it to this day! So happy to try out the cupcake version this weekend. Lemon + Blueberry = soulmates!

  26. This recipe looks delicious and so perfect for the season!

    I have a question however – I never have luck with frozen berries and find they sink to the bottom and bleed into baked goods. I see some recipes call for first tossing the berries in flour. Would you recommend this? Thanks Sally!

    1. I would, yes. I prefer using fresh in cupcake and cake recipes for this very reason. But a Tablespoon of flour should be plenty.

  27. Ashlyn // Dollop Of Yum says:

    These cupcakes look amazing!  It is freezing and cloudy here so they are definitely like a ray of dessert sunshine!

  28. Sharon K (The Farm Chick Bakes) says:

    Sally! OMG…if you read my comment right after Easter you know that I made your fantastic Coconut Lemon Cake with your HOMEMADE (not store bought) Lemon Curd. So I’m sitting here reading this recipe now for these Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes and POOF! I thought, ” I wonder what Sally would think if I filled these with her DELIC Lemon Curd! And there it was! The ‘over the top’ idea! Great minds, Sally…..great minds. And I’m definitely doing it! This weekend! Cannot wait! I can’t even believe how incredibly easy making that curd was! Extra bonus! My mouth is already watering and my store list already made!

    1. PLEASE let me know how you like them with the lemon curd Sharon!

  29. What a great spring dessert! I have some blueberry lemon thyme jam that would probably be amazing with these. 

    1. That jam sounds incredible!

  30. Always gotta make room for that cream cheese frosting! 😉

    Sally, I want to thank you so much. My birthday was on Tuesday and I made your chocolate chip cookie cake. It turned out so moist and simply AMAZING. It took all of my self-control to save some for the rest of the family! 

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