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Cupcakes

One-Bowl Lemon Cupcakes

4.80 from 10 votes
What's better than a Lemon Cupcakes recipe that has loads of that bright citrus flavor? If it's made in just one bowl!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: Soft, lemony — almost puckery — cupcakes with a nice, fine crumb and come together in just one bowl!

This recipe will be a game-changer for those of us who love lemon desserts! While I love going all out and my Lemon Cake With Lemon Buttercream Frosting, sometimes I want something a bit easier (and a bit less cleanup!), and it doesn’t get easier than these homemade lemon cupcakes.

I love a lot of aspects when it comes to this cupcake recipe. One, these make an incredibly zingy, moist, lemony cupcake — no dry cupcakes in my house — with a beautiful, delicate crumb. Two, they’re easy to share. And three, it only takes one large bowl to mix these up and only takes about 15 to 18 minutes to bake! 

Top these cupcakes off with my fluffy, bright Lemon Ermine Frosting, or balance out the tartness with my classic Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting!

Top-down view of a lemon cupcake, topped with a lemon slice.

Do I Have To Zest The Lemon?

Lemon zest provides a lot of lemony flavor to this cupcake without adding the sourness of using just the juice of the fruit. It also really brightens up a recipe! I recommend investing in a microplane or citrus zester — you’ll find plenty of excuses to use one! 

The Best Way To Juice A Lemon

While the lemon zest boosts the flavor, I do like to add some freshly squeezed lemon juice to my cupcakes. I love the extra zing from the tart juice. My trick to getting the most juice out of a lemon is to microwave it for about 20 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how ripe your lemon is.

Tools You Need To Make One-Bowl Lemon Cupcakes

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large bowl
  • Microplane or citrus zester
  • 12-cup cupcake pan
  • Cupcake liners

Lemon Cupcakes with a bite taken out of them.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Lemon Cupcakes

  • This recipe yields 9 cupcakes, but you can easily double the recipe if you want more!
  • If you don’t have sour cream on hand, you can use Greek yogurt as a substitute. 
  • As always with cakes and cupcakes, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature for the best results!
  • My Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting is also delicious on these cupcakes! Cupcakes frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting will need to stay refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • For an extra lemony treat, scoop out the centers of these cupcakes, fill them with my Homemade Lemon Curd, place the tops back on, and frost. Lemon curd-filled cupcakes will need to stay refrigerated in an airtight container.

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One-Bowl Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

4.80 from 10 votes
What's better than a Lemon Cupcakes recipe that has loads of that bright citrus flavor? If it's made in just one bowl!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 cupcakes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
What's better than a Lemon Cupcakes recipe that has loads of that bright citrus flavor? If it's made in just one bowl!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz/85 g) butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) sour cream (at room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup ( 3¾ oz/105 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe Lemon Ermine Frosting (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with 9 paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sour cream, egg, milk, and lemon juice until combined.
  • Add in the sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to blend.
  • Fold in the flour until fully mixed, then divide evenly among the prepared baking cups (about ¾ of the way up).
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When cooled, frost with Lemon Ermine Frosting or frosting of your choice!
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 2 days.
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Sham
Sham
3 months ago

Hello.. may i use normal yogurt instead of greek yogurt?

Jilly RUDLING
Jilly RUDLING
3 months ago

Hi is all purpose flour in uk plain flour ? Love all yr recipes especially the microwave ones

Val
Val
4 months ago

Hi Gemma! Is it possible to use 1:1 Gluten Free Flour instead of regular AP flour? I love your recipes!

junepbug
junepbug
5 months ago

I love this recipe! It’s the perfect amount of cupcakes for our family and they are so fresh-tasting! Perfect for spring and summer.
I mixed everything in the 4-cup microwave safe measuring cup I used to melt my butter. It made dividing the batter into the cupcakes super easy and it was so nice not to have to wash 2 bowls.

Jen
Jen
5 months ago

Gemma, dairy allergy here. Was wondering what I can replace for the sour cream?

Carla
Carla
5 months ago

It seems such an easy recipe, but I wonder about the correct amount of Flour?!3/4of a cup??
My cupcakes fell ,strangely enough and I cooked them the full 18 minutes. What did I do wrong.Gemma?.

Joan Hawley
Joan Hawley
5 months ago

Gemma these lemon cupcakes are amazing! I’m a newbie baker and these turned out beautifully for me. I made a double batch and turned it into a tray of 12 cupcakes and another tray of 4 donuts. The lemon flavor is fabulous and the cupcake texture is light but firm. I also made the suggested ermine frosting and wow, wow, wow. I loved your suggestion of adding a little lemon curd filling so I used my smallest cookie cutter to take a core sample out, add some curd and plug it back up with the extracted core sample. Leftover frosting… Read more »

Pina
Pina
5 months ago

Can oil be used instead of butter

Dora
Dora
5 months ago

Hi, what is the best way make this eggfree? Could I use flaxmeal and water?

Kris
Kris
5 months ago

Can I use crème fraîche instead of sour cream or would Greek yoghourt be better?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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