Lemon Drop Cupcakes

These Lemon Drop Cupcakes will be the star of your next party. Whether you serve them at a shower, birthday party, bake sale, or holiday soiree, this easy lemon cupcake recipe is the special sweet touch your event needs.

Flower Cupcakes
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
40 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
18 mins
Cool Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
20 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes


  • ¾ cup butter

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • cup milk

  • ¼ cup limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) or milk

  • 1 ½ cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel

  • 1 recipe Lemon Frosting

  • ½ cup lemon drop candies, finely crushed, or Glazed Lemon Slices

Lemon Frosting

  • cup butter

  • cup shortening

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon milk

Glazed Lemon Slices

  • 2 small lemons

  • Sugar

  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine milk and limoncello; set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and lemon peel; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.

  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.

  4. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

  5. Up to 1 hour before serving, generously spread or pipe Lemon Frosting on each cupcake. Place crushed candies on a plate. Roll the edges of the cupcakes in crushed candies to coat. Or top cupcakes with a Glazed Lemon Slice. Makes 20 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.

Lemon Frosting

  1. Allow butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, shortening, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Add lemon juice. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar. Beat in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

Glazed Lemon Slices

  1. Cut lemons into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Remove seeds. Roll slices in sugar to coat well. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer in skillet. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until sugar dissolves and lemon slices appear glazed (do not let them brown), turning once. Transfer to a piece of foil; cool completely. Roll cooled slices in sugar again before using. (These slices are edible, but the rind is chewy; if desired, remove slices before eating.)

Make-Ahead Directions:

Store unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or store unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight freezer container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw cupcakes at room temperature before frosting.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

350 Calories
14g Fat
53g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 350
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 1.2mg 6%
Calcium 40.4mg 3%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 42mg 1%
Folate, total 24.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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