Lemon Zest Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Frosting

As the resident foodie and party planner extraordinaire for all my friends, when Birthday time comes around I’m everyone’s first call!  For a friend I’ve known my whole life I pull at all the stops, and that friend would be Billy!  It just happens that Billy’s Birthday fell on Superbowl Sunday this year, bonus!  So a duel celebration was in order, biggest football day of the year and celebrating the birth of one of the greatest guys I know!

So the first question I ask my friends as their birthday approaches is “what kind of cake”?  This year Billy responds with the dreaded “surprise me!”  Oh no, this means not only do I have to come up with an amazing cake, I also have to figure out what kind of cake that is! So in true little leopard fashion, I made three cakes, just to be sure!!! Some were made into cupcakes, like these delightful little desserts! (Easier for sharing at a party!)

Ingredients (makes 48 mini cupcakes or 24 large cupcakes)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup half-and-half

Start by pre-heating the oven to 350° and lining a cupcake pan with paper liners.

Next, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together, then add eggs one at a time. Next, add the zest and vanilla.

Then add the lemon juice and half-and-half.

Combine together with electric hand mixer.

Mmmm creamy! Now spoon into the lined cupcake pan.

I used the mini-cupcake pan because they’re so darn cute and easy to gobble up in one bite!

Bake for app 15 minutes.

Now it’s time to make the Lemon Cream Frosting!  I simply took my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe and added lemon juice!


  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Use an electric hand mixer to combine ingredients. Next spread on top of the lemon zest cupcakes!

Now of course I have no pictures of the cupcakes WITH the frosting on top! I got busy making all of the other delicious Superbowl Party food and asked my girls to frost the cupcakes for me, by the time I realized there were no pictures, they were all gone!

I promise they were as pretty as they were yummy!