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Lemon Citrus Cupcakes

These slightly tart cupcakes provide some fun in the sun on a chilly winter day..   

Yield: 12 cupcakes

For Cupcakes:

5 tablespoons unsalted California butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

Grated zest from 1 lime

Grated zest from 1 orange

Grated zest from 1 lemon

1⅔ cups flour

2¼ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup California milk

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

For Frosting:

3 large egg yolks

3 large eggs

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons unsalted California butter

Silver cake beads (dragées)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour insides of 12 muffin cups or insert paper liners.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, sugar, and citrus zests until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Note: mixture will curdle slightly.
  5. With an electric mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture in 3 additions, stirring well after each addition. On medium speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat for 1 minute.
  6. Evenly divide the batter between cupcake molds. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Note: If you are using cupcake liners, insert a table knife along the inside of the cupcake mold and gently pry the cupcake out. If you are not using liners, remove the cupcakes from the pan by running a paring knife around the inside edge of each cupcake and gently the cupcake out.


  1. Whisk together egg yolks, eggs and sugar. Whisk in lemon juice. Cook in a double boiler or on stove top over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer lemon mixture to a bowl.  Cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firm, 30 minutes to one hour.
  3. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle silver cake beads on each cupcake. If frosting in advance, refrigerate and decorate just before serving.

Recipe provided by the California Milk Advisory Board.

If you require photographs in a different format or are interested in additional information from the California Milk Advisory Board, please contact Rayanne Zackery, Ketchum for the California Milk Advisory Board,