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Lemon Cupcakes
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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes are light and buttery with a delicious homemade Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Cupcakes made with a box of yellow cake mix. Recipe and photography by Beverly Davis for CornbreadMillionaire.com.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: #LemonCupcakes, dessert, easyrecipe
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 317kcal


Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cupcakes

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract almond extract or lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 12 each cupcake liners

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) full fat cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, divided Same as powdered sugar.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract or vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest


Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Since the cake batter is heavy, use TWO cupcake liners in EACH cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. If using two muffin tins (6 cups each), be sure to place TWO cupcake liners in EACH cup. After placing two liners in EACH cup of second tin, fill two empty cups with water to prevent warping. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, combine softened cream cheese (room temperature), 1/2 cup sugar, 4 eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, mix together until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).
  • Add 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter (or vegetable oil), 1/2 cup of water and cake mix. With mixer on low speed, mix together just until combined (about 2 minutes). Batter will be thick and creamy.
  • Place 2-1/2 generous tablespoons of cake batter in each cup. Use back of spoon to even batter in cup liner. If the liners are filled to the top with batter, the cupcakes will rise dramatically and will shrink slightly while cooling.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes OR until top springs back when lightly pressed OR a toothpick inserted in center of each cupcake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool before frosting. If frosted while warm or hot, the frosting will melt into a glaze.
  • NOTE: Although these cupcakes are delicious warm, they taste much better after 24 hours in fridge.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine softened cream cheese and softened butter with an electric mixer (or wooden spoon). Add 2 cups of confectioners sugar, lemon extract, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Use an electric mixer (or wooden spoon) to mix together.
  • Taste a sample. If desired, stir in remaining confectioners sugar TWO TABLESPOONS AT A TIME and remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Repeat until satisfied with taste.
  • Frosting will be thick. To thin, microwave on high for 10 seconds. OR warm in a saucepan over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Spread "warm/thin" frosting over COOLED cake. The frosting will thicken as it cools.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg