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Lemon Cupcakes with a Whole Lemon


I have been making lots of little cakes after Christmas as an antidote to Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. I have taken my basic cupcake mixture, which is a one bowl recipe, and added different flavours. I’ll be posting some more variations soon.

The lemon cupcakes are made with a whole lemon. They can be served individually or tiered, whatever takes your fancy. Cooking a whole lemon, whizzing it, and adding it to the mixture, elevates an ordinary cupcake mixture to new heights, making a really tangy cake. I iced them with a simple buttercream icing. You can flavour it any way, I added passionfruit essence as I wanted a bright yellow icing and a little tang.  Plain old yellow food colouring would be fine too.



1 whole thin skinned lemon

125g self-raising flour

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

2 tblsp milk

Buttercream Icing

125g butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

A couple of drops of passionfruit essence and/or  couple of drops of yellow food colouring



Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fanforced  and line a muffin or cupcake  tin with cupcake cases.

Put the lemon whole into a small saucepan, covering with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1/2 hour until the lemon has softened. Remove from the saucepan and cool. Cut off the ends of the lemon, cut in half and remove the pips. Put the lemon into the food processor and blitz  – don’t pulverize, you still want a little texture.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the  food processor except the milk and food colouring and blitz till smooth. Add the milk while pulsing to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the cases. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and cool on a wire rack. Remove the cases ready for icing.

Ice with the buttercream icing.

Buttercream Icing

In the food processor, cream together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, then add flavour essence and/or food colour, whizzing continuously.

You can either sandwich together two cakes for the tired effect or serve individually. If you are tiering, you may need to trim the bottom cake to allow the top one to sit straight. You can decorate with whatever you please. I candied some lemon slices and also used edible pansies, which are so pretty on cakes!









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