Lemon & Blueberry is such a classic combination, it's always been one of my favourites. I love using up leftover blueberries by putting them in cupcakes, sometimes I don't even bother icing them, they're just great warm from the oven! Theses Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes are packed with juicy blueberries and decorated with a zingy lemon buttercream for extra decadence. They would be great for afternoon tea, a party or a baby shower!
How to make Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes
For the sponge, mix the butter, sugar and lemon zest together. Next whisk in the eggs and milk, and then whisk in the self raising flour.
Divide the batter between 12 cupcakes cases and add fresh blueberries to each cake. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Make the lemon buttercream by mixing together icing sugar, butter and lemon extract. Pipe it onto the cupcakes, then top them with fresh blueberries and lemon zest for decoration.
How long do the cupcakes last for and can they be frozen?
The cupcakes will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place. Keep an eye on the fresh blueberries though and move the cupcakes to the fridge if required. You can freeze both the cupcakes and the buttercream. To freeze them separately, wrap the cupcakes well in cling film or put them in an airtight container. The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze them decorated, freeze the cupcakes on a plate until frozen solid (without the fresh blueberries), then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cupcakes out of the freezer to defrost, as if they defrost with it still on it could damage the buttercream
Can you use lemon juice instead of lemon extract?
It is best to use lemon extract for the buttercream as lemon juice won't give as strong a flavour, and you'll have to use a lot more of it which could make the buttercream sloppy. Lemon extract is quite widely available in supermarkets, or you can buy it online too. My favourite brand are Nielsen Massey, but there are many brands available.
Can you make the cupcakes with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ¾ teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can the cupcakes be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ¾ teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xantham Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread for the cupcakes and the buttercream.
More tips for making the Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes:
- I used an Ateco 829 to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes
- I recommend using a good quality lemon extract (not an essence) to get the best lemon flavour in these cupcakes. I like to use the brand Nielsen Massey
- If you want to add more blueberries to the cupcakes, you can add up to 6 per cupcake. Any more can make them soggy
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
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More lemon and blueberry recipes...
Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes
For the sponge
- 175 g Butter or baking spread softened, unsalted
- 175 g Caster sugar
- 1 Lemon zest only
- 3 Eggs large
- 175 g Self raising flour
- 150 g Blueberries (about 4 per cupcake)
For the buttercream
- 200 g Butter softened, unsalted
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 2 tsp Lemon extract
- 1-2 tbsp Milk
- Lemon zest optional
- 50 g Blueberries (about 3 per cupcake)
- Pre heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases
- Mix together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, ideally using an electric mixer
- Add the eggs and whisk in
- Add the self raising flour and whisk in gently
- Divide the mixture between the cupcakes cases, then add 4 blueberries to each cupcake and press them into the batter
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (it may have some bluberries juice on it but that's ok.) Put them on a rack to cool completely
- To make the buttercream mix together the icing sugar and butter using an electric hand whisk or food mixer until they start to come together, then add the lemon extract and milk, and mix until smooth. You can also add some extra milk if the buttercream is too stiff
- Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice and pipe it onto the cupcakes
- Add blueberries and lemon zest to decorate
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place, eat leftovers within 3 days