Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes


These cupcakes have almost rendered me speechless. Trying to come up with the words to describe the incredible flavor experience that these provide is no small task. These lemon beauties topped off an Italian-themed meal (one that had begun with the Fontina-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates as an appetizer) and was the perfect clean-flavored dessert that I was looking for. There are three levels of lemon flavor in the cupcakes that combine to deliver the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and had people fighting over the last cupcake (seriously). The batter is flavored with lemon zest, lemon juice and a punch of limoncello; a tart lemon curd fills the inside of the cupcakes, and on top sits a sweet cream cheese frosting with the subtle tang of limoncello. These are simple and classy, a perfect dessert for a summer meal.


Although comprised of three separate steps, these cupcakes are simple to put together and not very time consuming. While the cupcakes are in the oven baking, the lemon curd can be made in less than 10 minutes. While the cupcakes and curd cool, make the frosting and then you are ready to assemble and serve! I tasted a spoonful of lemon curd before assembling the cupcakes and thought it might be a bit too tart, but was pleasantly surprised when I tasted the entire cupcake. The curd didn’t appear too tart at all, and was perfectly balanced by the cake and frosting. As you can see, I popped the finished cupcakes into an additional liner – Wilton Nut & Party Cups – for a prettier presentation.

If you want to make homemade limoncello, you can certainly do so, but plan ahead! Homemade recipes require 7 to 10 days of the lemon steeping in vodka before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. If you want to give it a go, you can find recipes here and here.


These cupcakes have been entered into Bake at 350’s Flavor of the Month event for August: PUCKER UP! Lemon, Lime or a combination. Head on over to check out the event, see what everyone baked up, and find out next month’s theme.

Bake at 350

1 year ago: Strawberry Pretzel Jello Squares
2 years ago: Black Bean Burgers

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

Yield: 1 dozen

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons limoncello
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon

For the lemon curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the cream cheese limoncello frosting:
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon limoncello
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


1. Prepare the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an additional minute. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the lemon curd. In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.

3. Prepare the cream cheese limoncello frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat for an additional minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

4. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a hole into each cupcake with the large end of a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag with a star tip (I used Wilton 1M) with the cream cheese limoncello frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Decorate with lemon and berries, if desired.

(Adapted from Tartelette)


322 Responses to “Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes”

  1. Katie on August 30, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Ack! I wish you posted these yesterday! Just made some lemon cupcakes yesterday and frankly, they turned out a little dull. Next time I’ll be trying this one out!

    Your presentation is amazing!

    Katie xox


  2. anncoo on August 30, 2009 at 6:55 am

    This is a beautiful cupcakes that I definitely like to try it out one day 🙂


  3. shelly (cookies and cups) on August 30, 2009 at 8:27 am

    AWESOME!!! And gorgeous pictures too!!


  4. BAKING is my ZeN on August 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Lemon…an absolute fav of mine. Great photos. A recipe keeper without a doubt.


  5. BigSis on August 30, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Those cupcakes look fabulous! Oh darn, an excuse to buy a bottle of limoncello!


  6. Theresa on August 30, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Fabulous. Now that’s a cupcake!!!!


  7. Heidi on August 30, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Wow!! They look too good to eat!


  8. Jade on August 30, 2009 at 11:59 am

    These look divine! I like that they are a clean flavored dessert. I will definelty try these.


  9. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on August 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Yum yum! I love lemony desserts! The lemon curd and limoncello combination sounds threatening to my diet!! How I would love to have one of these right now!!!


  10. Danielle on August 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Those look fantastic!


  11. Heidi on August 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    My family loves anything lemon. In fact, yesterday my 12 year old daughter and 10 year old son came to separately and requested a batch of lemon scones. I’m off to the kitchen to make them now, but next weekend I’ll wow them with your cupcakes!


  12. Katie on August 30, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Those are SOO pretty!! And look so delicious!! 🙂


  13. Lindsey on August 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    You have done it once again, these look absolutely amazing!


  14. Beth on August 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I tasted these on our visit to the Baker’s house, and she totally outdid herself. These were AMAZING to say the least!!


  15. bridget {bake at 350} on August 30, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!!! Stunning photos and the cupcakes sound beyond amazing! Thank you for linking these to Flavor-of-the-Month! They are gorgeous!


  16. Divina on August 31, 2009 at 4:21 am

    I wish I can have a bite.


  17. Brianemone on August 31, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Those look fantastic.


  18. Pam on August 31, 2009 at 8:12 am

    mmmm! So Pretty!


  19. Alta on August 31, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Wow, so lovely!


  20. michelle on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I love your presentation- they look so wonderful! I’m bookmarking this to try next time I want lemon cupcakes.


  21. Andrea@WellnessNotes on August 31, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I love the picture! These cupcakes are beautiful! And the flavors sound amazing.


  22. Maria on August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Fabulous cupcakes! Gorgeous photos as well!


  23. Krystle on August 31, 2009 at 9:42 am

    These look and sound delicious! I love all the different lemon flavors you got in one cupcake!


  24. Tracy @ Sugarcrafter on August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Yum, these look absolutely amazing!!


  25. BethieofVA on August 31, 2009 at 10:30 am

    They are simply gorgeous. I adore lemon.


  26. Donna @ WayMoreHomemade on August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Gorgeous. Beautiful. Fabulous.

    And the raspberry garnish is the perfect pop of color.

    I can’t wait to try them out.



  27. Lori @ RecipeGirl on August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am

    YUMMMMM!! Nothing much more to say, there but yum.


  28. Ann on August 31, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Ooooh. These look scrumpcious. Wish I had a bite right now. Love lemon. Definitely going to try this recipe.


  29. Tartelette on August 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    So happy to see your adaptation turned out so well. I just love the combo curd-cake-limoncello 🙂 Beauties!


  30. Michelle on August 31, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks so much Tartelette!!


  31. Dorothy on August 31, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Wow! Definitey drool-worthy. Beautiful photos and garnish. Thanks for the tip on putting the cupcake into a party nut cup. I love the look, but am too afraid to bake in them after an overflow incident (and now because they changed the cups, adding a shiny plasticy coating in them.). Thanks for the ideas!


  32. Deanna on August 31, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    These are beautiful! I’ve been looking for a lemon cupcake recipe and for sure I’ll be trying this one soon. The raspberry on top is the perfect touch!


  33. food librarian on August 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Beautiful and delicious!!


  34. Miranda on September 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

    This looks incredible. You always have the best recipes.
    Congrats on being top 9. I have never seen a 99 buzz. Congrats on that too!!


  35. jo on September 1, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I got attracted to the photos but after looking at the recipe, I have to say it takes precedence and gets the thumbs up. Delicious cupcakes.


  36. Jenn on September 1, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! One question – would you use a regular lemon slice on top or a candied lemon slice? Just wondering if the acidity of raw lemon would affect the frosting at all over the course of a day or two…


  37. Michelle on September 1, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hi Jenn – I used a regular lemon slice, but candied lemon sounds great as well! As far as it affecting the frosting – I would recommend topping them with any garnishments soon before serving. I did mine about an hour before serving and they were just fine.


  38. Ashley on September 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Wow these are gorgeous and sound amazing! Love that there’s a filling and love the sound of the limoncello cream cheese frosting!


  39. disneypal on September 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Oh my heavens ! These look good and right up my alley. I love, love, love lemon. I must try these !!


  40. Dina on September 1, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    interesting use of limoncello…they look lovely!


  41. Sheliza on September 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I am wiping the drool off my chin! I am tweeting this!!


  42. Kathy on September 2, 2009 at 9:11 am

    These look fabulous– I can’t wait to try this out. But, I really, really have to forego using alcoholic beverages in my cooking/baking. Would you have any tips for replacing the limoncello?


  43. ChoreToPassion on September 2, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    These look amazing!! I received a bottle of Limoncello as a gift… what a great way to use a little up!


  44. Michelle on September 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Kathy – I would recommend using a lemon-flavored syrup to replace the limoncello in the recipe. Torani is a brand found in most grocery stores and they make a lemon syrup:



  45. Chris on September 3, 2009 at 6:20 am

    These look great to eat and display. Cupcake art should be a fine art.


  46. Cindy on September 3, 2009 at 9:38 am

    These are beautiful! They look tasty, too.


  47. Tracey on September 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Gorgeous!! These look so fancy! I’m not a huge fan of limoncello so I’ll substitute for that, but I am definitely trying these.


  48. Emily @ Party Cupcake Ideas on September 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I love lemon cake and these look amazing! Can’t wait to try out your recipe.


  49. Tara on October 20, 2009 at 4:35 am

    made these today with some alterations and they were quite good:

    didnt have limoncello so i substituted more zest and a bit of lemon curd for both frosting and cupcakes. didnt use lemon curd as filling, instead glazed with raspberry jam before putting on frosting — as it was it was a little overwhelmingly lemony. next time i will just make these delicious cup cakes and then use even more raspberry jam and vanilla frosting..
    overall, a wonderful idea


  50. Danni on November 4, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I made these for my birthday and took them into the office. Never in my life have I heard so much ooing and aahing, they went down a storm.

    Am making them again this weekend! Thanks for a fab recipe!


  51. Sandra on February 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I just made these – I added oh…probably triple the limoncello, ‘cuz that’s how I roll, and just evened out the consistency with more sugar. I also added a bit more lemon zest to the frosting to add even more fresh lemon flavor. I used the 1M tip and topped them just like you did. Beautiful and totally delicious!


  52. Crystal on June 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’m thinking about making these but using Limoncello Cream liquor. I’ve been waiting for an excuse to buy it but don’t know what the flavor difference is. Can’t wait!


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  54. Crystal on July 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I made these this weekend: http://yfrog.com/1xbrzzj Everyone said these are their favorites. Due to time constraints I wasn’t able to add the curd but they were a hit.


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  56. SHELLEY on July 9, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Made these cupcakes last night. I’ve become quite a lemon fanatic and I never used to like lemon. I had to use citrus vodka because there was no limoncello in my town but they were wonderful. Thanks for the recipes! I also made your taco dip during the 4th and it was a hit too! Keep up the good work, I check daily!!


  57. Jennifer on July 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Going to try these w/ my homemade limoncello. They sound divine. I think I’ll try candied lemon peel twists or knots as garnish.


  58. Jennifer on July 27, 2010 at 2:57 am

    A nod to you for these recipes. They inspired me to create a similar cupcake and win 5th place in a friendly cupcake competition. 24 bakers, 100 judges.
    Delicious! Thank you!


  59. jamie - creative cupcakes on August 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    This recipe looks so good. I am going to try it. I have limoncello , and I think i will put a blueberry jam in the middle . Thnaks for agreat recipe.


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  61. Susan on August 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I am all over these things! Gorgeous, obviously delicious, and fun!


  62. AmyRuth on August 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Okay Brown Eyed Baker, a nice addition to my limoncello-lavender shortbreads. WOOHOO Yipee Can’t wait to make them cuz I love lemon curd too (and all things lemon)


  63. Cher on September 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    How long will these cupcakes last and what is the best way to store them?


    • Michelle on September 13th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Cher – I’d say these would last a couple of days or so. I would store them in the refrigerator if you aren’t serving them within a few hours, just let them come up to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!


  64. The Bad Erica on September 10, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Best. Cupcakes. Ever!

    I made 4.5 dozen. (It was go big or go home.) These are insanely good and even better when served cold from the fridge.


    • Michelle on September 13th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      Woo! Love the ‘go big or go home’ mentality!


  65. Lisa on October 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I made these the other day and they were amazing, tasted Just like lemon mirangue pie! When I baked the cupcakes they turned barely yellow but were cracked on the top just slightly. They didn’t have much colour but were cooked through and very moist so don’t be afraid if they don’t brown like other cupcakes. Will be making them for a birthday this weekend 🙂


    • Michelle on October 12th, 2010 at 8:56 am

      Yay for cupcakes! So glad you enjoyed these Lisa, and that you’ll be making them again!


  66. Sue S. on October 27, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I’ve made these twice, and they are AMAZING! I actually think I may have developed an addiction to these. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    I had trouble getting the frosting stiff enough for piping, is there a secret? I think I’m doing something wrong. I gave up with the pastry bag and just plopped a spoonful on each cupcake. It worked, but I really wanted to make them fancy.

    Thank you again for the lemony goodness.


    • Michelle on October 28th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Sue, Hmm not sure what would keep the frosting from being stiff enough to pipe. Are you using powdered sugar (not granulated)?


      • Sue S. on October 29th, 2010 at 2:50 am

        Yep, powdered sugar. I have made the cupcakes twice…I dunno either. But I love these enough, I will definitely keep trying,I don’t mind if the frosting is just plopped on top! I appreciate the response, thank you.


        • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

          You’re welcome! I’m sorry I don’t seem to be much help. Is the butter or cream cheese maybe TOO soft? Or try less limoncello? Hmmm, I hope some trial and error will work! 🙂


  67. Sue S. on October 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you again. Don’t worry, I’ll definitely keep trying, that’s the beauty of these delightful cupcakes, even the ‘mistakes’ are delicious!


  68. Sasha on November 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I loved the recipe, the tart lemon curd really did go nicely with the cream cheese frosting! I’m totally making this again.
    However, I made this as a cake (two 10 in. rounds) and it was very dense. It didn’t stop anyone from eating it 🙂 but I’m wondering if this happens often with cupcake recipes (made into cake). Are cupcake recipes meant to be baked as cupcakes for a reason??? Thanks for any explanation


    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Sasha, A lot of cupcake and cake recipes are interchangeable, but perhaps it was overmixed or overbaked? Both could have resulted in a dense cake.


      • Lynn on February 12th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

        I baked this as a cake and omitted the cream cheese to give it more of a “cake” than a “cupcake” feel. It was a bit dense, but as you said, still delicious! I think it may just be the nature of the recipe. Since this was my first time trying this recipe, I don’t have a cake with the cream cheese to compare it to, so if you try again, maybe you can see if it’s any different!


  69. veena on November 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Him Michelle… is there a substitute for limoncello.. have got a few non alcoholic to serve the cake too… cant wait to try them over the weekend.. Have a great day!!


    • Michelle on November 14th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Veena, Eek that’s a tough one. There really isn’t a substitute that would impart the same flavor (lemon extract would be too strong). I would just sub in vanilla extract in both the cupcake and frosting.


      • Sue S. on December 3rd, 2010 at 5:43 pm

        Does Torani make a lemon flavored syrup? Might be a decent substitute.


        • Michelle on December 6th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

          Good point Sue. Yes, Torani does make a lemon-flavored syrup!


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  71. Cherissa on January 14, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I love this recipe. I love this frosting. And I don’t even really love Lemon. These were a huge hit in my house! I’ll quote my boyfriend, “These lemon cupcakes really excite my mouth”. LOL! He was right! These were moist, delicious and the lemon curd gives the subtle lemon flavor in both the cupcake and the frosting a real ZING! I will definitely remake these time and time again. They were also SO fun to decorate! I totally copied you and added a little slice of lemon and a raspberry…that bite with the raspberry, a little lemon curd and frosting…AMAZING!


  72. MARY Z. on January 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm



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  74. nereik on February 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I just made these cupcakes for my husband (his favorite dessert is limoncello cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory and they were a huge hit! Though they didn’t look as cute as yours, they were still delicious!

    For all of those non-drinkers out there, my husband and I don’t drink, so we only added the limoncello to the cupcakes (since it will be mostly cooked out). For the frosting, I used lemon juice instead of limoncello. The frosting was my favorite part!


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  76. Shellee on February 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I made these for Valentine’s Day, along with your Red Velvet cupcakes, and both were amazing! I’m more of a cook, not a baker, so when my husband accused me of buying both, I took it as a huge compliment! I will confess, however, I topped the limoncello cupcakes with a strawberry frosting I came up using the frosting recipe for this one as the base, simply adding a strawberry puree (from 1/2 cup frozen strawberries I had) and a bit more powdered sugar (to thicken) and 1 1/2 more TBSPs of butter. I still threw in a little dash of the limoncello and a bit of lemon zest, conjuring up thoughts of strawberry lemonade frosting. My husband is to blame as I know he’s not the biggest fan of lemon and I thought I could woo him better with the pink stuff. They were a HIT! The pink frosting looked beautiful against the yellow lemon curd and pretty cake. Because I really am not a baker, I have limited my ‘roster’ to 10 ‘go to’ recipes… BOTH of these have made the list! I am looking forward to making the red velvet cupcakes as a layer cake for my sister in laws birthday at the end of the month. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!


  77. Jennifer on March 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I have now made these cupcakes on 2 separate occasions and both times they were a huge hit. Everyone is asking for the recipe! They are wonderful!


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  79. Anne on April 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I made the cupcakes today and have to question the use of 3 eggs in this recipe. Although the cupcakes had a decent flavor, the texture was spongy/rubbery which leads me to believe that the third egg isn’t necessary in a recipe that yields only 12 cupcakes. Regular cake mixes call for 3 eggs and they produce twice as many. Hmmm.


    • Kelly on February 9th, 2012 at 1:47 am

      I was wondering this same thing. I made them tonite, and mine too turned out dense and eggy. I went back and double checked the recipe and questioned the 3 eggs. They are good, just a weird texture. I will add the curd and frosting tomorrow-hopefully this helps.


    • Sabine on February 8th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      I feel the same, they felt a bit “spongy”. Other than that, they were amazing! You couldn’t taste the alcohol of the limoncello at all, which, for me, is a good thing. The filling was zesty, the topping delicious. I will definitely make these again – maybe with one egg less. 😉


      • Tara on April 6th, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        I had the same problem, and the other thing is that the cupcakes need to be filled higher than normal cupcakes because they flatten out and become too short. Usually filling a baking cup 2/3 full makes very fluffy cupcakes, but these didn’t rise at all, so definitely use the whole batter for only 12 cupcakes!


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  81. Carrie on April 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

    To Die For! I just made these for our family’s Easter Dinner yesterday and OMG! SOOOO GOOD! I doubled the recipe (thank god)…because everyone gobbled them up! Doubling the reciped made 30 cupcakes 🙂


  82. Rosemarie on April 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I made these for Easter also and they are fantastic. I ended up with more lemon juice than called for in the curd and used it anyway. I won’t do that next time, (and I will make them again!) but the tartness melds with the sweetness of the frosting and the cupcake itself and is an awesome combination.


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  84. Kristin on May 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm


    I made these cupcakes for Easter as well but made a white chocolate / coconut ganche to fill them and then made a coconut rum buttercream to go on top. They came out amazing and received many compliments! Thanks for the recipe and for inspiring creativity 🙂



  85. Denise on May 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I am new to your site but have already made several of your recipes and have loved them all! I am curious on how you decorated these cupcakes (or actually all your cupcakes for that matter). What frosting tip did you use? They are beautiful!


    • Michelle on May 20th, 2011 at 11:34 am

      Hi Denise, Thank you! I use a Wilton 1M decorating tip.


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  87. Shelby on June 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    These sound so yummy!! Michelle I was wondering… I don’t like cream cheese frosting, is there a substitute icing you could use instead? I’m sure everyone would love them with the cream cheese but sometimes it has to be about me too..right?? hahaha


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  89. Lisa on June 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I finally made these after reading about them for months! I’m not sure if they came out exactly how they were supposed to but I did get rave reviews nonetheless. I was worried about the amount of cupcakes so I doubled the recipe. I was able to make 3 dozen for a double recipe. My cupcakes did not really rise and I only filled them about 3/4 of the way because that’s what I thought I should have done but I guess I should have filled them close to the top? Does this happen to you? And do yours come out super dense? And I’m not sure if I really needed the limoncello. I’m not sure what effect it had and I had to spend $15 for a whole bottle…but thankfully, it doesn’t go bad. I don’t know if it was the fact that I doubled the recipe or what but the recipe took me a long time to make between the zesting, squeezing, sifting, hollowing out the whole, etc…I’m exhausted! OK, I have a newborn, exhausting almost 5 yr old and a full time job so maybe that’s it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever make them again even though people loved them but if nothing else, I invested in the disposable frosting bags from Wilton (excellent!) and the 1M tip that will now be my go-to tip so I definitely learned from this experience!


    • Sue S. on June 20th, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Lisa, I’m super impressed that you even tackle baking with a newborn, a 5 year old and a full time job!

      May I suggest some things that may help you? You could make the lemon curd one day and refrigerate it. You can zest all the lemon(s) up and squeeze the juice ahead of time…I zest up and juice a whole bunch of lemons (and limes) ahead of time and freeze them in airtight containers. I freeze them in the smallest Rubbermaid containers (or small plastic margarine tubs.) You can make up the frosting ahead and keep it in the fridge. I LOVE these cupcakes SO much that it’s worth the effort to me. My cupcakes were pretty dense and didn’t rise super high, but I love the texture!

      And if you don’t have a “Fine” microplane zester, I HIGHLY recommend one, this tool cut my zesting time WAY down! Make sure you get one that says “Fine.” My zester even has a plastic guard to help the ‘blades’ from getting bent. I have one like this – http://www.amazon.com/Microplane-40020-Grater-Zester/dp/B00004S7V8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1308546588&sr=8-3

      Good luck and keep baking!


      • Susan on July 30th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

        These were the fist cupcakes I made from your site. I thought they were time consuming too. Mine were dense too and did not rise much, i thought i did something wrong at first. I finished them late at night and figured i would taste test the next morning before taking them to work since they didnt look perfect, but boy did they taste yummy! So many compliments on them. I will definitely make them again!
        Thanks for he hints above, and the suggestion on the microzester!


  90. Books n' Cooks on June 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Made these a couple weeks ago – they were amazing!

    My only problem was that the frosting didn’t thicken enough and I couldn’t taste the limoncello. I ended up having to double the sugar in order to even get it close to piping consistency. And of course, I added a bit extra limoncello. =)


  91. sue on June 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    May I ask your opinion on buttermilk? I used a full fat buttermilk for this cupcake. They were very good, but heavy, dense and a little dry. Would the fat in the milk make a difference? Do you specify low fat when necessary? Thanks. The homemade curd was easy and very good.


    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2011 at 9:53 am

      Hi Sue, I actually don’t specify low-fat buttermilk but that is all I use because that’s all that is sold in the stores that I frequent. I apologize that it caused some less than ideal results! I will definitely note low-fat from now on!


  92. Torey on June 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    This recipe looked too good to not try and I was not disappointed! The three parts of this recipe went together PERFECTLY and my family loved these cupcakes!


  93. Jeannette Dailey on July 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I found your site yesterday while I was looking for pancake cupcakes. I just want to say that I am now a big fan. I do a lot of baking and I just love your site. I decorate cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Thanks for sharing your talented work.


  94. Julia on July 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Hi, I was wondering what consistency the frosting is? Is it like a thick, sturdy consistency that I can use to pipe flowers?? I know it has cream cheese so it is most likely thin but, just wondering!


    • Michelle on July 11th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Julia, This icing is definitely stiff enough to pipe, if you feel that it’s too thin for flowers just add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up a bit.


  95. Crystal Garcia on July 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Bought limoncello for the sole purpose of making these cupcakes. Came out beautifully and delicious. Wish I could upload a pic to show. Thanks for recipe. And your right about how you have to eat the whole cupcake to taste the balance of the curd with the cake and frosting.


  96. Dorothy on July 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Made these fourth of July weekend and they were so delicious! Nice refreshing lemon flavor. I made the Irish Carbomob cupcakes for St Paddys’ and now these. I have become a master of cupcakes thanks to these two recipes! Thank you so much for sharing and I just love this site. Planning on the malted milk whopper cookies this weekend since I, too, had ordered that malted milk powder last time from King Arthurs! GMTA!


  97. Becki Sue on July 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I made these for am impromtu picnic. Despite the multiple steps for the cupcake, curd and frosting, I had these ready for transport in 1.5 hours. Everyone said that this was the quinissential summer cupcake. I, of course, copied your garnishing. Everyone was impressed. I worried that the lemon curd was going to be too tart when I tasted it, but once in the cupcake and topped with the frosting, everything was perfectly balanced. Your recipes keep me coming back for more!!


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  99. Mary Scranton on August 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I made these cupcakes yesterday. The only thing I cheated on was I bought ready-made lemon curd. I passed them out to neighbors last night and to co-workers this morning. They were a big hit! I am making them again for a block party this weekend. They are so special.


  100. Bree on August 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I loved the presentation, but i think this would be truly too sweet for me. Not good for a diabetic. Has any one actually tried this, if so please give feedback # my opinion


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  102. Karen on August 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I made these today. Very dense but moist and delicious! I also had trouble with the frosting consistency. Looked a little droopy. Would chilling it for a bit make it a little more dense for piping? Maybe my butter and cream cheese were too soft to start. Will try again!


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Karen, Chilling for a little bit would definitely get it stiffer. You could also add more powdered sugar to stiffen it up a bit.


  103. Julie on August 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm


    What is limoncello?
    Also, I’m guessing I have to use powdered sugar, not granulated?



    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Hi Julie, Limoncello is a lemon-flavored liquor. As far as the sugar… as stated in the recipe, for the cupcakes and lemon curd you use granulated sugar, for the frosting you use powdered sugar.


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  106. Kathleen on August 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I just made these cupcakes and they turned out horrible! No fault of anyones but mine. I think that the buttermilk was a little sour, it is hard to tell with buttermilk. Anyway, I would like to try again tonight and am wondering if I can use sour cream instead of buttermilk. I am determined to get this to work.;)


    • Michelle on September 1st, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Kathleen, That’s a good question, I have never done that substitution so I can’t say for sure how it would work with these cupcakes, but it might work. Let me know what you end up doing!


  107. Alexandra on September 4, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Hello! I just loved the way these cupcakes looked and I’m a nut for anything citrus-y so I had to try them out. I did have a little trouble making them however. The cupcakes looked great when I took them out of the oven but they shrank a lot and became very dense and rubbery after they cooled. Any ideas why?


    • Michelle on September 5th, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Hi Alexandra, That texture could have been caused due to overmixing of the batter.


  108. carol on September 10, 2011 at 2:17 am

    I made these cupcake for our
    youngest daughter who is crazy about lemons, she loved this recipe…….the rest of the family thought the lemon curd was waaaay to tart. At least one member of our family is happy, thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂


  109. Denise on September 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I have tried several of your recipes (all wonderful) and can’t wait to try this one. I have never tried limoncello but I am going to just to try this recipe. I don’t even drink liquor but this sounds wonderful. I had to look up limoncello to see what it was.


  110. Rachel on October 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Where can I find limoncello? Would typical grocery stores have it?


    • Michelle on October 10th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Rachel, Limoncello is a liquor, so wherever you buy liquor – here in PA that would be state stores, but I know some states do sell it in the grocery store.


  111. meryam on October 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Hey Michelle!
    If I were to use lemon extract in the batter and frosting in place of Limoncello, would I have to make any other changes in the recipe if I want to achieve a flavor as close to the original recipe as possible?


    • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Meryam, I would cut the amount in half, as lemon extract has a much stronger/concentrated flavor than the limoncello, which is more mellow.


  112. Claire @ www.cakepoprecipes.org on October 27, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I love lemon and especially Limoncello (ever since my first trip to Sorrento!) so I was delighted to find your recipe. I am going to try making a cake pop version of these cupcakes and will let you know how it goes!


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  115. bridgette on November 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Can you substitute oil for butter?


    • Michelle on November 27th, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      Hi Bridgette, I have not experimented with this substitution. I imagine it would alter the texture of the cupcakes, but you could always give it a try. If you give it a go I’d love to know how it turns out!


  116. Moo Eleven on December 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Hi, tried these at the weekend and they came out very dense, although very tasty! I wondered if I had converted one of my ingredients from US to UK incorrectly??? I’ll try again and if I get a good conversion I will post the recipe as a UK recipe if that’s ok, Michelle?


  117. Yuna Shin on December 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    These look beautiful! i just made them and there in the oven right now 🙂
    Hey is it okay if i put this recpie and pic on my blog? I will tell how wonderful browneyedbaker.com cupcakes are!
    Thanks you so much for sharing this recpie!
    even though i havent tried them yet (in the oven baking)
    i have a good feeling about these cupcakes 🙂
    Im going to make them again tomorrow for my cousions!!!
    Thanks sooo much!
    check out my blog: http://yunaemilyshin.blogspot.com/


    • Michelle on December 20th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      Absolutely! I just ask for a link back, thank you! 🙂


  118. Yuna Shin on December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    hmmmm these were goood but they tasted like lemon bars!!! YUMMMMM


  119. Meredith on January 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    These cupcakes were delicious! I was so happy that when I wanted to make these, we just happened to have Limoncello just lying around… talk about good luck! And I also thought the lemon curd just a little bit tart…next time, I might just add a tad more sugar perhaps? But overall, this was definitely the best lemon cupcake recipe I’ve ever used!


  120. Chasity on January 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    These look beautiful and delicious!! I wanted a nice and light dessert t go with the chicken alfredo I’ll be making for dinner today and this eill be what Im going to try. Unfortunately I’m undrt 21 so I’ll be subing the alcohol with something I can purchade.


  121. Lori on January 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Made these this weekend, and they were FAB , my husband and kids loved them, thanks so much, they are super easy and I even made lemon curd for the first time..yippee


  122. Meredith on January 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    These cupcakes are delicious! I was so glad we had some Limoncello just lying around. However, I may just use some store bought filling in the future… this filling was a bit tart for me. Otherwise, these cupcakes were incredible!


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  125. Sharon Field on February 8, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Wow… fabulous recipe and photos. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!


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  127. MJo on March 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    These look spectacular. Most cupcakes/cakes taste artificial, but these look like they’ll pop with flavor (especially using limoncello (how could you not love it after seeing “Under the Tuscan Sun”? ;o). You mentioned using the cupcake tin … but no papers? You have it pictured in a paper cup above. If you use just the tin itself, do you use anything to prevent the batter from sticking? Apologies if I missed something, and that it should be a given to use cupcake papers. I’m very excited to try these! Thanks for your kind suggestions.


    • Michelle on March 19th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Hi MJo, I do use paper liners in the muffin tins. My apologies for omitting that step!


      • MJo on March 20th, 2012 at 12:15 am

        Thanks much! I’m anxious to try these (and a few sips of the limoncello while cooking won’t hurt … remember the Galloping Gourmet? ;o) Take care and thanks for posting this wonderful recipe!


  128. Renee on March 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve tried making these cupcakes and they turned out way to dense. It definitely isn’t a fluffy cupcake that I’m used. The flavor is great and it is very lemony but I just recommend doubling the baking powder in the cake recipe.


  129. Becca on March 22, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I made these last night and I was very sad with how they turned out. I found the cupcake really dense and the frosting was super runny. Did I do something wrong? I would love to make them again if I could get them to turn out better. Please help me! Thanks.


    • Heather on March 28th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Maybe your cream cheese and butter was too soft for the frosting? That’s usually why my frosting is limp. I made a second batch of frosting and it was more runny than the first, I’m guessing because it was much hotter in the kitchen by afternoon. As for the cake, I found it hard to get the lemon juice to incorporate w/o overmixing. I ended up folding it in by hand so that the cake wouldn’t get too dense by mixing too much with my mixer.


      • Michelle on March 31st, 2012 at 10:29 pm

        Ditto Heather’s comments, I was going to say the same thing. It sounds like the batter may have been overmixed and the cream cheese was too warm.


  130. Heather on March 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I made these as mini cupcakes for a teacher luncheon today and they were awesome! Not one was left, good thing I saved back a few for my kids. The curd was so mouth puckering on its own, but delicious with the cake and frosting. Everyone raved about the flavor. Thanks!


  131. RaeAnne on March 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Made these last night for a Thai -themed dinner party (Thai uses lots of citrus flavors, so they finished the heavy meal with a bright, light taste). They turned out PERFECT! no problems. They take some time to make from start to finish, but each step is simple and easy to follow, well worth the effort! The lemon curd filling is to die for…. I licked the pot clean! All together it was a moist, well thought-out cupcake. My guests and Husband loved them! Will make them again. VERY GOOD RECIPE!!! Thanks Brown Eyed Baker!!!


  132. Abe on April 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Delicious. Even though I overzested the lemons and made the curd a bit bitter (don’t overzest!), they came out really awesome. I did not taste the limoncello in them, but other people said they did. Thanks for the recipe!


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  134. Mary Jane on April 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I made these for easter and looooved them. Like another poster, i too found the lemon curd to be overwhelmingly lemony, (maybe my lemons?) so will only use the juice and zest from one lemon next time. I also had to add slightly more icing sugar to the icing to make it the right consistency for piping. Beautiful presentation and these are amazing! Thanks for a fabulous recipe!


  135. Christine Certain on April 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I have made over 200 of these for my son’s Senior Composition Recital. The first batch I made were with Gluten-free flour and soured milk (instead of buttermilk). That first batch were beautiful, rose perfectly and everything was great. The 200 I made after that were with the cake flour & buttermillk – they didn’t rise and were not beautiful – the taste, texture, lemon curd and frosting pulled them off! I am not sure what the deal was and will stick with the sour milk/GF flour! Everyone loves them, even those who don’t like the taste of lemon!


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  138. Karin M on May 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I made them this weekend and they were a big hit! The weather here is FINALLY getting warmer and I wanted something that felt (and tasted) like Spring. These were PERFECT!


  139. Elaine on May 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Making these without the liquor (kids), but was wondering how you store them? Since the even is in the morning and I’m making it the day before, what are your suggestions to keep cupcakes moist if I put them in the fridge?


    • Michelle on May 15th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Hi Elaine, If possible, I would make them and keep them in an airtight container at room temperature and frost them in the morning. If you can’t, then make sure whatever you store them in inside the refrigerator is absolutely airtight to keep them as moist as possible.


  140. Sissy on May 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I spent the afternoon baking these and one member of my family liked them. The cake is very dense, and the curd is very strong bordering on bitter. I added an extra tsp of limoncello to the frosting for flavor. Everyone agreed the frosting was the best feature of the cupcakes.


  141. Hiba on May 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Hi there ! there’s look fantastic to make! was wondering, if i dont use limoncello, what can i replace it with? thanks!


    • Michelle on May 23rd, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Hiba, There is no real substitute, as it’s a much subtler flavor than lemon juice or extract. You can just omit it.


  142. Mine on May 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I just finished my cupcakes, and Im a little disapointed. My cupcakes are dense, my filling is not as thick as i think it should be, and my icing is definently not as thick as it should be. Everything tastes really good, but I wish I knew where I went wronge. Im sure its not the recipe. It must be something I’ve done. Please help, so next time they will be better.


    • Michelle on May 23rd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Mine – For the cupcakes, make sure you don’t overmix the batter to keep them from becoming dense. It sounds like the curd filling may have potentially not been cooked long enough if it’s not thick enough, and if the frosting is too soft, you can try starting with cold cream cheese or adding more powdered sugar.


  143. Kelly on June 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Michelle, so our family are FIRM non-alcoholic drinkers.. would you be able to substitute lemonade for the limoncello ?


    • Michelle on June 5th, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Hi Kelly, I haven’t tried it, but you could certainly give it a go. Limoncello is a mellow flavor, so I would take that into account when making the lemonade for the recipe.


      • Kelly on June 8th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

        Sounds good, I’ll take that into account when I give these a try.. I’ll let you know how they turn out 🙂 thanks!


  144. Louis on June 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I made these cupcakes twice today. Neither batch came out correct. They were both rubbery and dense. The first batch looked fine out of the oven and then fell when cooling. The second batch started to brown at 20 mins. so I took them out of the oven. They were not completely cooked and some were gooey. I see some posts questioning the 3 eggs. I am going to make them again and if they don’t turn out…. oh well. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


  145. Heather on June 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I made these again for a baby shower and again they were totally awesome. Much preferred over the vanilla and chocolate ones that I also made (which were also good, but can’t hold a candle to the lemon). Even my curmudgeonish brother liked them, and he doesn’t like much.

    I’ve made them as both full size cupcakes and mini ones and I’ve not had trouble w/ either. They aren’t really spongy like cake mix cupcakes, but they aren’t dense either, just so good. And I love, love, love the bite of the curd as it mixes with the creamy frosting and the cakey goodness. I can’t wait to have a reason to make them again.


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  148. Mischel on June 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Made these for Father’s Day. They were a HIT!!! Very light and refreshing. I was amazed at how easy they were to make too!


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  150. Karla on July 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I made these for a BBQ and they were a hit! As my friend said, “I would pay for these cupcakes!”


  151. Lucia on July 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm


    I seriously love this cupcakes, just the look of them makes me mouth-watering. But i got a problem :(, i can´t use limoncello, my prohibed to drink or eat alcohol, i can´t used it in any way, would u recommend me something to substitute the limoncello?? Thank u very much!!! Btw i love ur page! it´s amazing, to say the least!!!


    • Mischel on July 5th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      The recipe calls for such little of the Limoncello… just add more lemon, but be careful not to over do the lemon too… You could actually leave it out. I have done that with the Margharita cupcakes… I think it is more for the added flavor.


    • Michelle on July 19th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Lucia, I would just omit the limoncello. You’ll get enough lemon flavor from the other components of the recipe.


  152. Jen on July 6, 2012 at 11:07 am


    Can you tell me where you purchased the white folded cups that surround your beautiful cupcakes?

    Kind regards,



    • Michelle on July 19th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Jen, I bought them at Michael’s.


  153. Korri on July 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    These cupcakes are so yummy!!! Actually, that doesnt even begin to describe how these taste! The cupcake itself is very much like Angel Food cake with lemon. Even before baking, the batter is beautiful, delicious and even a little frothy. At first I thought the curd filling was too tart but once its combined with the cupcake, the flavors blend wonderfully and its not overly tart.
    I feel like you can never go wrong with lemon so this recipe will be kept forever and ever!


  154. Rubi on July 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Just delicious! this amazing recipe was approved by all my European and Latino friends! easy to prepare and to get the expected result. even the presentation was so easy to follow that my cupcakes looked exactly as the one above. I’m more than happy, thanks for sharing it!


  155. Eva on July 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I wanted to love these cupcakes but they were so dense. My husband loves anything with lemon and he did not like these! I wasted so much time and ingredients…..I followed your recipe exactly but they cupcakes were more like muffins or maybe even heavier. What could have happened?


    • Michelle on July 29th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Eva, If they were dense, it could have been caused by overmixing the batter or accidentally overbaking the cupcakes.


  156. Aira on July 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    MICHEEEEEEELLE!!!! 😀 thank you soooooo much for this wonderfuL recipe!! i baked this yesterday and my staff incLuding our big boss reaLLy Love it! 🙂 we don’t have raspberries here for garnish so i used watermelon balls instead. i foLLowed your instructions carefuLLy that’s why it was a huge success. 🙂 thanks a Lot B.E.B!

    PS: i’LL be baking grape muffin using your bLueberry muffin recipe next time. 🙂


  157. Cupcake Girl on July 31, 2012 at 12:17 am

    My friend and I made this earlier today and they turned out fantastic! The creaminess of the icing, along with the moist texture of the cupcakes offered a lovely balance to the tartness of the filling. All together they were splendid! And very satisfying. We’ll definitely be making this again! 🙂


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  159. Jennifer on August 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I made this for work and people LOVED them!!! My husband, who doesn’t like cake or frosting, loved them too. I used extra lemon juice instread of the liquer and they still turned out fabulous!!! Thank you!


  160. Shannon on August 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    My cupcakes also turned out dense but were moist and tasty- more like a pound cake than what I think of when I think of cupcakes, but a friend commented that the cupcake bakeries in our home area in the States make similar dense and moist cupcakes! The curd was way too tart, so I had to make a quick syrup with a bit of water and another 1/4 c sugar to stir into it. Next time I will definately at least double the called for sugar in the curd. Also, I currently live in China where I can’t find limoncello so I used a concentrated lemon syrup, worked well. Great recipe. Loved by all who were lucky enough to try one.


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  166. Christa on October 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I just tried your recipe (my first cupcakes ever:-) and they turned out fabulous!!! I love the curd in the middle, it gives an amazing flavor explosion! I was a bit hesitant at first that the batter was too sweet, and the curb too tart, but in the end it all fitted together perfectly – I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I look forward to trying another one soon!


  167. Sophia Hulme x on October 22, 2012 at 6:10 am

    won these for Poynton show! 🙂 they look delicious but i dint ry mine!! 🙁 xxx


  168. Cuppers on November 5, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Loves all of your cupcakes presentation, it’s gorgeous and tempting too!


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  171. Amber on January 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Can lemon extract be used instead of Limoncello? Also, will the be ok for a 6″ cake pan?


    • Michelle on January 19th, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Hi Amber, You can use lemon extract, but I would probably only use 1/2 as much. The batter will be too much for a 6″ cake pan; you would need to use an 8″ pan.


  172. Jackie Jones on January 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I made these and I am so impressed! These are the best cupcakes I have ever made. Mine weren’t as pretty but my — they taste great! Definitely using this recipe again.


  173. Malin on January 21, 2013 at 2:54 am

    I made this last night with limoncello I made a couple a weeks ago, and hello! they turned out totally delicious! The rich lemon taste… it was… aaahhh! Totally worth the time and all! I live in Sweden so I had to convert the measurement and use swedish ingredients but that made no difference – apparently ;O)


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  175. Kristine on February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I just finished baking these but had a problem because the cupcakes did not rise as I expected them to. So instead I had little half inch thick cakes. Not sure what could have gone wrong. Still tasted delicious, though.


    • Scaline on July 20th, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I had the same problem…


  176. Rena on March 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Made these yesterday and they were wonderful! Decorated with sliced candy lemons and yellow flakes-absolutely beautiful! If you’re looking for a cupcake with a lot of lemon flavor -this one is it! I did add some lemon extract to the frosting for a little extra kick:)


  177. Zan on March 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    What to do with an unexpected snow day and a bottle of limoncello that’s been at the back of the fridge for about 2 years? Make these cupcakes, of course! They are beautiful AND delicious! I decided to ramp up the limoncello taste by brushing the cupcakes with limoncello before I frosted them. It gave them a nice little kick! I will definitely make these again.


  178. sue c on April 4, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Doubled the recipe for my husband’s birthday and it was a big hit! My husband loves lemon everything and needless to say, he loved these cupcakes with the limecello kick. The flavors of the cake, lemon curd, and frosting complimented each other perfectly. However, the cake was a little too dense for me and would like to know if it could be the cream cheese that made it dense. Thanks for the fantastic recipe as I plan to make this again very soon!


  179. Sherry on April 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I can not get recipe to pull up I found it this am but can’t pull it up now,


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  182. Leah on May 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Absolutely love these, I’ve made these like a hundred times and I have to say it gets better with time. Everyone who tries these are just in love, and its not too sweet which is good since my family is not really into sweets. And luckily for me an inexperienced cupcake maker these turned out perfect. I have to admit the 1st time I made the curd (my first time making curd) it sort of turned into egg. Haha. But I guess error makes you better? And I was wondering about the toppings, my raspberries tend to..mmmm stain the frosting? I don’t know just like the juice I guess from the berries sort of gradually changes the color of the frosting around it making it look a little sloppy. And usually when I make these its for a gathering and by time we get to them it’s about 5 hours later, so yeah. I haven’t tried putting the lemon cuz I’m afraid the acid from the lemon would do the same??


  183. Vita on May 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I made these 3 times now. The third were for my daughters birthday. They were the best batch of the three and a big hit.
    Love this recipe, but made the following alterations to make it less dense and more flavorful (issues I had with my first batch)
    1. Added a 1/4th cup less flower and a 1/4th teaspoon more baking powder
    2. Doubled the lemon juice and zest in the batter
    3. Added zest to the frosting


  184. Brady on June 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I made these cupcakes once for my grandmother’s birthday party and they were a huge hit! They were even requested for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower! Everybody loves how they are just lemon-y enough. The curd is always the unanimous favorite. At first I thought that the curd would be too tart, but with the combination of the cupcake and the frosting, it is perfect. Thank you so much for the recipe!! I have no doubt that I will be using it again!


  185. fardous on June 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    if i eat those i would die happy


  186. Chants on June 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Can i freeze these cupcakes??6


    • Michelle on June 9th, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Yes, but I would freeze them without the frosting. I would thaw them, then frost them within a day of serving.


  187. Lena on June 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Hey(: I made this recipe tons of times now and plan on making them for my sister’s graduation which on Saturday. However, the kitchen won’t really be available tomorrow, and I probably wouldn’t have much time on the day of the party. So, to get to my point, would these cupcakes still taste good after a 2 days. (Frankly they never really last that long because my family eats them all haha.) I was wondering if it’s fine to just make the batter and then just refrigerate it until the morning of the party and bake. (Same question with the frosting as well?) Or if not, will they still taste yummy if I bake and frost them all today and serve them on saturday evening? (I would out the raspberries day of.) Please let me know! Thanks (:


    • Lena on June 13th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Lol, I meant put the raspberries, not out them. Sorry for the spelling errors, it’s not my specialty. (:


    • Michelle on June 13th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Lena, You would be fine to bake them 2 days in advance, just make sure you place them in a covered airtight container and keep them at room temperature. I would recommend frosting and decorating them the day of the party, though. You could make the frosting 2 days in advance, then refrigerate it until the morning of. You’d need to rewhip before piping it.


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  189. AmandaCakes on June 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Hi I am a bit confused about the directions to divide between 12 muffin tins. Does this recipe actually require twelve muffin tins or did you mean 2 muffin tins with twelve cups? Is there a way to make the recipe without buying ten more muffin tins?


    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      Divide the batter between each of the 12 cups in the muffin tin. You only need one 12-cup muffin tin.


  190. Cynthia Brostrom on June 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I made your cupcakes and they were a hit. My husband liked them so much that he’s asked that I bake his birthday cake using this recipe!!! I’m wondering if I could bake the cake and freeze it for a week before adding the lemon curd and frosting. Any thoughts on that? Thank you for the recipe.


  191. bella on June 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    i was wondering i looked at this cupcakes and they look delicious but befor i cook them i want to ask if they are TO LEMONY i like lemon but not exstremly and if they are a bit rich thanks i love your site!


    • bella on June 28th, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      or two sweet


    • Michelle on July 1st, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Hi Bella, Unfortunately, I find all of those things to be pretty subjective. What’s too lemony, too rich or too sweet to one person may not be to another person. I would recommend trying the recipe and if you find it to be any of those things, make adjustments as needed.


  192. Pingback: Limoncello Lemon Cupcakes | Our Sweet Kitchen

  193. Scaline on July 20, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I don’t know what I did wrong but mine didn’t turn out at all… They didn’t rise and the middle was chewy, almost like bubble gum. I must have made a mistake with converting cups to centiliters (I’m European and I wasn’t quite sure if American cups are the same as European ones 😉 ). I already noticed something wasn’t right when I was adding the eggs… Also I needed 24 cupcakes instead of 12 so I doubled all the ingredients, or should I not have done that? It’s a shame cause yours look delicious!!


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  196. ozzy on July 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

    what on earth is a ‘stick’ of butter?


    • Michelle on July 25th, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Butter is typically sold in stick form in the U.S. Each stick is 4 ounces, if you need to work out a conversion.


  197. Cat on July 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Just made these today for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. In a word, EPIC!!
    The only thing I could take exception to was was merely a trifle, a matter of taste in that the fine, moist crumb is a little denser than I’d like. I believe that could be obviated by using triple-sifted cake flour in place of the all-purpose flour the next time. But that represents a very tiny, very minor flaw and others might not be bothered by it at all. BTW, this made far more than just a dozen cupcakes. After filling 12 cups, I scraped the rest into a small loaf pan, which was just perfect (didn’t need anymore cupcakes. But the little loaf will be great with some tea in the morning!) It should be noted that these don’t rise a whole lot, so you can fill the cups fuller than with many recipes. 3/4 full will not overflow. I did something just a little different, in that in place of the lemon curd, I made a thick filling out of my daughter’s favorite fruit, fresh blueberries, spooning about a teaspoonful into the center of each. I am billing them as “Limoncello Surprise Cupcakes.” Next time, it’s lemon curd. Since I always keep a bottle of limoncello in the freezer, it was nice to use it for something other than a summer aperitif. The flavor of these little gems is a symphony for the taste buds, with just the right degree of tartness, enhanced by the perfect sweetness. The frosting is to DIE for. Clean, uncomplicated lemony, buttery ambrosia that melts lovingly into heavenly bliss on your tongue. Can’t speak highly enough for this recipe!


  198. Erin on July 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you so much. I’ve made your mocha-espresso cupcakes twice in two weeks (no fail!) and am now determined to try more of these. Can you confirm the amount of butter and cream cheese in the batter? I think mine could use more fat (tasty, but not fluffy). I may have mixed up the conversion of ‘sticks’ to cups… if you could provide the measurement in cups, that would be amazing!

    Thank you!


    • Michelle on July 31st, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Erin, It’s a 1/4 cup butter in the cupcakes.


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  203. betterwithsugar on October 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    These are delicious! Tastes like summer in a cupcake. I made the Limoncello cupcakes and the Margarita ones and brought them both to work. Everyone liked both, but the Limoncello ones were definitely the winner. Now i have a giant bottle of Limoncello in my fridge and i’m not a fan of drinking it straight … guess i’ll just have to make these cupcakes a few more times. Sounds good to me! 🙂


  204. Linda on October 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Made these cupcakes yesterday. Very delicious. Reminds me of
    lemon meringue pie. Going to make the pumpkin cupcake today.


  205. Pingback: TOP 10 Tasty cupcake recipes - Top Inspired

  206. Rachael on October 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I was really looking forward to making these, but after making two batches of them, I was really disappointed. I followed the directions to a “T” and the cakes were very dense, overly flour tasting, and even a little dry. And the lemon curd filling… Wow! Talk about sour! The frosting was great, but nothing else seemed to turn out tasty. If I’m doing something wrong, please let me know.


  207. Dozen on November 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Made these today, great flavor, but I really think that these need some baking soda due to all the acidic ingredients (buttermilk, lemon juice) I think that would help them rise better as there would be a better reaction between the leaveung agent and the acids. another note, one might try two eggs and then an egg white (or two) to substitue the third egg, that will definitely aerate the batter as well. I also added lemon juice to the frosting and doubled the limoncello, I’m a fan of bright, tangy lemon flavor and that was lacking in the frosting before I added the lemon juice. Definitely a good recipe to have on hand, but next time I will tweak to avoid such a dense cake.


  208. Bryce on November 26, 2013 at 12:26 am

    These are by far some of the BEST cupcakes I have ever made! The lemon curd filling is delicious!


  209. Sarah on December 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Just tried these and they are fantastic! Thank you for sharing. My stepson said they are the best cupcakes he’s ever had.


  210. Melissa @ Stitches In Flight on December 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Hi! These are so cute! I am featuring these in a cupcake roundup tomorrow. Thought I would let you know. Thanks for posting them!


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  213. ShannonF on January 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I made these today and they are phenomenal. Seriously. The best cupcakes I have ever eaten. Thank you for the recipe!


  214. Pingback: Limoncello Cupcakes | Kitchen Calculation

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  216. Linda on January 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I use my work colleagues as my beta test group. I think lemon is a rather polarizing taste, either you like it or you don’t. Made the original recipe and as expected, those who like lemon LOVED them, those who don’t didn’t care for them. Everyone, though, loved the dense texture of the cake. So I tried substituting orange zest and OJ in the cupcakes, along with Grand Marnier, did not create a filling, and made frosting with the Grand Marnier. Nice subtle orange flavor, more accepted by my beta testers.


  217. Sherri lJ on January 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    We are limoncello addicts ( well, maybe not addicts) however, we make a LOT of homemade limoncello & lemon curd every winter, the second Meyer lemons show up in the stores!
    No sooner did we put the finishing touches on your simply amazing Mocha Cupcakes to take to a friend’s birthday/football party…We found this! Well we laughed because we had everything to make these and so we were off & running!
    Because we use Meyers, we always keep a couple “regular” lemons around for the tartness. We used those for the zest. We decorated them with fresh blackberries. OMG! we have, in one day, made our all time favorites! Thank You!


  218. Maria on January 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Can these be topped off with buttercream frosting instead of cream cheese?


  219. Hannah on January 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    how should i store these?! i just made some for my birthday party tonight – but dont know how to store until then – THEY ARE SO GOOD!!! 😀


    • Michelle on January 31st, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Hi Hannah, They can be kept at room temperature for up to 12 hours or so, then refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.


  220. Holly on February 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Literally the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Absolutely amazing. Added some limoncello to the lemon curd as well, turned out awesome. Only recommendation I have: make sure to refrigerate for at least a little bit before serving. They’re still 100% delicious fresh, but the lemon is really tart until chilled.


  221. Ashley on February 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I made these over the weekend and they were great! We had guests over and everyone was raving about how “fresh” they tasted. I too tasted the lemon curd after it cooled and thought it was way too tart, but as you said above in the recipe once it was in the cupcakes with the frosting it worked perfectly. One thing I noticed was that my curd had little white swirls/chunks in it which I do not see in yours from the pictures. I Googled it and they said that will happen if you don’t strain your lemon juice. This wasn’t mentioned in the recipe so I never thought to do it and next time around I definitely would because I would like a smooth yellow texture. I don’t think it changed the flavor at all but if you are a perfectionist with baking as I am, then the white swirls will bother you. Also one more thing to note – next time around I would double the frosting recipe. I also use the Wilton 1M tip and just barely had enough frosting to do all the cupcakes and that was with frosting them on the very light side.


  222. Kimberly Burgandine on February 12, 2014 at 1:13 am

    This might be a dumb question but should I leave out the lemonchello if serving these to children?


    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Hi Kimberly, I would definitely leave it out of the frosting. People are split in terms of how much alcohol cooks off in a baked good, so that’s really your call. I can’t say for sure what percentage of it bakes off.


    • Heather on March 22nd, 2014 at 10:11 am

      The amount of limoncello in the frosting is small and divided among 12 cupcakes. 1/12 of a T of limoncello is more alcohol than you would get using vanilla extract (which is in an alcohol base) but not enough that I would personally worry about. My 7yo daughter ate these and loved them. I guess my advice would be to use your own discretion. I would feed them to my own kids but maybe not make them for a school birthday party.


  223. Pingback: Culinary Canvas: Meyer Lemon Mini Cupcakes | DMA Canvas

  224. Sebina on February 13, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I made these cupcakes and I can tell you that they are very good! definitely recommend! even my pictures came out really good 🙂


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  227. Kai Foss on March 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I made these yesterday and followed the recipe to a T. I found that the cupcakes were a bit too heavy, not nice and fluffy as I had hoped. The flavor was very good though, I used fresh lemons from my lemon tree.Maybe the 3 eggs made it heavy?? Any suggestions for a lighter cupcake?
    Your presentation is beautiful, they look very delicious.


  228. Agnes on April 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Can you freeze the cupcakes then fill ang frost later?


    • Michelle on April 16th, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Agnes, Yes, you can definitely do that.


  229. CupCakes and more... on April 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    These look so good. This will be my next project.


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  231. Kailey on May 4, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I just made these, and YUMMMM!!. The curd was a little too tart for everyone else (but I liked the contrast to the sweet), so next time i will add more sugar.


  232. Jordana on May 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

    These cupcakes were delicious! I made them with homemade limoncello made from Meyer lemons. The balance of the sweet cake and frosting and tart custard is perfect—filled cupcakes never fail to impress. The cake itself is dense and moist. Excellent accompaniment to the spring beer tasting we held with our beer club. 🙂


  233. Kayla on May 17, 2014 at 12:29 am

    What is a good substitute for limoncello?


  234. Esmeralda on May 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    To make the lemon curd do i have to add butter? Because when i youtube how to make lemon curd they all show it with butter so im a bit confused lol


    • Michelle on May 21st, 2014 at 9:38 am

      No, you do not need to add butter to this, but if you prefer to use a different lemon curd recipe, you absolutely could.


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  236. Jinna on May 27, 2014 at 2:03 am

    I made these cupcakes twice now, once in full size and once in minis! The balance in all the flavors together is absolutely amazing! Thank you! My cupcake seem to be coming out a bit more dense than I’d like though, especially in the minis. Is there any way to make it just a tad more fluffy?


    • Michelle on May 27th, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Hi Jinna, You can try adding ¼ teaspoon to ½ teaspoon baking soda and see if that helps get you a fluffier cupcake.


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  238. Pingback: Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes | Link4Food

  239. Susan on July 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I would love to make these cupcakes. We love lemon. What is limecello?


    • Michelle on July 15th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Susan, It’s an Italian liquor made from lemon peels.


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  243. Student on August 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Hello! I would love to make these cupcakes for my class’s bake sale but I’m not sure if young students are allowed to eat baked goods with liqour in it, in this case limoncello. And if I can’t what type of replacement can I use? Looks amazing by the way!


    • Michelle on August 31st, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      If you can’t use the liquor, then you can substitute lemon extract, but a very small amount will go a long way to achieve the lemon flavor. Limoncello is much subtle in flavor.


  244. Pingback: Lemon Cupcakes (Collection) - Moms & Munchkins

  245. Jenny on September 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for another wonderful cupcake recipe! I just have a question about the lemon curd. I doubled the entire recipe. I ended up with 28 cupcakes, but I did not end up with very much lemon curd, only about 3/4 cup. Did I do something wrong, or should I just cut out very small pieces of cake so I only put a little lemon curd in each cupcake? Or do you think I did something wrong? Thanks!


    • Jenny on September 26th, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Michelle, I answered my own question. I had just the right amount of lemon curd for 24 cupcakes. My husband loved the lemon curd so much I’m going to make more for him to put on his toast in the morning! The cupcakes were a hit for my husband’s birthday happy hour. I doubled the amount of limoncello and added more powdered sugar in the frosting.


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  248. Kimberly on October 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I just finished making these as a teacher gift, and of course I had to steal one. Then my kids each stole one, and now the teacher will get to enjoy 9 of the most amazing lemon cupcakes in the world! Thanks for posting such great recipes!


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  251. Gwyndolyn on April 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve made these cupcakes a few times, but now I’m being asked if I can make them into a cake! Do you know how much I should make for a standard 9*13 recipe? I was thinking of multiplying everything by 2.5, but I just wanted to check to see if you’d done this or had a better idea! Thanks so much! (These are very delicious, by the way!)


    • Michelle on April 14th, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      You should double the recipe for a 9×13 pan. I hope that helps!


  252. Jennifer on August 19, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I know you probably get a ton of mail! But could I make these without the lemon curd and just top with a dark chocolate frosting? I love lemon and dark chocolate but wondered what you thought. . .thanks!


    • Michelle on August 20th, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Jennifer, Yes, you could definitely do that, sounds awesome!


  253. Claire on February 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve made these cupcakes several times over the past few years and they are 100% the most delicious thing to ever exist, and my whole family thinks so too. I love the unique texture of the cake. Thank you for this amazingness!!


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  255. Vicki on February 29, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I have been asked to make these for a bridal shower. I was wondering about freezing them so I can make them a week or two before. I have been told that cupcakes should be kept air tight until it comes to room temperature and then they should be opened. I am wondering if I need to do something different since they have a filling? Have you had any experience freezing these or other cupcakes? Have you ever froze cupcakes with frosting on them? Thanks!!


    • Michelle on March 2nd, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Vicki, I usually do not recommend freezing cupcakes with frosting, as the texture can be compromised, but rather freeze the cake part and frost them a day in advance or so.


  256. Melissa on March 12, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    So good! Perfect level of sweetness. I made the cupcakes and filling yesterday, then filled and frosted them today for a baby shower. I was asked multiple times where I bought them. That felt good. Since I couldn’t possibly waste them, the leftover moist little centers of the cupcakes will be paired with whipped cream & strawberries for dessert tonight. And more limoncello.


  257. Juli on April 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Hello again! I will be making these cupcakes as well as salted caramel, vanilla (easy vanilla buttercream), chocolate (best choc). I have to make tons for a wedding and would prefer to frost them on-site. Can I prepare the frosting the day before? If so, how do I store it and then just remix before frosting?


    • Michelle on April 12th, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Hi Juli, You can definitely make the frosting the day before. Store it in the refrigerator; the next day let it come to room temperature and give it a good hearty stir with a rubber spatula. If it’s too stiff, you may need to beat it briefly with a mixer to get it nice and smooth again.


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