Lemonade Cupcakes

These sunny lemonade cupcakes are made with real lemonade and lemon zest. To make them even more bright and happy they’re topped with a multi-coloured swirl of lemon and cream cheese frosting. This lemonade cupcake recipe was so easy to whip up. They mix together in just one bowl! Perfect way to use up all those summer lemons. 


Makes: 12       Difficulty: Easy


  • 12 hole muffin tray
  • Cupcake cases
  • Electric mixer / stand mixer / hand-held mixer
  • Spatula
  • Piping bag, with a large star nozzle attached



  • 125g (4 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest
  • 2 large Eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 125ml Fizzy Lemonade

Lemon Swirl Frosting

  • 600g Icing Sugar Mixture
  • 250g Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • Yellow liquid food colouring
  • 1 teaspoon grated Lemon Zest



  • Preheat over to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F). Line the muffin tray with cupcake cases.
  • Add the softened butter, caster sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat together on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale, light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs. Whisk until the batter is smooth.
  • Add half of the flour and half of the lemonade. Fold them in gently, then add the remaining flour and lemonade. Fold everything together until just combined.
  • Fill each cupcake case until ¾ full. Check the oven has reached the right temperature, then place the tray on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes are done when the tops become golden brown, they spring back when lightly touched, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely

Lemon Swirl Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer add 300g of icing sugar mixture, 50g of butter, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Beat together until the mixture has a sandy texture. Beat in 125g of the cream cheese a cube at a time. The frosting will appear too thick at first but will loosen and fluff up the more you beat it. Whisk the frosting for about 5 minutes. Whisk in a few drops of yellow food colouring. Set aside.
  • Make another batch of cream cheese frosting using the remaining icing sugar, butter and cream cheese. Do not add any lemon flavour or colouring to this batch.
  • Fit a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice (a large star tip works well). Carefully fill the piping bag so that the yellow lemon frosting fills one side of the bag and the cream cheese frosting fills the other side. Twist the top of the bag closed tightly. Do a test strip of frosting until you see both colours come through together.
  • Pipe a swirl or rosette onto each cupcake. The frosting should come out with a stripe of yellow and white.


  • Don’t overmix the cupcake batter otherwise, they will turn rubbery.
  • If the swirl is all too hard, just make one large batch of sunny yellow cream cheese frosting and pipe that onto the cakes instead.
  • I used Bundaberg Traditional Lemonade in my cupcakes. I like this variety because it’s full of flavour and you can see bits of lemon floating in the drink.