By Wendy Stoltz / Last Modified On January 15, 2023
You are going to love these simple, from scratch, Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes. This bakery-style cupcake is tender and has the perfect amount of lemon.
Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes
These gluten-free lemon cupcakes are wonderful and will melt in your mouth. They are topped with a fluffy lemon butter cream frosting, adding just the right amount of tang for anyone who loves lemon desserts.
I originally posted this gluten-free cupcake recipe in April of 2014. My photography has improved by leaps and bounds over the past years, and I am having so much fun redoing photos for my recipes. I really want the photos to show you how wonderful these Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes are.
When I originally posted this recipe, I only took one photo. Over the years I've learned that people eat with their eyes, meaning the more photos the better! Within reason, of course.
Have you ever been to site that has ten to fifteen photos on each page? That's a bit too much for even me. I like to have three or four different shots of the recipe, showing different angles. And because that's what I like, I tend to now include three or four photos of the recipe in the post. If you don't want to see my lovely photos, simply scroll down.
These gluten-free lemon cupcakes are one of my all-time favorite gluten-free cupcake recipes. They are simple, fresh, and I just love the burst of lemon flavor you get with them.
Is lemon juice and lemon extract the same?
It's not the same. Lemon juice is acidic and can't be replaced with extract which is usually alcohol based. Similarly, fresh lemon juice and bottled juice react differently. In many cases bottled lemon juice causes batter to get rubbery. If a recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, use fresh lemon juice or you risk ruining the batter.
Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes
These Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes are MAGICAL! They have just the right amount of lemon that leaves you with a sweet and tangy finish and the frosting is second to none. Every time I bring these cupcakes to a party or a BBQ people tell me how refreshing they are.
Kids fight over them. Adults dive for them as soon as the plate hits the counter. I am lucky my family even lets me take them out of the house. Maybe it's because lemon is such a happy flavor, or maybe it's because lemons are yellow and yellow is a bright color, but lemon anything is a favorite of mine.
Just in case you were wondering, these cupcakes are neighbor tested and approved.
How to make gluten-free lemon cupcakes
There are a couple of tips and tricks to getting the right texture with gluten-free cupcakes. First, you have to follow the recipe. So many people comment on recipe posts saying that they made a ton of substitutions and the recipe didn't turn out. Other than the dairy substitute, I haven't tried other substitutes in this recipe. If you use substitutions, you are doing so at your own risk.
Second, you want to mix at the right time and not over-mix. When you are beating the oil, sugar, and eggs you'll want to beat it for the time listed. This adds air which in turn helps the cupcakes rise. Once you add your flour mixture, you'll only want to beat until combined. Beating any longer will cause the batter to stiffen.
Why did my gluten-free lemon cupcakes explode?
First off, you may have overfilled the cupcake wells. Never fill more then ¾ of the way full, and it's best to stick to around ⅔'s of the way full. I use a ¼ measuring cup to fill mine. Another reason could be that you added too much leavening agent, or that you are at higher elevation. Baking powder tends to work twice as hard at higher elevations. Consider cutting your baking powder in half if you are at a higher elevation.
These tips are relevant to most cupcake recipes, not just these Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes.
Working with Gluten-Free Flours
When working with or measuring gluten-free flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level. Do not scoop your measuring cup into the gluten-free flour. The best method really is to weigh the gluten-free flour it but I don't have the ingredient weights for all my recipes yet.
What other milk can I use?
For this recipe I used almond milk, which is a dairy-free milk. You can use regular milk or you milk of choice.
If you like these gluten-free lemon cupcakes you might also like my Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes. If you make this recipe please stop back by and let me know what you thought.
Did you make these gluten free lemon cupcakes? Please stop back by and let me know what you thought in the comments below.
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ¼ cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour)
- 1 ½ teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon, not lemon juice from a bottle)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from the same lemon)
- ½ cup milk (or dairy-free milk)
For the frosting:
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature (or dairy-free butter)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon lemon extract)
- 3-4 tablespoons milk (or dairy-free milk), as needed
- For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-serving cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric beater, beat oil and sugar for one minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each egg. Stir in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Add the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients and mix just till combined. Don’t over mix!
- Divide batter among liners, filling ⅔ full (about ¼ cup of batter per cupcake).
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: Beat butter until creamy. Add lemon juice or extract and beat till combined. Beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until it’s all added, alternating with 1 tablespoon of milk. Add more or less milk for desired consistency.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
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Serving Size:1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 49gProtein: 3g