Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello-Cream Cheese Frosting

Limoncello Cupcakes

When it comes to cupcakes, I’m a vanilla kind of girl. I usually just like the basic stuff –  yellow cake, white frosting, sometimes sprinkles. But, after making a bottle of homemade limoncello, I started envisioning ways I could use it in my baking and kick things up a notch. After all, a girl’s gotta branch out beyond vanilla!

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

These soft, spongey cream cheese and lemon cupcakes pumped full of fresh lemon curd were just the zip of fresh spring flavor I needed! They were also surprisingly simple, though at first the recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker seemed time consuming and like something that I (not the world’s best baker) could easily mess up.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that these cupcakes, and their gooey lemon curd center, were easy to get right! And thankfully, I did get them right in time to send off to my husband’s potluck lunch at work a few weeks ago. Which brings up another point… Wouldn’t weekday lunches be so much more exciting with an afternoon cupcake? I think yes.

Limoncello Cupcakes Recipe

Try these little lemony delights for your family, friends or coworkers and you’ll understand what I mean! The lemon flavor is vibrant, the lemon curd a slightly tart surprise in the center, and the cream cheese frosting combines to create a heavenly flavor with the soft, sweet cake. Top it with a berry or other fun garnish, and you’ve got yourself a tasty, pretty springtime dessert that everyone will love!

PrintPrint Recipe

Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello-Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes 14 cupcakes

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

      

57 Responses to “Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello-Cream Cheese Frosting”

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    Cristina — April 20, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    Georgia: I like everything about these cupcakes and that it yields 14. Delicate, pretty little cakes. ;)

    At our local airport, there’s a Starbucks that sells the most amazing limoncello muffins. I can’t find them anywhere else and look fwd to them as a treat when I’m flying outta town. I luv your adaption and will add these to the list of must-makes!

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    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — April 20, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    Yum! I love lemon cake, these look divine!

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    Cassie @ Bake Your Day — April 20, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    These look so wonderful and decadent, I just love lemon and I can guarantee you that I’ll be making these soon. PS – my wedding colors are black and yellow, these would fit right in, great pictures! :)

    Congrats on your house too!

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    Shanon — April 20, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    These look so bright and cheery! I saw your limoncello post, but I have never ever made it. These cupcakes are even more of a reason. They look so elegant. :)

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    Angie's Recipes — April 20, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    wow Those cupcakes look so fresh, pretty and seasonal!

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    Karen — April 20, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    These are what I would call “couture cupcakes” – beautiful and elegant!

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    Jenn — April 20, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    Oh my….yes, I would like a dozen. Are you taking orders? I’ll pay for the shipping, of course :)
    Georgia, those look absolutely incredible! I can only imagine how wonderful they taste!

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    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — April 20, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    these look beautiful!!! i LOVE lemon anything :)

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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — April 20, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Wow! These are just absolutely beautiful. I have been really on a citrus kick lately and want to try and make lemon curd for the first time. Now I’m super inspired!

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    Catherine — April 20, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    These cupcakes look wonderful. I am sure your husband made a hit at the office with these cupcakes! They look delish! The look all about spring. Blessings, Catherine
    I am now following your blog and I hope that you will visit my blog and do the same. Thank you, Catherine
    http//www.LivingtheGourmet.blogspot.com

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    Alexis @ There She Goes — April 20, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    I do enjoy limoncello– never thought to put it in cupcakes, this sounds like a winning combo :)

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    wendyweekendgourmet — April 20, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    Yes, please! These came out lovely, Georgia. I don’t feel like a pastry chef most days, but I do try since I want to improve. Love the raspberry on top of these cupcakes — nice little pop of color!!!

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    Pam — April 20, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    Wow do those look so delicious and absolutely beautiful too! Yum!!!

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    Sweet And Crumby — April 20, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    Georgia, these look beautiful and scrumptious…a perfect combination. The photos are stunning as well. My husband adores lemon anything so I think these will be on my short list of things to bake.

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    Kathy - Panini Happy — April 20, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

    These sound lemony perfect! Love the liners too.

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    sammiamm — April 20, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    Those cupcakes look delicious! I love how you use natural decorations on top!

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    Kate@Diethood — April 20, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    Oh my goodness…I want that frosting! I could lick the screen!

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    warmvanillasugar — April 20, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    You impressed me with the lemoncello recipe and now this! I think I love you, lol.

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    Juliana — April 20, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    Oh! These lemon cupcakes look fabulous, specially with lemoncello filling…love how you decorated…so pretty and elegant. Hope you are having a great week :-)

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    Lucy — April 20, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

    Georgia – These look amazing! I bet everyone at your husband’s work loves you! I have been dying to try a lemon curd recipe, it looks so good.

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    Karen — April 20, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    Oh my goodness…these sound so wonderful. LOVE the use of the limoncello. It must taste so bright and refreshing. Yum!

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    Sarah — April 20, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    These look INCREDIBLE!!

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    Katie @ This Chick Cooks — April 21, 2011 @ 12:25 am

    These cupcakes look fantastic. It’s hard for me to believe you’re not a baker since they look perfect!

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    theUngourmet — April 21, 2011 @ 2:02 am

    I love the black and white liners with the raspberry on top. Amazing! These look fantastic with the lemon curd tucked inside. I’ve always wanted to make lemon curd. :)

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    sweetpeaskitchen.com — April 21, 2011 @ 2:03 am

    Incredible! I love lemon desserts. I have a bottle of limoncello that we brought back from Italy that I think I need to crack open. Yummy! :)

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    Holly — April 21, 2011 @ 2:57 am

    Wow!!! Your cupcakes sound amazing!! BEAUTIFUL pictures!!

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    Rachel — April 21, 2011 @ 4:02 am

    Gorgeous. I’m bookmarking this one. And I love your cupcake wrappers!

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    Nami @ Just One Cookbook — April 21, 2011 @ 4:13 am

    Whoa… so pretty. Please don’t laugh, but I have never tried making cupcakes with frosting and all. How long does it take to make something like this? I’m so sorry for asking such an elementary question… But it looks like it requires so much detail work… I’d love to make them for my kids, but I’m usually too busy just making dinner everyday…

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    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — April 21, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    I totally agree, these would make any afternoon better. I love the three layers of lemon from the cupcake to the filling and the frosting!

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    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — April 21, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    Look at that beautiful center! These are amazing, Georgia! Great work!

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    savoringeverybite — April 21, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    Georgia, These are absolutely adorable! I love the little raspberry on top. I’m thinking Mother’s Day will be a perfect time to bake a batch of these sunny, pretty cupcakes!

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    Maris (In Good Taste) — April 21, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    These sound wonderful…so refreshing and perfect for springtime!

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    Lisa@ Tarte du Jour — April 21, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    Lemony creamy dreamy… right up my alley! Hello spring!

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    ''Cucina di Barbara'' — April 21, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Oh my God!
    these pictures are absolutely spot on!!!
    Love them!
    Barbara

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    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — April 21, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    Thanks so much everyone!

    Nami – Start to finish, these took about 45 minutes, not including baking time.

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    briarrose — April 21, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

    Charming cupcakes! I would be in lemon heaven. There is just something about so much luscious lemon that hits the spot for me. :)

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    cajunlicious — April 21, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    Those cupcakes are calling my name!!!

    I received one more tag game and it is about Easter Menu..I tagged you and I hope that you will find time to participate!
    Visit my blog for more info!! thanks!

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    Kristina (Tina) — April 21, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    What pretty cupcakes! :)

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    Val — April 21, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    You officially stole my heart with this recipe!!! AMAZING

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    Tracey — April 21, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    Wow, these are gorgeous Georgia! I love the contrasting color of the raspberry on top. Lemon desserts are one of my favorites, can’t wait to try these.

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    Sandra — April 22, 2011 @ 3:59 am

    mmmm….I am totally in love with your cupcakes!
    Beautifully done and gorgeous photos!!!

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    Free Spirit Eater — April 22, 2011 @ 6:18 am

    Your cupcakes are stunning! Gorgeous photography and great color contrast. Congratulations on Top 9 you certainly deserve it! =]

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    The Harried Cook — April 22, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    beautiful cupcakes & fantastic photography! you deserve a spot in the Top 9 for sure! Congrats :) I am following you now… :) Can’t wait to see what else you’re going to cook up! :)

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    Lindsey — April 22, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    These cupcakes look deliciously stunning! I wish I had one right now! :)

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    Sandra — April 23, 2011 @ 12:01 am

    Very pretty Georgia and Congrats on making Top 9 and finding such a goregous house!

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    mrstseats — April 23, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    These sounds absolutely AMAZING. I am craving anything lemon these days now that spring has officially settled in. Gorgeous photos too!

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    Pacheco Patty — April 23, 2011 @ 1:24 am

    These cupcakes are stunning in your photos and I can only imagine how delicious they tasted;-)

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    Anna A. — April 23, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Nice! I made these exact same cupcakes except yours turned out way prettier than mine! I was surprised at how easy lemon curd is to make.

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    Patty H. — April 24, 2011 @ 2:16 am

    These look wonderful,and I can almost taste the lemony combinations!

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    All That's Left Are The Crumbs — April 24, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    Afternoons would definitely be better with a cupcake, or two. These look absolutely delicious and I love that they have multiple sources of lemon combining to make one yummy cupcake.

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    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen — April 24, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    These look absolutely delicious and SO pretty. I can’t wait to try them out!
    Mary

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    Lynda — April 27, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    I am a sucker for lemon- anything, and these cupcakes sound fantastic!

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    Frany — May 5, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    They look so cute and perfect! I like them a lot! Thanks for this cool recipe!

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    Anonymous — February 12, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    These cupcakes were perfect!!! I made them for an Anniversary party and they were a huge hit. Not too sweet and just the perfect amount of lemon. The frosting was to die for!

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    Bluebell Woods — July 8, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    Looks awesome. I love lemon. Will be following you now. I dont often cook cakes and sweet things but love to look at the wonderful pictures. This inspires me to try a few though, its certainly not for the like of cake but of a matter of weight……….so I dont indulge often.
    Janice

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    Vera Zecevic - Cupcakes Garden — September 2, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    Perfect job! Gorgeous cupcakes with great images! I would like to showcase this recipe on my cupcake recipes & ideas blog if you agree. Best regards

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    Anonymous — February 7, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

    AWESOME and so beautiful!!! I got rave reviews on these beautiful cupcakes. I topped with a blueberry. Several people asked for the recipe and I let them know that they are on my pintrest board. Will make again and again…

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