Rachel Allen's lemon cupcakes

(106 ratings)
Rachel Allen's lemon cupcakes
Rachel Allen's lemon cupcakes
  • Makes: 12

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

These cute lemon cupcakes from Rachel Allen are perfect with an afternoon cup of tea!


  • 125g (4 oz) butter, softened
  • 125g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest large lemon (keeping the zest of the remaining lemon for the lemon icing)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • tsp baking powder

For the lemon butter icing:

  • 75g (3oz) butter, softened
  • 125g (4 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of large lemon
  • 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 crystallised flowers (optional)


  1. To make this cupcake recipe, preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole cake tin with 12 paper cases.
  2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and grated lemon zest and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture. Alternatively, whizz all the ingredients together in an electric food mixer.
  3. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes, until risen and golden. When cooked, the centre of each cake should be slightly springy to the touch. Remove the cakes from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool before you ice them.
  4. To make the lemon butter icing, cream the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon or hand-held electric beater until very soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat into the butter, along with the lemon zest and enough lemon juice to soften the icing, to a spreadable consistency.
  5. When the cupcakes are cool, spread a generous heaped teaspoon of lemon butter icing over the top of each one. Decorate with the crystallised flowers (if using them).

This recipe is taken from Rachel Allen's new book Bake, available from Amazon, RRP 20.

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  • 4
(106 ratings)

Your comments


I use this cupcake mix for all my cupcakes now. without the lemon. they're so light and fluffy. Kudos!


I added poppy seeds to these and a few drops of milk to soften up the mixture. They smell delicious!


These were delicious! Thank you!!

emma gardiner

it is lovely

Barrie Tumbridge

I have no idea what is going wrong with everyones cakes but these rose perfectly and were so light and fluffy. I did mix the whole thing by hand though. I find you can over mix with an electric mixer, especially if you don't fold the flour into the mix as it knocks all the air out and give a very heavy sponge.

Barrie Tumbridge

7-10 minutes?? surely not. At that temp mine took 20-25 minutes. They rose perfectly and tasted great. The second time I baked them I added a little Sicilian lemon extract to the mix and they were very zingy. Yum........


Just made these for a family shindig tonight.. They turned out deadly. Used a touch more than the recommended bp and they fluffed up nicely. Cut a thin slice of lemon wedge on top to decorate and they look professional. Great recipe, will make again. Thanks


Like others mine didn't rise either, will use sr flour next time....dissapointed

Nancy Cook

lemon cup cakes turned out great. light & lovely. used real butter, so creamed these in processor first, mixed the rest by hand. getting them in the oven really quick is the secret.

Queeny H

Amazing! I do not know why people are saying theirs did not rise, mine rose to heaven!!! Tasty delicous! Delish Dish 5/5


they were yum...came out really well

Victoria Essex Linturn

probably about the worst recipe i have ever used, unless you want heavy claggy cakes!! i have never failed using the tana ramsey lemon drizzle cake recipe but thought id try somehting else - a complete waste of time

Sharon Bentley-Phelps

I thought 1/4 tsp baking powder wasn't enough, should have added more but not sure that would have made a big difference. My cupcakes didn't rise at all, barely enough batter for 12 cupcakes and seperated from the cupcake papers even though I removed them from the tin within 2 minutes of taking them out of the oven. On the bright side, I filled with cream cheese, topped with buttercream icing so they tasted good. Probably won't try this recipe again.


Absolutely smashing - I made these for my son's birthday party and had many many a compliment for how nice they were - I did use Self raising flour (because I automatically did without reading the recipe) but thye were fab and I did cook them for about 12-15 minutes rather than 7-10. I then used the buttercream recipe and pipped the icing onto each bun so they looked magnificent as well. Everyone praised them adn loved how 'lemony' they were. made a 2nd batch today!

Katy goodtoknow Recipes

Hi Korearox, Gill and Becca - sorry to hear you didn't get on with this recipe - it's from Bake by Rachel Allen and I've just check and the recipe here is exactly the same as the one in the book. 1/2 tsp more baking powder might help, as will creaming the butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Hope that helps.


Mine were exactly the same! Wasted time and effort!


Worst ever recipe, was hoping for something wonderful to make for charity event - they are so bad I threw them in the bin!

gill kedgley

Don't know what i've done wrong, mine didn't rise very muck atall - maybe i'll try again!


I'm not sure what everyone else was doing to their cakes but mine certainly didn't turn out 'light and fluffy'! :( They hardly rose at all, think the recipe needs more baking powder.


fantastic just like mum used to make, works every time


made these with my daughter and the cakes turned out lovely, icing was abit slody but just added more icin to thicken out.. i still love this website..


Really straightforward recipe with excellent results. I added slightly more lemon juice to the icing as I didn't think it was wet enough - apart from that - perfect :o)


Totally Yummylicious!!! A light delight. xx


These were great!! Easy-I just mixed all the ingredients and whipped them, popped them in the oven and out came the most delicious, fluffy, moist lemon cake ever. This recipe comes out great as a whole cake also-havent tried the cupcake yet.


yummy cakes!!!


these are delicious with a capital D. First lot were rubbish, not sure why but second try was just perfect. Try a spoonful of maple syrup for an out of this world sweet and zingy taste!


i made double the mixture and put them in muffin cases! the lemon icing is amazing and there is more of a bite in the larger cases!


I tried it with orange and it turned out perfect!!! : )


lovely cakes really nice flavour, my mixture made 18 cakes!!

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