Lemon Drop Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Somewhere between a lemon drop cocktail, a lemon drop candy, and a lemon cupcake. Using Italian limoncello liqueur in place of lemon juice gives these cupcakes just a mild lemon taste. Add another dash of limoncello to the frosting, a sprinkle of crushed lemon drop candies, and a glazed lemon slice for a fun cupcake. Mascarpone frosting, with its rich whipped cream taste, is a perfect accompaniment to lemon cupcakes. Limoncello is a sweet, yellow lemon liqueur from Italy.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cupcakes | Butter Cakes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
  • ¼ cup limoncello liqueur
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
Glazed Lemon Slices:
  • 3 to 5 small lemons
  • About 1 cup granulated sugar
Mascarpone Limoncello Frosting:
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1½ cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup limoncello liqueur
  • About 10 to 20 lemon drop candies, finely crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard 12-cup muffin pans; line with paper cupcake liners.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk and limoncello liqueur together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, lemon zest, and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter and lemon zest in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter and orange zest about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill ⅔ full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup. Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
  7. Bake: Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Glazed Lemon Slices:
  1. Slice each lemon into ¼ inch slices and remove any seeds. Roll each slice in granulated sugar until well coated.
  2. Place a single layer of lemon slices in a large skillet and cook over low heat on the stovetop for 10 to 15 minutes or until the lemons have a translucent look and appear glazed, turning the lemons occasionally. Do not let the sugar burn or the lemons will turn brown. Remove from heat and transfer lemons to a baking sheet lined with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper and let cool thoroughly. Tip: Glazed lemon slices can be made the day before and refrigerated until ready to use.
  3. Just before placing lemons on the completed cupcakes, re-roll the cooled lemon slices in granulated sugar or turbinado sugar.
Mascarpone Limoncello Frosting:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, confectioners’ sugar, whipping cream, and lemon zest; use an electric mixer and beat together until mixture is smooth. Add limoncello liqueur and continue to beat 2 to 4 minutes or until frosting is thick and fluffy. Mascarpone frosting should be used immediately, or refrigerate until needed.
  2. Use a small offset spatula to frost the top of each cupcake, or use a pastry bag and decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
  1. Refrigerate frosted cupcakes until ready to serve. Just before serving sprinkle a little of the crushed lemon drop candies over the frosting and place a glazed lemon slice in the frosting. Refrigerate leftovers.
Adapted From: Better Homes and Gardens Cupcakes, 2012
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Standard 12-Cup Muffin Pan Pan Prep: Paper Liners Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 30 Cupcakes Storage: Covered, Room Temperature

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cupcakes/lemon-drop-cupcakes/