Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

By Tessa Arias
July 27th, 2016
4.42 from 12 votes
4.42 from 12 votes

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist with tons of fresh lemon and blueberry flavors, plus an easy swirled buttercream that will impress everyone!

Yield: 15 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist with tons of fresh lemon and blueberry flavors, plus an easy swirled buttercream for a gourmet look that will impress everyone!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Absolutely bursting with fresh, fruity, and tangy flavors!
Texture: The cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist, with juicy blueberries studded throughout. Then the buttercream is ultra rich, smooth, and creamy. Heaven!
Ease: Just follow the recipe as I’ve written it and you’ll have beautiful cupcakes perfect for summer in no time!
Pros: So pretty, flavorful, and doable.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

I think I might be a bit of a weirdo when it comes to spring and summer fruits…

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist with tons of fresh lemon and blueberry flavors, plus an easy swirled buttercream for a gourmet look that will impress everyone!

Nine times out of ten, I’d prefer to eat fruit raw. As close to off the vine / bush / tree as possible. I want that unadulterated naturally sweet goodness because most fruit is so perfect as it is.

That’s actually why I don’t bake with fruit too often. I just want to eat it up and there’s never enough left to make it into a recipe! However, I had an absolute surplus of blueberries recently that I couldn’t possibly consume before they went bad so I just had to bake them up into something delish.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist with tons of fresh lemon and blueberry flavors, plus an easy swirled buttercream for a gourmet look that will impress everyone!

I was recently reminded of just how delightful the lemon & blueberry flavor combination is so I decided to see if I could create a near-perfect recipe for Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. I’m SO excited with what I was able to come up with.

I’ve tried this recipe with both regular milk and buttercream, and the buttercream really does make a difference. It’s worth making the trip to the store! You can learn more about the magic of buttermilk here.

I’ve also used a small amount of brown sugar in addition to the standard granulated sugar and an extra egg yolk. These tweaks ensure the cupcakes are as moist and flavorful as possible, while being tender yet sturdy enough to handle a generous amount of buttercream frosting.

Swirled Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist with tons of fresh lemon and blueberry flavors, plus an easy swirled buttercream for a gourmet look that will impress everyone!

For the gourmet swirled frosting, I simply made one batch of buttercream and added fresh blueberry puree to one half. So easy, but so impressive! I used the Ateco #846 which is a large closed star piping tip.

Be sure to check out my full video tutorial on how to achieve beautiful swirled cupcake frosting here. And if you have any questions about perfecting, customizing, serving, or storing your buttercream, check out this free guide:

4.42 from 12 votes

How to make
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are perfectly tender and moist with tons of fresh lemon and blueberry flavors, plus an easy swirled buttercream that will impress everyone!


For the cupcakes::

  • 1 3/4 cups (222 grams) all-purpose flour, measured correctly
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperatureย 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup (115 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the buttercream::

  • 3/4 cup (115 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 3 cups (306 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
  • Lemon zest, for garnish


Make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยฐF. Line two standard muffin tins with 15 paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy and very well combined, about 3 minutes. On medium-low speed add the egg and yolk and beat until combined. Combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour, mixing until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl toss the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add into the batter and fold with a spatula until combined. Be very careful not to overmix, that will create dense and gummy cupcakes.
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the buttercream:

  1. Using a blender, immersion blender or food processor, puree the blueberries. Pass the pureed blueberries through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium bowl to remove the skins. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute.
  3. Remove half of the buttercream to the bowl and add the blueberry puree gradually until the buttercream is well colored and flavored but not too thin. If the buttercream does get too thin, add more powdered sugar to thicken. If desired, add a few drops of purple food coloring to enhance the blueberry color.
  4. To the plain buttercream, add the cream and beat until well combined.

Swirled Piping

  1. In a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip (such as the Ateco #846), use a spoon to scoop the plain frosting into one section of the bag, using your finger on the outside of the bag to help scrape it off. Repeat with the blueberry frosting. Ensure youโ€™re aligning the frosting so it starts at the same place in the bag. Donโ€™t worry if the colors touch each other.
  2. Squeeze the bag to slightly blur the colors together for a watercolor type effect. Twist the bag and squeeze out a test pipe to ensure the colors are coming out evenly before piping onto your cupcakes. Garnish frosted cupcakes with lemon zest.
  3. Serve or store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Jung — December 9, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Can I make this buttercream a day before?

    • #
      Emily — December 10, 2021 at 11:37 am

      Sure! Store in an air-tight container in the fridge, then bring to room temperature prior to re-whipping and piping onto the cupcakes. Let us know what you think of this recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. #
    Krystina — December 2, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Do you typically use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar for this recipe?

    • #
      Emily — December 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Krystina! We used light brown sugar ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. #
    Terrence Noone — April 15, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Absolutely wonderful. Just wondering if you have any tips for converting this into a whole cake? It was so good I’m going to make it a 3 tier cake for my kid’s birthday party.

  4. #
    Ashley Schaefer — March 14, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    I made these for my mom’s 52nd birthday!
    They were delicious and so pretty! Everyone loved them!
    They were easy to make and everything came together perfectly!
    Thank you for this recipe!!

    • #
      Tessa — March 15, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      I’m so glad to hear this!

  5. #
    Joyce Whitney — March 11, 2021 at 7:37 am

    Turned out great! Very pretty, very tasty. Thanks for the recipe Tessa!

  6. #
    J Marie — January 27, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Sadly – it didn’t work terribly well for me… and I was stunned as I think this was the first semi fail
    that I’ve ever had ๐Ÿ™ And of course it HAD to be for my husbands birthday :((

    I was very excited to try this one. Followed the recipe to the letter. The cupcakes faired pretty well
    although I too found them a bit dense… despite baking them according to the toothpick test.. I think
    they may have needed a bit more time.

    My BIG problem came with the butter cream icing. It kept separating… or curdling ? I looked
    on line and the suggestion was to mix it longer.. but things didn’t improve. And as I used
    frozen blueberries.. ( defrosted of course) .. there wasn’t much liquid and so the butter
    cream was far too thick, I had to add more whipping cream to loosen the mixture up..
    but it never produced a nice fluffy spreadable icing as featured in the image. I would
    make the cupcakes again but would definitely go with a different icing… SO much butter yikes !!
    Thank you for the recipe nonetheless !

  7. #
    Carol — December 10, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Even with making substitutions for my gluten/ dairy free family, these cupcakes were still absolutely delicious.

    • #
      Tessa — December 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      So happy to hear that, Carol!

  8. #
    Christina — September 3, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    I really liked these cupcakes but I found that when I used fresh blueberry purรฉe for the buttercream it came out so thin. I had to add at least two extra cups of powdered sugar to thicken it up.

    I made a second batch and used blueberry jam instead and it came out much better. I didnโ€™t have to add any powdered sugar and the blueberry flavor was great.

  9. #
    Valene — August 1, 2020 at 7:52 am

    I’m trying to figure out what the problem is

    The lemon juice? The Blueberries?
    Too little of something?

    Cupcakes look wrinkled ontop, and proofed up on one side, didn’t rise too much either

    ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

  10. #
    Marisol — June 27, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Made these today, and they were delicious The buttermilk really does itโ€™s magic for making the texture of the cake so moist! And I switched the buttercream frosting for a whipped cream, cuz my parents donโ€™t eat too much fat tho

  11. #
    Susie — April 26, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Is there any way you can post a tutorial video?

  12. #
    Irina Rusu — April 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Tessa. I’m so excited to try this out! If I want to cut the recipe in half, how much egg should I add?

  13. #
    Kim — April 22, 2020 at 11:57 am

    I love this recipe Tessa! The only thing Iโ€™d change is adding more lemon zest to the batter, only because I LOVE to taste lemon.

    Question: some of my cupcakes fell after being removed from the oven. Some kept their shape. Iโ€™d love to send you a picture.

  14. #
    Kim — March 1, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    I made these for a church event and they received great raves! They were very good and easy to make plus they look beautiful. Thank you!!

  15. #
    Karen — October 9, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Hi there I love the recipe but is it okay if I donโ€™t have cupcake liners or a hand mixer

  16. #
    George A Kruft — September 29, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Hey there, just an FYI. Your printed recipe does not include the crucial part of folding in the fruit. You might want to update. Thanks

  17. #
    Lucia — July 18, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I made a batch of these cupcakes(regular sized and mini cupcakes) for a birthday party. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Simple ingredients, a perfectly moist crumb and just the right amount of lemony flavor. Will definitely be making on repeat this summer!! The lemon-blueberry combination is so refreshing! I followed the recipe exactly as written and they came out great!

  18. #
    Lisa — July 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Tessa ~ I live in Colorado ~ so I would like to ask you to please include High Altitude modifications to your baking recipes..they are DELICIOUS but sometimes literally, fall flat. ugh! Thank you so much, you are a great inspiration!

    • #
      Tessa — July 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Hi Lisa, I’ve never lived or baked at high altitude so unfortunately I can’t offer any help there. I’m sure there are tons of other resources online for high altitude baking adjustments!

  19. #
    Sheila — August 20, 2017 at 6:01 am

    My 10 year old granddaughter loves to cook and saw these on Pinterest. She wanted to make them and I though they sounded good also. We had the same issue as 2 previous commenters had. When the liquid ingredients were mixed, the whole thing curdled. I also tried mixing it with the beater to blend it, but it remained separated. Hoping that it would still be okay when the dry ingredients were added, we finished making them. They were heavy with a very wierd texture and did not have a lot of flavor. Coating the blueberries with flour was a great idea–they stayed whole and were really juicy in the cupcakes. We followed the recipe exactly–don’t know what the issue was. Checked my soda and baking powder and they are both active.

    • #
      Tessa — August 20, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Hi Sheila, I’ve taken these comments into consideration and made some improvements to the recipe. Obviously the recipe turned out well for me when I tested it, but I’m hoping these edits will make it a successful recipe for everyone. I scaled back the lemon juice slightly and replaced the measurements with more accurate tablespoons since I know some people were using very large lemons. I also added the extra step of adding the flour mixture and buttermilk-lemon mixture in alternating batches to avoid curdling. Thanks so much for your feedback!

  20. #
    Kumi — August 4, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Hi! I tried the receipe but when I added the lemon juice the batter separated and curdled. I tried putting the batter in a blender before adding the dry ingredients but the final cupcakes texture was not so good. What do you think I did wrong? All my ingredients were new. I would love to get this right. Thanks

    • #
      PrincessNif — November 11, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      Sadly I had the same experience as Kumi. When adding the milk with lemon, the texture of the batter went like baby sick. A mix of liquid and lumps. Very disappointing. I’m not a seasoned baker by any means, but I followed the recipe exactly. A waste of ingredients sadly.

  21. #
    Deborah Lee Proaรฑo — July 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I was wondering if there was a more concise measurement for the lemons as well. I made these once and it tasted great but were abit dense

  22. #
    Magda — June 4, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Tessa-
    I was wondering if you have tried this recipe with oil instead of butter? Also, what would be the conversion if wanting to replace the butter with oil?

  23. #
    Jo-Ann — August 25, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Lemon and blueberry, 2 of my fave flavors! I made these but they turned out dense (my son thought they tasted like the lemon shortbread cookies I make), not light & fluffy. My lemons were really large and I had a lot of juice. Wondering if there is a more concise measurement on how much fresh lemon juice to use?

  24. #
    blanca — August 1, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Thank u very much for all your recipes, I love them. You are just great. I love the way you cook. Thank you Tessa. I love you. lol.

  25. #
    Leah Rosenberg — July 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Tessa,

    Just tried this recipe and it did not turn out as expected. The cupcakes didn’t rise and they had a wet, kind of gummy texture. They also didn’t have much flavor. I’m wondering where I went wrong because they sounded delicious and yours look so appetizing!

    • #
      Tessa — July 31, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Hi Leah, is your baking soda and baking powder both still fresh and active? Here’s how you can check:

      Baking Soda: Place 1/4 teaspoon in a bowl and pour 1 teaspoon distilled vinegar on top. If it bubbles up, it is fresh. If nothing happens, throw away.
      Baking powder: Place 1 teaspoon in a bowl with 1 cup hot tap water. If it bubbles up, it is fresh. If nothing happens, throw away.

  26. #
    Kelli — July 30, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Awesome cupcake recipe, checked it out & the work place loved them. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
    Frosting – after adding the blueberry puree, mine required an additional 2+ cups of powdered sugar to thicken it enough. Used the exact amount listed so would start with adding a little puree.

    • #
      Tessa — July 31, 2016 at 9:34 am

      So glad to hear that, Kelli! Thanks for your note about the powdered sugar ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. #
    Debbie B — July 29, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Thanks for updating the recipe. I’m going to try this recipe out this weekend.

  28. #
    Debbie B — July 28, 2016 at 3:17 am

    When do you add the dry ingredients? I couldn’t find it in the instructions. Do you add it alternately with the wet ingredients or after the wet ingredients?

  29. #
    Pam Chetty — July 28, 2016 at 2:12 am

    This is awesome

  30. #
    Patty K-P — July 27, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I LOVE to buy fruit in bulk so that I can get the best of both worlds! I’ll eat them fresh and then whatever’s leftover I’ll use in a recipe ๐Ÿ˜€

    • #
      Tessa — July 27, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Good idea!! Now if only we had enough room in our fridge ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. #
    Rachel @ Mesa Cooking Co. — July 27, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Love the frosting on these! What a clever idea for a seriously impressive finish ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      Tessa — July 27, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Thank you, Rachel!

  32. #
    Gemma — July 27, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Oh my!! I can’t wait to try this recipe out! They look like the perfect summer treat!


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