Weekend Cooking: Lemon cupcakes with salted vanilla frosting

I never quite caught onto the cupcake faze. A lot of cupcakes are too sweet, the cake itself not very tasty, it’s all about the frosting. Or maybe I’ve just only had too-sweet, not-very-good cake cupcakes. I mean it’s a huge business after all, there are cupcakes everywhere, dedicated cupcake stores.

So when a friend presented me with a bag of lemons from her tree, it was odd that my mind turned immediately to lemon cupcakes. As the husband later asked, why cupcakes? Why didn’t you think of lemon cake? I haven’t a clue. I just googled “lemon cupcakes” and decided that the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction was worth a try. I liked that she said it could be done in an hour. I have about slightly less than three hours in the morning on weekdays, but wanted to also take a walk (1/2 hour) and make pizza for the kids (I had made an overnight dough and it was rising again in the slightly warmer oven).

I pretty much followed the recipe, except that I reduced the sugar in the cupcake batter to about 150g  and added a splash of lemon essence. I tend to prefer desserts slightly less sweet so you may want to stick to the full 200g.

The vanilla frosting was accidentally salted extra by me. The recipe calls for 1/4 tsp and I seem to have added a bit more than 1/2 tsp. And instead of the 3-4 cups (360-480g) of powdered sugar, I used about 275g and found it to be sweet enough. (here’s the recipe)

Speaking of sweet, one of the most curious things about living in America (6 years now!) is that Easter = candy. I’m not religious (although the Husband is Catholic) so Easter was not a thing growing up, although in Singapore, Good Friday is a public holiday. It was fascinating to find SO MANY different types of Easter candy available at stores like Target. And the Easter egg hunt thing! The kids had so much fun doing that at preschool. Although thankfully the preschool has a no-candy rule so the eggs are filled with little erasers, trinkets or stickers.

So when life (or a friend) gives you lemons, make lemon cupcakes with salted vanilla frosting. Dinosaur sprinkles optional.

Happy Easter!



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  1. Cupcakes are often far too sweet so it sounds as if leaving out some of the sugar is probably the way to go. Great to have a no-candy policy at the school too.


  2. I find that commercially baked cupcakes usually have too much frosting. I love the sound of those lemon cupcakes — homemade seems the only way to go in order to adjust the sweetness of the cake and the quantity of frosting :).


    1. That is so true Jama! I find that reducing sugar in many cake recipes just makes it so much more palatable!


    1. Yes I find that some lemon recipes don’t taste lemony enough so I started using the essence. It kind of kicks it up a little.


  3. I love lemon anything too — and I like the extra tartness as well, so your version looks great. I like cupcakes but not that HUGE mound of icing most of them have. Love those dinosaur sprinkles.


  4. I find cupcakes too sweet as well … with too much frosting. I like the idea of reducing the sugar to bring out the lemon flavor.

    LOVE the colorful sprinkles 🙂


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