clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Front view of gluten-free lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting, fresh berries, and edible flowers on a white cake stand

Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 Cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These light, fluffy lemon cupcakes are lovely for any special occasion! (Dairy-Free Friendly)

Note: you’ll have a generous amount of frosting here (about 2 1/2 cups), which may be more than you need depending on what style decoration you use. The nutrition facts include the full amount of frosting, so the actual nutrition facts are likely less than what is shown below (since you’ll have frosting leftover).



For Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice*
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest* (about 2 lemons’ worth)
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (can sub melted coconut oil, butter or vegan butter)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/41/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour baking blend (we recommend King Arthur Flour Measure-For-Measure)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Lemon Simple Syrup:

  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

For the Lemon Frosting:

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) butter or vegan butter, softened to room temperature (not melted)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest*
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt (less than 1/8 tsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice*
  • 2 Tbsp. milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 33 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Optional decoration: fresh berries, edible flowers, fresh mint, candied lemon slices, sprinkles, etc.


For Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup (or a small bowl), combine lemon juice and milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. While the lemon juice and milk is sitting, rub lemon zest into the sugar in a large bowl. (This gets the lemon oil into the sugar and distributes the flavor.)
  4. Add milk mixture, avocado oil, eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract to the sugar mixture. Whisk until well combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Scoop the batter into your muffin cups, filling almost to the top.
  7. Bake cupcakes 17-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, with just a few moist crumbs.
  8. Brush the cupcakes with your lemon syrup (see below) and cool completely before frosting.

For the Lemon Simple Syrup:

  1. While the cupcakes are baking, make your lemon simple syrup. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon juice. Warm in the microwave 20-30 seconds and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. (You can do this in a saucepan on the stove, if you prefer)
  2. When the cupcakes come out of the oven and are still warm, brush the syrup over the cupcakes.
  3. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

For the Lemon Frosting:

  1. When the cupcakes are completely cool, make your lemon frosting.
  2. In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), beat the softened butter 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Add lemon zest, vanilla, salt, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. milk and beat to combine.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat to mix in.
  5. Add another 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. milk and beat until light, fluffy, and well incorporated.
  6. If your frosting still seems a bit wet or seems slightly separated, add more powdered sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time until it reaches a better consistency.
  7. If your frosting seems a bit dry, you can add more milk or lemon juice 1 tsp. at a time until it’s thinned out to a better consistency.
  8. Transfer frosting to a piping bag (you may need to this with 1/2 the frosting at a time), and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes or spread the frosting on with an offset spatula.
  9. Add any desired decorations while the frosting is still soft and enjoy!
  10. Note: you’ll have a generous amount of frosting here (about 2 1/2 cups), which may be more than you need depending on what style decoration you use.


*Pro tip: Zest your lemons FIRST, then juice them.

Storage notes: If you’ve added non-perishable decorations (like sprinkles) the cupcakes can stay at room temperature up to 24 hours. If you’ve added perishable decorations (like fresh berries, mint, flowers, etc.), the cupcakes can stay out at room temperature for up to 2 hours, and then need to be refrigerated.

Try 14. These cupcakes are definitely on the big side, so if you like, you can divide the batter among 14 muffin cups instead of 12 and fill them all about 3/4 full. There will be plenty of icing to make 14 cupcakes.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Amercan