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Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

by Kathy Przywara

These cupcakes are a yummy, lemony sponge-type cake.  Top them with my Lemonade Buttercream Frosting and you'll have a fabulous summertime treat.


Photo courtesy of Melanie Croft

Lemonade Cupcakes
# of Servings: 12 cupcakes

1 1/4  cups  flour
1  tsp  baking powder*
1/4  tsp  baking soda
1/2  tsp  salt
1/2  cup  graulated sugar
1/4  cup  brown sugar
1/3  cup  oil
1  cup  coconut or soy milk*
1  tsp  vanilla
1    lemon, zest and juice

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

Combine dry ingredients, including sugars, in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

Combine wet ingredients, including lemon zest, in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.

Pour the wet works over the dry works. Whisk to combine. Do not beat.

Divide among the 12 cupcakes - about 1/4 cup each should fill it 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Do not underbake or they tend to fall as they cool. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely before frosting.

If you are avoiding wheat or gluten, you can make the gluten-free version of Lemon Wacky Cake.

Lemonade Buttercream Frosting

1  stick  butter (contains milk) or dairy-free stick margarine* (at room temperature)
1/2    lemon, zest and juice
1  Tbsp  water
3  cups  powdered sugar*
1  tsp  vanilla
  pinch  salt

Cream (beat it with a mixer) the butter or margarine until fluffy. Add lemon zest and juice. Beat until fluffy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add another cup and beat well. Add water, vanilla, salt and final cup of powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Adjust consistency with a little more powdered sugar or water (a teaspoon at a time) if needed.

This is a rather soft frosting, but can be piped with a 1M star tip to make a nice swirl/rosette on cupcakes. Garnish was some lemon zest or twist.

I have not tried this with shortening, but it should work. It will likely be stiffer and may require an additional teaspoon of water. I would not use tub or light margarine as it will be too soft.

*Use whatever butter or margarine  is safe for your allergies for the frosting. Butter contains milk. If you have a milk allergy,  use a milk-free/dairy-free margarine. There are also soy-free margarine choices available. Use whatever milk alternative is safe for your allergies for the cake. Use safe powdered sugar (most contain corn starch) but you can find ones that contain tapioca starch.  Corn-free baking powder is available as well.

If you need assistance with any of the ingredients or if you need guidance on substitutions to make this recipe safe for your child with food allergies, just log-in and post your questions.  You can add comments to this blog post, or you can visit our Food & Cooking support forum.  Registration is free!

Kathy Przywara is KFA's recipe coordinator for the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation online collection of recipes.  She has two children who have dealt with various food allergies.


Images (1)
  • Lemon cupcakes free of dairy, egg, soy, corn and nuts

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Comments (18)

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My Trader Joe's stocks it all year... I wonder if you could get it more often by talking to the store manager?  They are always very nice. 

I'll bet Trader Joe's "brand" is really repackaged Wholesome Sweeteners!


Wholesome Sweeteners powdered sugar is also corn free - it uses tapioca starch.  Trader Joe's is great, but it's only available "seasonally" during the winter/holiday baking season.  They may still have some left, so stock up if you find it!

Kathy P

...or, you can make your own powdered sugar in a "dry" Vitamix blender container by grinding up regular sugar...but I prefer to buy it at Trader Joe's since I feel as if I make almost everything else mysef!  Trader Joe's version has tapicoa starch instead of corn starch.

Originally Posted by nursebrown:

Coconut is now considered a nut...


The FDA considers coconut a tree nut; however, coconut is actually seed of a drupaceous fruit and is normally safe for those with tree nut allergies. Most tree nut allergic individuals can tolerate coconut, but it is always best to discuss coconut trials with your doctor


You start with one lemon, and then use all the zest and juice you can get from it. I have a little hand zester to use on the peel to get the zest. Then I either cut the lemon into wedges that I squeeze by hand or cut it into half to use on a small juicer.


These are delicious!  I used light brown sugar since the recipe didn't say which.  Also used rice milk instead of just water for the frosting.  And palm shortening.  We like tart, so we used less sugar in the  frosting than it called for.

They were a big hit with kiddos AND grown ups. Thank you so much...we added the recipe to our kitchen's, "Good Safe Stuff," binder!

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