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Best Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

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These lemon cupcakes are the best you’ll ever eat!  Made with a box of cake mix, this cupcake recipe is super easy to make and they taste amazing!

Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts because they are so easy and versatile.  Some of my other favorite cupcakes are these Pinata Cupcakes, Key Lime Cupcakes and Carrot Cake Cupcakes recipes.

a white cake stand with several lemon cupcakes topped with a cream cheese frosting and white sprinkles. There are a couple of lemons on the counter next to the cake stand.

Easy Lemon Cupcakes

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love a good cupcake? They remind me of birthday parties and special occasions from childhood, and they just make me happy! As much as I love to bake cupcakes, sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to make them from scratch.

Using a cake mix to make cupcakes is the perfect shortcut! By adding a few simple ingredients to a basic cake mix, you can get that delicious homemade taste without putting in all the effort. Cupcake win!

These delicious lemon cupcakes could not be easier to make! You’ll start with a lemon cake mix, then add egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. The buttermilk and sour cream add so much richness to the cake mix, and give it that delicious homemade taste.

a box of lemon supreme duncan hines cake mix, a jar of vanilla, butter, milk, eggs and sugar sitting on a counter

How To Make Cake Mix Lemon Cupcakes

Preparation – Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grab two cupcake tins and line them with cute paper cupcake liners.

Cupcake Batter – Whisk together the vanilla, buttermilk, egg whites, sour cream and oil in a large mixing bowl.  Next, add in the cake mix and stir until everything has combined.  Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one about 2/3 of the way.

Baking – Cook the cupcakes in the oven for about 20-22 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done, once you can stick a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean.  Let them cool completely before frosting them.

a cupcake tin with white paper liners filled with lemon cupcake batter

Cream Cheese Frosting

My favorite frosting to use for these lemon cupcakes is this totally amazing Cream Cheese Frosting. The flavors complement each other perfectly, and I love that the frosting is so light and silky. And if you need some tips for frosting beautiful cupcakes, be sure to check out our Basic Cupcake Tips!

  1. Combine the softened cream cheese and butter, vanilla, salt powdered sugar and milk into a bowl
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat everything until the frosting is smooth
  3. Frost the cupcakes

Baking Tips

Mixing – Be sure to mix the wet ingredients together first, then add the cake mix to the bowl.  This will allow the ingredients to mix properly and have a consistent flavor.

Be careful not to over mix the batter.  If you over-mix them, the texture of the cupcakes won’t turn out as well. Stir everything until they have just combined.

Storage – If you’re going to make the frosting ahead of time, be sure to cover it tightly so it doesn’t dry out.  I usually smash down a piece of parchment paper over the top of the frosting so that it’s airtight.

Cooling – Once the lemon cupcakes are baked, let them cool completely before frosting. If you try to frost them when they’re even the slightest bit warm, the frosting will melt and slide right off of them.

baked yellow lemon cupcakes fresh out of the oven in a cupcake pan

Other Delicious Lemon Recipes

Lemon Cupcake Recipe

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4.49 from 29 votes

Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

These quick and delicious lemon cupcakes taste absolutely amazing, and no one will ever guess that they're made with a cake mix!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword party, summer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 Cupcakes
Calories 250 kcal


for the cupcakes:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package lemon cake mix

for the frosting:

  • 8 oz package of cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners.

  2. To make the cupcakes, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sour cream, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the cake mix, and mix until just combined (be careful not to over-mix). Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake tins, filling 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended and smooth. Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Cupcakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


eight lemon cake mix cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a cake stand.

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