Cupcakes and Muffins · Dairy-Free · Fiesta Friday · Gluten-Free

Lemon Cupcakes (g/f, d/f – base only)

There’s nothing else for it when you have a surplus of lemons, and quite a few delicious looking lemon recipes on hand, except to go on a lemon recipe adventure! Not to mention that I’m having a lot more luck with the job hunt as of late! I’ve had a few interviews here and there, and the reception of my applications has been largely positive. I might even have secured a casual work position which could then open up other employment pathways that I’ve been very interested in! But training for that won’t begin until much later this month, so I’m not ignoring any other possible options in the meantime.
So for this week’s Fiesta Friday, I decided to try these lemon cupcakes from the Gluten Free Canteen. I was rather interested in trying to make the rose shaped icing, as it seemed fairly straightforward. But unfortunately I didn’t have the right piping tip for it at the time, or indeed a functional piping bag, so I went for the zip lock piping bag method. I also needed to use up some leftover cream cheese, as for some reason we have far too much cream cheese in the house, so I used the icing recipe linked in in the description section of this rose icing instruction video, and it was absolutely delicious! But I deliberately didn’t beat the cream as much as required so the icing would be softer, and spread nicely over the top of the cupcakes.
However, because I know there are some big lemon fans out there, who might also have the right tip for making the rose shaped icing. I’ve decided to go ahead and put up the regular icing recipe for these cupcakes as well. It looks so fluffy and delicious in the original photographs, and overall this recipe is just so simple and quick! Not to mention you get quite a lot of cupcakes out of it! So all in all this recipe is a winner! Happy eating!

The Gluten Free Canteen’s
Makes: up to 24, Prep: 20 mins, Cook: 12-14 mins
  • 260g/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 130g/ 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp bicarb soda
  • Zest of 1 lemon (or 2, for extra lemony-ness)
  • 30g/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 120g/ 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 120g/ 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp pure lemon extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 172g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 42g solid Spectrum shortening
  • 440g/4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp pure lemon extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-5 drops yellow food colouring

Natasha’s Kitchen Cream Cheese Icing

  • 250g cream cheese, softened at room temp (or use the spreadable version)
  • 1.5 cups icing sugar
  • 1.5 cups thickened cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place liners in two 12-count cupcake pans (makes 18).
  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda until combined. In a medium bowl whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, eggs, oil and extracts until blended. Add to flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth.
  • Scoop into cupcake liners until a generous half-full (you want flat top cupcakes for these). Bake 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Cool for a few minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before adding icing.
  • For the cream cheese icing: Beat the cream in one bowl until fluffy, but not overly stiff. It needs to be foldable. Then in a second bowl, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until combined, then beat in the vanilla extract. Then fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until combined. You can then pipe this onto the cupcakes. For a runnier version, I under-beat the cream in a sense. I only beat it until soft little peaks formed, and then folded it through the cream cheese mixture. Thus the icing was much softer and runnier.
  • For the original icing: In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl blend together butter and shortening until combined using an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and blend on low until all the butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the extracts and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix on low until the icing begins to look more solid, as icing should look. Turn the mixer to high and whip the icing until it is light and fluffy. Only add more lemon juice as needed. Once the icing is the right consistency and fully mixed, add 3 drops of food colouring and whip until it is fully blended. Add more to make a more concentrated yellow, if desired. Pipe or spoon onto cupcake tops. If making roses, you can deviate from the Gluten Free Canteen’s post here, and check out this video. That’s the one I found to be the most straightforward.

47 thoughts on “Lemon Cupcakes (g/f, d/f – base only)

  1. This is a great question to ask if you are dealing with a gluten allergy or
    you are concerned that you may be dealing with an allergy of
    this type. This is confusing to many, but put simply, this person may be Non Celiac Gluten
    Intolerant (NCGI). Thus it is vital to pay a visit to a medical
    doctor when you believe you may have this malady.


  2. It’s good to see a GF recipe that doesn’t include extras, like xanthan gum. As I can’t find that sort of thing where I live. Not that I need to bake GF. And it looks like you’re getting a good rise to them as well. Love anything citrus, so I’ll have a couple of these!


    1. 🙂 Thank you! I don’t mind cooking with xantham gum, but I have to be careful if my father is going to eat whatever the xantham gum is in, as it upsets his stomach. And these did rise beautifully. 🙂


  3. Nell, that is a dreamy photo of your cupcakes, I think I prefer the look of your icing as it is just asking to be savoured (and I’d be tempted to lick the bowl too).
    All the best with your job hunt. It can be a difficult (painful!) process, but it sounds like you are doing great, and as you say a casual position can lead to more opportunities too.
    But for now, time to enjoy your baking adventures and Fiesta Friday – I can already see a line of people waiting to get a taste of your cupcakes! 😀


  4. Ooh, good luck with the interviews, Nell! You’ll land an amazing job in no time. Then you can celebrate with your new colleagues by bringing in these cupcakes! 🙂


    1. 😀 Thank you! That’s a wonderful idea! 🙂 I’m looking forward to attending the training for that casual position, and getting some experience in an all new workforce. 🙂 It’ll be a great opportunity for me to learn some new, valuable skills. 🙂


  5. Hi Nell, these look so adorably cute and I bet they are tasty! I love lemon anything and what better way to consume lemons than to have them in cupcakes? Good luck with the job hunt!


    1. Thank you! These cupcakes were so very soft and more-ish! I wanted to add more lemon, but my mum liked them just the way they were. 🙂 And the hunt is going so well! 🙂 I’ve signed some paperwork for the casual position, and am now just waiting to attend the training! I’m so excited!


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