These Valentine’s Day Lemon Cupcakes are melt in your mouth cupcakes that will be the perfect surprise sweet treat for your loved one. Soft, fluffy, + extra moist, these cupcakes are bursting with bold lemon flavor in every bite. Topped with a creamy pink lemon buttercream and lightly covered in festive Sprinkle Pop Sprinkles.
Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Sprinkle Pop, but the content and opinions expressed are all based on my genuine love for this brand and are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands I love.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day or the “Day of Love” as we call it—there are so many ideas for awesome recipes that come to mind besides this one.
Traditionally, I would make Mini Bundt Cakes or a Cheesecake or something decadent. However, this year, I’m all about changing things up and getting super festive!
That’s why I chose to make these lemon cupcakes. It’s such a staple flavor and it’s a beautiful play on tart and sweet.
Plus, who doesn’t like a nice handheld sweet treat? Haha.
Honestly, this was my first time creating a cupcake Monogram and it was a fun craft! Personally, I think that it gives a beautiful touch to your gift.
All you’ll need: A heart-shaped paper mache box (You can also use ‘alphabetical letters’ if preferred), scissors, gift bag lining paper, and extras such as real flowers, etc. for added decor.
I simply cut out the paper mache box to create an opening for the cupcakes, stuffed it with gift paper and carefully lined my frosted cupcakes inside, trying not to leave much space in between.
Then of course, you can fill the spaces with gift paper and flowers to create a nice full look.
And wallah! That’s it.
But don’t worry—I watched a few videos on YouTube which showed this done step by step for a little extra help, so you do have that option as well.
If you’ve been an avid follower of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re aware that I chose my collaborations with brands VERY carefully, because I want to ensure that they represent this blog’s mission in every way possible.
Honestly, I’d rather turn down a company that doesn’t coincide with what I stand for and of course I often already use that company’s product so that I can ensure that you’ll love it too.
With that being said, I’m a huge fan of Sprinkle Pop’s festive Sprinkles. Usually, I’m a regular rainbow sprinkles kind of gal, however, when I came across this company’s unique line of sprinkles, I instantly fell in love.
The amazing part is that they have a ton of festive sprinkles that range from Christmas to Halloween to Valentine’s and so much more.
Besides their festive and unique look, these sprinkles are high-quality, which falls right in line with the kids of products that I love to use when creating recipes and even on a daily basis.
Oh and did I mention that you have the option of customizing your own sprinkles as well? Yup. You can create your own version of amazing sprinkles on their site and it comes to well put together!
How cool, right?!
These sprinkles that I chose to use to top these cupcakes are Sprinkle Pop’s Cupid Arrow’s Mix and Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mix which I must admit are one of my absolute favorites from their Valentine’s Day line.
OK, now back to these cupcakes. If you’re a fan of cupcakes then these Easy Caramel Coconut Cupcakes are a must try!
Then there are these Vanilla Cupcakes with Sprinkles which are so simple, yet delicious!
Of course, your food + dessert ideas don’t have to be traditional. Personally, I’m a big believer in creating a great food experience for the one you love, therefore, if they enjoy BBQ wings or a burger—I say give it to them WITH LOVE! Haha.
THE TYPE OF FLOUR MATTERS!
To come out with a soft, moist cupcake, I’ve noticed that mixing All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour, really does justice!
DON’T OVER FILL!
Yes! This has been my trial and error moment when it comes to baking! I tend to fill my batter with most recipes to the brim, but I’ve recently gotten into the habit of pacing myself! Over-filling makes a huge mess later and doesn’t allow your baked goods to come put perfectly, especially with cupcakes. So, filling it 3/4ths of the way is key!
START HIGH, THEN END LOW!
One other pet peeve of mine when baking is when you’re ultra confident at the amazingness of your batter (the taste and aroma is there), yet after it bakes—-it becomes flat or sunk in once it touches air. The solution? Start by baking the cupcakes at a higher temp for the first 5 mins (maybe 400 degrees Fahrenheit) then lowering it to the standard 350 degrees Fahrenheit temp for the rest of the time. Then once they are done, turn off your oven, BUT leave them in for about 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open so that they don’t sink right away (this is especially a good rule of thumb for cheesecake bites!).
ALWAYS KEEP THINGS FRESH!
I know that this is a common mistake, especially for those of us who aren’t daily bakers. Ensure that your ingredients (flours, etc.) are fresh and haven’t been sitting there for months improperly sealed, etc. Also, ensure that your leaveners (baking power + baking soda) are fresh. This is super important and often is the culprit in flatter baked goods.
DOUBLE PROTECTION IS BETTER THAN ONE!
While using cupcake liners are a huge lifesaver when making it easier to remove your cupcakes after they are ready, ensuring that you not only use high quality liners, but that you also lightly spray the inside of your liners with a cooking spray HELPS A TON! Don’t you just hate when your cupcake inevitably gets stuck on one of those cupcake liners?
Now, let’s dig right into this recipe shall we?
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prep your cupcake pan with liners + spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and sea salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (using a paddle handle attachment), beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed using a rubber spatula.
Add the eggs (one at a time), vegetable oil, and vanilla, reducing the speed a little at this point. Add in the lemon juice.
Now, reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating between the two, until well combined. NO OVER-MIXING!
Scoop the batter into each cupcake liner (3/4 full) and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for the FIRST 5 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for another 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
Once done, turn off oven and keep cupcakes inside with the oven door slightly open for about 2 minutes before taking them out.
Let them cool COMPLETELY before frosting.
For Lemon Buttercream:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale.
Reduce the speed to low and add half the amount of powered sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, and sea salt. Then 2 Tbsps of milk, if needed. **NOTE: If adding coloring for pink or red color, add 5-6 drops of food coloring to achieve the look.**
Now, add in the remaining half of the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated and frosting is smooth. **NOTE: Add more powered sugar or milk until desired consistency is met if needed, 1 Tbsp at a time.**
Add buttercream frosting to fully cooled cupcakes, using a piping bag and sprinkle festive Valentine’s Day sprinkles atop cupcakes.
If you choose to make this Valentine’s Day Lemon Cupcakes recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!
Valentine’s Day Lemon Cupcakes.