Bright and summery Lemon Ginger Cupcakes flavored with lots of fresh lemon and fresh ginger! With a light ginger flavor and tons of sweetness, these simple lemon cupcakes are easy to love! And easy to bake, too!
Lemon Ginger Cupcakes
The sunny spring here has me craving LEMON, and these Lemon Ginger Cupcakes have been baked no less than three times in the last month at my house! The lightly flavored cake is perfectly…well, cakey. Its fluffy, moist, and holds together so well (not crumby)! I truly love this cake recipe, and the lemon ginger is just delightful. I used fresh lemon (zest in the cupcakes; juice in the frosting), lemon extract, fresh ginger, and ground ginger. There are lots of ways to get the flavors into these bakes, but I found these to be my favorite in terms of flavor and cake texture!
What You’ll Need
- All-purpose flour makes up the bulk of the cupcakes. I haven’t tried this recipe with any other flours.
- Ground ginger + fresh ginger give these cupcakes a noticeable ginger flavor. You’ll need a roughly 3 inch piece of fresh ginger that you’ll peel and finely grate for the cake. Plus, ground ginger is added to both the cake and frosting!
- Leavening agents help these cupcakes rise. I like to use a mix of baking powder and baking soda. These two are not interchangeable.
- Salt enhances flavor.
- Plant-based butter is used in both the cake and frosting. It brings moisture and flavor to the cake and helps make up the buttercream frosting. You can use regular butter in its place if you’re not dairy-free.
- Granulated sugar adds sweetness to the cupcakes. I like to use an unrefined cane sugar, but you can use a white or raw cane sugar as well. I don’t recommend coconut sugar for these cupcakes as it will turn the cupcakes brown.
- Eggs bind the batter together and help create fluffy, leavened cupcakes. I haven’t tried any egg replacements for this recipe
- Lemon extract and vanilla extract both add flavor. Feel free to swap one for the other!
- Lemon zest and lemon juice are added to bring even more lemon flavor to these cupcakes. You’ll need 2 large lemons (or 3-4 small) to zest and juice for all that good lemon flavor.
- Plant-based milk is added to the cupcake batter to help with moisture and cake texture. I use an unsweetened almond milk for this recipe, but you can use whichever milk you like best (including cow’s if you’re not DF).
- Powdered sugar makes up the bulk of the frosting, and there are no replacements.
More Lemon Recipes:
- 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plant-based butter (or regular butter), softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
- 1-2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (about 3" of ginger root)
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 3/4 cup plant-based butter, softened
- 1 tsp ground ginger (add more to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- 4-5 Tbsp lemon juice (from the 2 lemons used to zest)
Bake the Cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 24-count mini cupcake pan (or 12-count regular cupcake pan - see Note 1) with paper liners. Bring your eggs to room temperature by placing them in a glass of warm water for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and lemon extract. And then the lemon zest and freshly grated ginger.
- Next beat ~1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add half of the milk and beat. Repeat once more and then, finally, beat in the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
- Fill the lined cupcake wells a little more than 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes for mini cupcakes or 15-20 minutes for regular cupcakes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into a cupcake; when it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before gently removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Frost the Cupcakes
- Once your cupcakes are totally cool, you'll make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and vanilla extract. Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and beat. Add another 2-3 cups of sugar + 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. Begin beating and add more lemon juice and powdered sugar as you need. You want the consistency to be thick and stable enough to hold shape yet spreadable and smooth.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag, or gallon ziploc bag, fitted with your favorite frosting tip (I used a Wilton 1M tip). Frost each cupcake and immediately top with lemon zest or sprinkles.
- Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- You can make either mini cupcakes or regular cupcakes with this recipe. It makes 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular cupcakes. The bake time will increase for regular cupcakes to between 15 and 20 minutes.