Home Desserts Mary Berry’s Lemon Cupcakes (+ Lemon Icing Recipe)

Mary Berry’s Lemon Cupcakes (+ Lemon Icing Recipe)

Mary Berry’s lemon cupcakes are moist, fluffy, and bursting with lemon flavor!

You might know Mary Berry from the Great British Bake Off.

It’s such a pleasure watching her taste the contestants’ baked goods and give them constructive feedback.

It’s like watching my own grandma giving me sage advice!

Mary Berry's Lemon Cupcakes with Bite
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So when I came across her recipe for lemon cupcakes, I knew I had to give it a try.

Mary Berry is a legend, so I already knew these cupcakes would be epic.

True enough, the recipe delivered.

These cupcakes are wonderfully tender with a moist crumb.

They also have just the right balance of sweet and citrus flavors, which makes them really light.

The lemon buttercream frosting is sweet, but not overly so. Together, they create the perfect contrast of freshness and indulgence.

Mary Berry’s EASY Lemon Cupcake Recipe

Mary Berry might be an expert chef and baker, but her recipe for lemon cupcakes is super easy! 

All you need for the batter is a few simple ingredients and one bowl.

You won’t even need to worry about adding the ingredients in order. They get mixed together all at once, anyway.

They’re sweet and zesty, which makes them the perfect summer dessert

While the cupcakes themselves are already spectacular, no cupcake is complete without frosting.

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Mary Berry’s recipe uses American buttercream flavored with lemon.

The zing from the citrus makes the frosting very refreshing, despite being sweet.

Mary Berry's Lemon Cupcakes Ingredients


For the Cupcakes:

  • Self-Raising Flour – It’s basically all-purpose flour with a bit of baking powder. If you don’t have one, simply use all-purpose flour and use more baking powder. I’ve included the measurements in the recipe card.
  • Granulated Sugar – For sweetness.
  • Baking Powder – To make the batter rise into tall and fluffy cupcakes.
  • Butter – For richness. 
  • Eggs – To bind the ingredients.
  • Milk – To moisten the flour and create a thick batter.
  • Lemon Zest – For a full lemon flavor.

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

  • Powdered Sugar and Butter – When beaten together, these two ingredients form a smooth and creamy buttercream frosting.
  • Lemon Juice  – The frosting will be very sweet, so a splash of lemon will help cut through the sweetness and add a lovely citrus taste.

How to Make Mary Berry’s Lemon Cupcakes

Step 1: Make the batter.

Combine all the ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, eggs, milk, and lemon zest – in a large bowl.

Beat them together until well-combined. The batter should be thick and creamy. A few small lumps are fine.

Step 2: Bake the cupcakes. 

Scoop the batter into a lined muffin tin and fill each mold 2/3 full.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 3: Make the frosting. 

Beat the softened butter until light and fluffy.

Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is smooth and silky. That’ll take about 5 minutes.

Beat in the lemon juice until well incorporated.

Step 4: Frost the cupcakes.

You decide however you want to decorate the cupcakes!

You can go the rustic route by spooning the frosting over the cupcakes.

Or, you can make things more elegant by frosting them using a piping bag and tip.

Mary Berry's Lemon Cupcakes

Tips for the Best Cupcakes

  • Measure the flour accurately. Using too much flour will make the cupcakes too dense. If you use too little, the cupcakes won’t set.
  • The best way to measure the flour is to use a kitchen scale, which is why I included most of the ingredients’ measurements in grams.
  • If you don’t have a kitchen scale, use the spoon and level method to measure the flour. Use a spoon to transfer the flour into the measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife. Do not pack the flour into the cup, or you’ll get more than you need.
  • It’s okay if you can’t find self-raising flour. It’s basically just all-purpose flour with a bit of baking soda in it. I’ve included an alternate option in the recipe card below.
  • Use room temperature eggs and butter. If you forget to take them out of the fridge in time, here’s a solution. For the eggs, submerge them in lukewarm water and let them sit for a few minutes. For the butter, microwave it on low power for 5-10 seconds, or until softened.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Just stop until you no longer see streaks of flour. Small lumps are fine, so don’t sweat it.
  • Don’t use bottled lemon juice. Fresh is always best!
  • Zest the lemon before you juice it. It’s just easier that way.
  • Beat the frosting for about 5 minutes to get to that perfectly smooth and silky consistency. It should be thick enough to pipe.
  • Control the consistency of the buttercream frosting by adding powdered sugar if it’s runny or milk if it’s too thick.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them. The butter in the frosting will melt if the cupcakes are still warm.
  • You won’t need to be a pro baker to frost these cupcakes! Just dollop the frosting over the cupcakes with a spoon, and voila. You have a gorgeous, rustic-looking dessert.
  • If you have a piping bag and a set of tips, though, let your creative juices flow! Any star-shaped piping tip works, but I personally prefer the Wilton 1M tip. 
  • Garnish the frosted cupcakes with lemon zest for extra zing and flair.
  • Storage Instructions:
    • Cover the cupcakes and store them at room temperature overnight.
    • Store the cupcakes in an air-tight container and refrigerate them for 3 days. 
    • If you plan on freezing the cupcakes, don’t frost them yet. Double wrap each cupcake with plastic wrap and foil and place them in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. 
    • Set the frozen cupcakes on the counter to thaw. Top them with frosting and enjoy.

More Lemon Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

Mary Berry’s Lemon Cupcakes (+ Lemon Icing Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the Cupcakes:
  • *1 cup (120g) self-raising flour

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, softened

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
  • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, softened

  • Juice from 1 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the flour, sugar, baking powder, softened butter, eggs, milk, and lemon zest with an electric mixer at medium speed until a smooth batter is formed.
  • Scoop the batter into the muffin tin and fill the holes 2/3 full.
  • Bake them for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat softened butter with an electric mixer over medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until the frosting is smooth and pipable, about 5 minutes. Beat in the lemon juice until incorporated.
  • Top the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting using either a spoon or a piping bag with your preferred icing tip. Serve and enjoy!
  • *If you don’t have self-raising flour, use equal parts all-purpose flour and an additional 1 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.
Mary Berry's Lemon Cupcakes

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author avatar
beautyeval - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm beautyeval. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

1 thought on “Mary Berry’s Lemon Cupcakes (+ Lemon Icing Recipe)”

  1. Delicious! The cupcakes themselves were good, but the frosting really added to the overall flavor. The only issue I have is that there was wayyyy too much frosting. I probably could have frosted another dozen cupcakes with what I had left over. However, that might just be because of the way I frost cupcakes.
    I didn’t have any self-rising flour, so I followed the footnote and it turned out well. Good recipe!


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