Lemon Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

We spent most of our 4th of July weekend doing things that revolved around what we love best: food and running. The weather was beautiful and sunny; the sky was consistently blue without the slightest hint of clouds. We ran along the trails of gorgeous Lake Michigan to the view of boats docked at the harbor. We also got together with friends over food, beer, and whiskey to celebrate a birthday. 

The holiday weekend isn't exactly over for us yet. We're back to work just for two days and then we're bound for Las Vegas, again. It will be another food-filled weekend again. For now we will be feasting on these light and airy lemon cupcakes at home. Cupcakes are whimsical in their own right. Who can resist one? 

Makes 10 cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup buttermilk

3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dessicated coconut


Lemon Cupcakes
1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the lemon zest and lemon extract until well combined.

4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and buttermilk.

5. Add 1/3 portion of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Pour in half of the liquid mixture and continue beating. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add another 1/3 portion of the flour mixture and then the remaining liquid mixture. Continue to beat until just combined. Finally add in the remaining portion of the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

6. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners until 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting
1. Simmer the water and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar is completely melted. When the water temperature reaches 150 degrees F, remove saucepan from the heat.

2. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of the electric mixer. Slowly pour in the hot syrup. Using the paddle attachment, beat until the mixture has cooled down.

3. Beat in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Add in the vanilla extract. Continue beating until the frosting becomes smooth and thick.

4. Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes. Note: refrigerating the frosting will help firm it up a little which makes the piping process easier.

5. Sprinkle the dessicated coconut over the frosted cupcakes.


  1. The batter recipe is missing the amount of sugar. Used 3/4 of a cup and worked out fine.

    1. Thank you so much for pointing this out! I've added it in.