Lemon cupcakes with lemon icing

“I don’t think I could survive without lemons,” says Sue-Ann Allen. This cupcake recipe is one of the scrumptious recipes from the MasterChef SA contestant’s book, Gourmet Sisters, written in partnership with fellow contestant Ilse Fourie.

Serves: 18


¼ cup butter
¾ cup castor sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp lemon essence
2 tsp lemon zest
190g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
650g sifted icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 °C and line a muffin pan with cupcake holders.

To make the batter, cream the butter and castor sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and then add this to the butter-egg mixture. Continue to beat and slowly add the oil, then the milk. Beat well. Add the vanilla essence, lemon essence and lemon zest, and beat for a further minute.

Divide the batter between the cupcake holders and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. To make the icing, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence, lemon juice and lemon zest, and beat for a further minute. Add the icing sugar and beat to combine. Ice the cooled cupcakes and serve.

Extract from Gourmet Sisters: sharing food and friendship, by Sue-Anne Allen and Ilse Fourie.

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