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Lemon Buttercream Frosting

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Tart, sweet, this lemon buttercream frosting is dessert heaven! Because lemon makes life better. You’d better hold on to your spoons because this frosting is honestly irresistible! If you are looking for a lemon glaze, try my Lemon Glaze recipe, it’s one of the most popular on this website!

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
Lemon Buttercream Frosting

How to Make Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cream
  1. Whip your butter with the paddle attachment if you have one, or just a general beater with your mixer.
  2. Add in your icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously. Now 2 tablespoons lemon zest worked wonderfully for me. Zested peel should not be done on a regular grater, by the way, you need a smaller size, a zester grater, in fact. The size is perfect without being overwhelming chunks in your cooking.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
Lemon Buttercream Frosting

The 3 tablespoons of lemon juice was just perfect for my tastes, zingy and zippy with a sweet background of pure sugar and butter. I then added the 2 teaspoons of cream to thin it out.

And THEN….then, I put it on my lemon blueberry coffee cake, (recipe coming in the next couple of days) took half to my work, where the ladies promptly raved over the icing and demolished it all, and half went to my son’s school for the teacher’s lunchroom.

Happy baking everyone!

Make sure that you also get my recipe for vanilla Buttercream Frosting,  or if you are looking for something zippier my Cream Cheese Icing is also amazing on red velvet, chocolate cake, you name it!

Karlynn

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The BEST lemon buttercream frosting ever! One taste of this tart and sweet delight will have you in dessert heaven!

 

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Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Delicious lemon buttercream frosting, the perfect topping for any cake or cupcake.
4.9 from 39 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Total Time
6 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
Frosting
Servings
18
Calories
196
Author
Karlynn Johnston
Keywords
lemon buttercream frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cream

Instructions

  1. Whip your butter with the paddle attachment if you have one, or just a general beater with your mixer.
  2. Add in your icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating continously. Now 2 tablespoons lemon zest worked wonderfully for me. Zested peel should not be done on a regular grater, by the way, you need a smaller size, a zester grater, in fact. The size is perfect without being overwhelming chunks in your cooking.
  3. The 3 tablespoons of lemon juice was just perfect for my tastes, zingy and zippy with a sweet background of pure sugar and butter. I then added the 2 teaspoons of cream to thin it out.

Recipe Notes

This recipe will frost around 18 cupcakes, but that depends on how much icing you use on each cupcake! 

It will also frost one (( 2 layer) cake.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 196kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 5mg, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 6.5%, Vitamin C: 2.2%, Calcium: 0.4%, Iron: 0.1%

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian Prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Buttercream frostings Frosting Lemon

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Krista says

    Thank you for this recipe! Perfect parts lemony-sweet-buttery without over doing it. I’m not much of an icing person and I *may* have licked some off the beaters. I topped the cupcakes with a smidge more zest and dried pineapple wedges cut in half. Can’t wait to eat one later at my brother’s wedding!

  2. Barbara O'Carroll says

    “A pint is a pound the world around” was taught to my mother in HomeEc class almost 100 years ago. She taught me. Comes in handy to know though I often wonder if it is ALWAYS true.

    So, 1 cup should be 8 oz and in fact works with butter.

    A 1 pound package of butter has 4 sticks wrapped separately.
    Each stick is 1/2 cup.
    Hence 1 cup is 2 sticks And is also 1/2 the pound of butter or 8 ounces.

  3. Sarah Kathryn Mann says

    Hi Karlynn!
    I love our website, especially your buttcream icing, which I make all the time! I recently tried your lemon version and it was fantastic! Just wondering if you have ever tried it with orange? I would assume I could use the same measurments…?

  4. Heather says

    Outstanding! Bright and fresh tasting, well-balanced. I put this on a lemon cake with raspberry filling and it was a huge hit at a birthday celebration. Afterward I sat myself down in the kitchen with the leftover frosting in a bowl with a smudge of raspberry filling stirred in and finished it off with a spoon.

  5. Kathy Pardell says

    I have been looking for a great buttercream icing recipe and this was just perfect. So easy and delicious. I plan to use it on a lemon/raspberry layer cake that I’ll bake later but I wanted to make sure the icing would work out first.
    I’m with you…lemon flavor is the best!

  6. Mindy says

    I used a microplane to zest my lemon, the zest kept putting tiny holes in my piping bag… any suggestions??

  7. Alexandra Richards says

    Can you please clarify how much “1 cup of butter” is in grams or ounces?

  8. LindaHarringtonSteinke says

    This recipe is WONDERFUL, Karlynn!  Thank you for sharing.  I’m experimenting with a lemon poppyseed chiffon cake and this icing looks like the perfect compliment.  Truly, I’d like to serve dallops of the icing on its own as a tea sweet; it’s just that  delectable!  I decreased the zest to approx. 1 Tbsp. (what I got off one med-lg. lemon)…and juiced the same lemon (juice measured 1/4 inch down from the top of my 1/4 cup measuring cup).  Super yummy!!!

  9. john6301 says

    My sweetie asked me to bake her a lemon cake – I found a recipe I liked but wasn’t thrilled with the icing specs – yours sounds like it might be just right 🙂

    Can’t wait to try it on my lemon cake!

  10. Jo says

    Just made this for a birthday cake – fabulous!! The only changes I made were I added the lemon juice to the butter as I was beating it first, so it was totally incorporated before I added the sifted sugar, so absolutely no curdling, and then I just folded the zest through at the end. No need for milk or cream as it was beautifully soft and spreadable. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jak says

      I never, ever, ever use milk or cream in my icing for food safety. Water works, just beat the heck out of it. That way, the cake doesn’t need to be refrigerated. (Butter really can sit out for a few hours, milk – not so much)

  11. SherriOswald says

    Easiest way to eliminate possibility of runny or curdled is leave out the half and half/milk. You don’t need it. Regular buttercream has 2 to 4 TBS milk and 1 tsp vanilla. Sub your lemon juice for milk and rind for vanilla. It is delicious.

  12. daisybean29 says

    YUMMY!!! I have been looking for the perfect lemon buttercream frosting. I have tried 3 other recipes and none are what I want. Can’t wait to try yours. Question : where do I get icing sugar? Is it the same as powdered sugar? What size and kind of lemon zest do i buy?

    [email protected]

    Love your blog.!♡

  13. Alnye says

    She said “hold onto your spoon” and you better do just that! This is fantastic and lemony and not overwhelming. I added walnuts and frosted a spice cake with it. Delicious – thank you so much!!

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