Fresh Lemon Buttercream Frosting

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How to Make Fresh Lemon Buttercream Frosting

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I really like frosting…  as in LOVE it.  Cupcakes are pretty good but I really actually consider them a vehicle for getting the frosting into my mouth.

This recipe is completely ridiculously amazing.  I mean, fluffy homemade buttercream frosting with the flavor of fresh citrusy lemon.  I’m not going to tell you how many times I licked the spoon.. but it was a lot!  In my defense, it was my birthday week so I think it’s ok.

Using the rind of the lemon adds the best flavor making it extra lemony and lovely.  I use the zest of two full lemons, you can certainly use  more if you like.  You can find tips on zesting lemons here but favorite tool is a Microplane grater.  You may notice the little oils from the rind when you zest so I like to zest right over the bowl I’m using for the frosting to make sure I catch all of that beautiful zest.

Items You’ll Need For This Recipe

* Zester * Lemons *Reamer *

Print Recipe
4 from 3 votes
Servings: 12 people
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
Author: Holly
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Buttercream
I really like frosting… as in LOVE it. Cupcakes are pretty good but I really actually consider them a vehicle for getting the frosting into my mouth.
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  1. Cream butter with mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Zest lemons and add into butter (you should have about 1 tablespoon lemon zest).
  2. Juice 1/2 of one of the lemons and add 2-3 tablespoons to butter mixture.
  3. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Add softened cream cheese and beat until fluffy.
  4. Add more lemon juice if required to reached desired consistency.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 289, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 166mg, Potassium: 42mg, Carbohydrates: 32g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 12%, Vitamin C: 11.6%, Calcium: 1.8%, Iron: 0.9%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)


Fresh Lemon Buttercream Frosting. One of my favorite recipes! This luscious buttercream is packed with fresh lemon flavor and perfect on cake, banana bread and more! #Buttercream #Lemon #Frosting #Icing
Fresh Lemon Buttercream Frosting. One of my favorite recipes! This luscious buttercream is packed with fresh lemon flavor and perfect on cake, banana bread and more! #Buttercream #Lemon #Frosting #Icing


Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

53 comments on “Fresh Lemon Buttercream Frosting”

  1. With this frosting, I’ll need to refrigerate the cupcakes until it’s served?

    • If it’s a few hours, I leave it on the counter. If it’s going to be longer, I refrigerate and then remove from the fridge to soften for a while before serving.

  2. A pure pallet enjoyment for lemon lovers. It’s light and lomony.

  3. Mine turned out to thin not sure why

  4. very good, but a little tart and I love lemon. I wondered if I added a tsp of vanilla if it would help

  5. Holly, I actually doubled the recipe. It was FANTASTIC. I agree with others. It is the best frosting EVER! It is so smooth and goes on the cake smoothly. I have never had a recipe for frosting before that was as great as this one is. We loved it! Will definitely be using it a lot more times. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  6. I am going to use this as a filling for a Spring cake log!   Can’t wait!

  7. Mine won’t pipe like in the picture.
    All the same ingredients.
    Do I have to beat longer to thicken?

  8. Love all your recipe. But we pucker up for lemon in my house doesn’t stay around very long. Just love the icing.

  9. What do you mean by powerded​ sugar? I’m guessing icing sugar

  10. Awesome topping for lemon zucchini cupcakes

  11. The hey holly, I found your site today and made the lemon buttercream icing and it is absolutely, positively ,unbelievably delicious! This is now my favorite icing of all time. Thank you so much for posting and sharing!

  12. These recipes look delicious, thanks for sharing them, I have tons of zucchini this year, looking forward to trying all your recipes

  13. Hi can this buttercream be made without cream chesse

  14. This looks amazing. Would it work on cakes too? I really want to try this.

  15. Hi, do you think this would stand up to being outside in the heat for about 2 hours during a picnic potluck? It would make the perfect topping for strawberry lemonade cupcakes!

  16. The above is cream cheese frosting, not buttercream! completely different.

  17. Does this frosting hold its shape for piping cupcakes?

  18. Holly, this recipe is absolutely divine! I am definitely going to use this for future lemon cakes, thank you for this! ~Ashley :)

  19. Not only beautiful but these were delicious. The lemon bittercream is one of the best frosting I’ve ever made. Thank you☺

  20. I so love lemon. But, I’m trying to eat healthy…I wonder if this would be good on cauliflower? Maybe I could dip carrots in it!!!

  21. sounds great!

  22. I just made this frosting and it is DELICIOUS – sweet, but not too sweet! Thanks for sharing!!!

  23. I just love this lemon frosting recipe! Also was looking over some of your other recipes can’t wait to try them.

  24. I could put this on so much stuff! I love lemon!

  25. I think frosting is the best part as well! Love the flavor!

  26. Anything lemon is my faveee! Loving this buttercream!

  27. I feel you. Frosting…and buttercream. The freshness of the lemon would make this downright heavenly.

  28. Love that beautiful yellow color of the frosting!

  29. I’m making cupcakes for a friend’s wedding that is coming up. This frosting would be perfect for some of the cupcakes!

  30. The perfect buttercream for summer – love the bright citrus flavor you’ve given it by using the lemon zest.

  31. This looks delicious — if only I didn’t eat Sprinkles cupcakes at work yesterday, I would want to make these immediately :)

  32. I have a serious weakness for citrus treats! Loving this buttercream recipe! It’s a good excuse to make some cupcakes!

  33. You had me at lemon, I’m a sucker for anything lemon and this frosting looks divine!

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