Fluffy lemon buttercream frosting with the flavor of fresh citrusy lemon is great on sugar cookies, cheesecake, and cupcakes!
This fresh lemon buttercream frosting recipe uses real lemons, and it makes the bright, sunny flavors pop on everything!
Perfect over lemon cupcakes, to top a layer cake filled with lemon curd, this lemon frosting is a favorite with lots of fresh lemon flavor.
How to Juice and Zest Lemons
- Lemon Zest: For zest, use the zest of two full lemons (or more) with a Microplane grater or the finest side of a box grater. Be sure to use just the yellow part of the peel, the white part underneath (the pith) is bitter.
- Lemon Juice: To get the most juice from your lemons, For juicing lemons, place lemons in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Using the heel of your hand to roll them with gentle pressure on the counter before cutting.
How to Make Lemon Buttercream Filling
- Cream room temperature butter & shortening with a hand electric mixer until it is light and fluffy per the recipe below.
- Add lemon zest and juice and mix well.
- Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time and mix well. Once it’s fully incorporated, mix on high for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy!
Tips for Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- If you’d like a thinner consistency, add a bit more lemon juice.
- For a thicker consistency, add more powdered sugar.
- Make sure your cake or cupcakes are completely cooled before using.
- If you’re spreading this on a 9×13 cake or another use where it doesn’t need to hold its shape, you can add 2 ounces of cream cheese along with the butter for a little tang. If you add the cream cheese, it won’t hold its shape as well when piped.
- Because this is flavored with natural lemon, the color is pale yellow. Feel free to add a few drops of yellow food coloring for a brighter yellow color.
Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting?
Lemon buttercream frosting will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. You can also freeze this frosting for up to three months in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Allow it to thaw completely, and feel free to refresh the flavor with a bit of extra lemon juice and whisk it, so it is smooth again!
Did you love this Lemon Buttercream Frosting? Leave us a comment and a rating below!
Fresh Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 2 lemons
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup shortening
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract optional
- Zest both lemons and set zest aside. Juice one of the lemons to make two tablespoons of juice. Reserve the remaining lemon for another use.
- In a medium bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream butter and shortening with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest, lemon juice (and extract if using), and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
- To thicken consistency, add more powdered sugar. To soften consistency, add more lemon juice if required.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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