Love and Olive Oil

Fruit-Filled Lemony Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Strawberry and Blackberry Filled Lemon Cupcakes

I’ve been meaning to try another variation on the Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes for some time now. You see, those cupcakes are unbelievable. But the pink frosting? Well, it kind of clashes with our wedding color combo. So I’ve been pondering how to get the same delicious flavors without all the pastel color.

Fruit Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

The end result of that pondering was a dozen seemingly color-less cupcakes, discreetly filled with homemade fruit preserves. I made two fillings, half strawberry, half blackberry, both of which I thought went excellently with the moist lemon cake and frosting. Ultimately we’ll probably go with the strawberry, as the blackberries presented a peculiar problem of too many seeds, another step in the process that we don’t really want to deal with. So strawberry it is, I guess?

How to Fill a Cupcake

Never filled a cupcake before? No problem. Simply cut out a ‘cone-shaped’ piece from the top of each cupcake. Resist the urge to snack on these bite sized bits (I had to stop Taylor from nabbing a few), as you’ll need them again later. Spoon the filling into the gaping holes, and then replace the bits where they belong. They’ll look a little funny and stick up a bit, but that’s what frosting is for, right? Once you’ve got a gorgeous swirl of lemony fluff piped on top, no one will be the wiser as to what’s hidden inside.

Disclaimer: I am not a lemon lover. So these are on the light side of the lemon spectrum. Both the cake and the frosting have an ever so slightly lemon tang, apparent but not so sour that it overwhelms the sweetness. True lemonhead? Add some more juice and zest to both the cake and the frosting (where you might need a bit more sugar to compensate for the extra liquid). Don’t like lemon at all? Omit it completely and call it a perfectly tasty vanilla cupcake.


Fruit-Filled Lemony Cupcakes with Sweet Lemon Buttercream

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup oil
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Fruit Preserves:
1 pint fruit (strawberries, blackberries, or other berry)
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 – 1/4 cup lemon juice, to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Lemon Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon soy creamer or heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add sugar and brown sugar and mix. Whisk together oil, coconut milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth. Fill cupcake liners with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

To make fruit preserves, add berries to medium heavy saucepan along with sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Lightly mash berries and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until preserves coat the back of a spoon. They will seem a bit runny. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat-safe container, and allow to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Move to refrigerator and chill for 1 hour or until set.

For frosting, cream butter in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth. Add lemon juice and zest and mix until combined. Add creamer and mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).

To assemble, cut a cone-shaped piece out of the tops of cooled cupcakes, approximately 3/4″ in diameter and set aside. Fill cavities with chilled preserves, and replace tops of cupcakes. Pipe on frosting, being sure to cover the seams.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Maybe its just be but I noticed in quite a few cake/cupcake recipes you use coconut milk, can regular milk be substituted?

  2. THESE LOOK AMAZING!!!! I want to go home and try to make these puppy’s. my mouth is salivating just looking at them. mmmm. I am a sucker for jelly filled goodies. donuts, cakes, cookies… you name it. Just adds that extra layer of texture, taste, and fun to a dessert. : D


  3. The cupcakes are good but very sour! If you do not like sour flavors, use less lemon zest and juice in the icing and rasberry filling. I thought the cake part was perfect and almost tastes like a sugar cookie!

  4. I made these cupcakes, with a few variations, and posted the results on my blog. I love your site and look forward to trying more recipes.

  5. I still love the SMB, but I’ve had a few too many failures with it, and I hate wasting good ingredients. American buttercream, while very very sweet, is pretty darn hard to mess up. I made the decision to use only american buttercream for the wedding cupcakes, which is why most of my recent recipes use it rather than the meringue frosting. You could easily use this cupcake base with a lemon swiss meringue frosting – I’d be divine!!

  6. I’ll definitely make these, especially if they compare to the Strawberry-Lemonade ones – they are pretty unbelievable. Do you not use the Swiss buttercream anymore? There is so much less sugar in there and it’s so fluffy … must be what clouds taste like.

  7. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this amazing recipe!! They made my grandmother’s 80th birthday very special. Thank you ever so much!!!

  8. These look yummy!

  9. Wow! I normally don’t like cupcakes (too dry), but those are inspiring! Delicious!

    Do you know if using coconut cream (not cream of coconut, which would have added sugar) would affect the recipe? I’ve got two cans of it lying around and I’m trying to find some good uses. I’ve read that the two are similar–the cream just being thicker and having more fat than the milk–but I’m wondering if that might affect this recipe in a positive way. Just curious!

  10. Those sound lovely and look perfect for a wedding!

  11. you are a cupcake goddess. great flavors. i love lemon ones!!

  12. These cupcakes are just precious. Not only do I love the flavors you used, but they turned out just beautifully! So glad you found a winner!

  13. Is it possible to drop a blob of strawberry preserves on top of the uncooked cupcake batter and then bake them? It would save a lot of time. Not sure if blob would sink some, or all, of the way down or stay on top? Just a thought……

  14. Wow! Those look great! We are also thinking cupcakes for the wedding, so will keep these in mind!

  15. I did lemon and strawberry for one of my wedding cakes–I personally don’t think that combo can be beat. These look terrific.

  16. How do you swirl your icing so perfectly?? Your cupcakes always look so beautiful!

  17. Oh wow I have to make these one day. They look so yummy.

  18. What does my dear friend want for her birthday? Lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream….your timing is incredible!!! Love them :)

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