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A luscious Lemon Buttercream Frosting that is made with just a few ingredients. It’s full of bright lemony flavor and is perfect for topping cakes, cupcakes, and more!
Homemade lemon buttercream is way better than storebought but it can be a bit tricky to get right. To ensure the frosting has a ton of lemon flavor, I incorporated both freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest. The addition of the extra liquid from the juice can cause the frosting to curdle.
To combat this, I’ve added a splash of cream. This makes the frosting much fluffier in texture while allowing it to blend together for a creamier consistency.
Table of Contents
- TASTE: Fully infused with lemon flavor.
- TEXTURE: Rich, creamy, and so fluffy.
- EASE: This is a beginner-level frosting.
- TIME: You can whip this frosting up in a matter of minutes.
What You’ll Need
- Butter: I find that unsalted sweet cream butter works best. The butter should be at room temperature to make it easier to cream.
- Salt: Just a pinch to balance the sweetness.
- Powdered sugar: Sweetens the frosting without making it grainy. Be sure to sift it before adding it to the frosting.
- Lemon: The recipe uses the juice and the zest of about 2 lemons.
- Heavy whipping cream: This is needed for a creamy frosting that won’t curdle.
How to Make Lemon Buttercream Frosting
This easy lemon frosting takes just a few minutes to whip up. You can use a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer.
- Cream the butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar. Add the salt followed by one cup of the powdered sugar and beat on medium-low until most of the sugar is incorporated.
- Add lemon zest and remaining sugar. Beat in the lemon zest then gradually add the remaining powdered sugar. Continue to mix on medium-low speed until the sugar is moistened.
- Add lemon juice and cream. Mix in the lemon juice and cream with the mixer on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Set the butter out to soften about 30 minutes prior to making the frosting. Room temperature butter will cream easier and no lumps will be left in the frosting.
Tips For Success
- Lemon zest: Take care to only zest the skin (the yellow part) and not the pith (the white under the skin). The pith is bitter and may leave you with a bitter-tasting frosting.
- Powdered sugar: Add the powdered sugar in gradually. Adding all at once will make it more difficult to incorporate all the way and may leave your frosting a bit gritty.
- Heavy whipping cream: This can also be labeled as heavy cream. Don’t try to substitute it with milk. The texture of the frosting will be compromised.
Storage & Freezing
Storage: The frosting can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature and mix well before using.
Freezing: The frosting also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight then bring it to room temperature and mix well before using.
Ways to Use Lemon Buttercream
This frosting pairs best with lemon desserts, berry desserts, or vanilla-flavored treats. Try using it with:
- Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Lemon Cookies
- Strawberry Cake
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Vanilla Cake
- Vanilla Cupcakes