Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting (2 Variations)(Nut-Free)

July 13, 2012 in Categories: , by

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(Created as a guest post for Fresh4Five)

If you are a lemon lover, then you will love these nut-free paleo lemon cupcakes.  This recipe makes 12 cupcakes but can be easily halved or doubled depending on how many you need.  I have included two different frosting recipes.  The first is a lemon-caramel frosting, which has a perfect texture and a lemony flavor with a hint of caramel (the secret to not getting too much caramel flavor is to keep the heat really low while reducing the lemon juice and honey).  The second frosting is much easier to make, but won’t handle heat very well and will melt if your room temperature is higher than 74F (because of the coconut oil content).  This frosting has the slightly gritty texture that coconut butter has but a very clean lemony flavor (and that pretty white color).  Both frostings are great though (my favorite is the lemon-caramel, but my husband far preferred the lemon coconut butter).  I love decorating these cupcakes with homemade honey-candied lemon zest (the recipe is part of this post).

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Ingredients (Lemon Caramel Frosting):

1.    Heat honey and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepot over low heat.  Reduce to 1 cup volume, being very careful not to let it burn (this will take 10-15 minutes).
2.    Remove from heat and immediately stir in baking soda.  It will froth and expand.  Stir vigorously for 15-20 seconds, then pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
3.    Mix in palm shortening until completely combined.
4.    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days or store in the fridge for longer-term storage (warm up to room temperature before frosting cupcakes).

Ingredients (Lemon Coconut Butter Frosting):

1.    If you are opening a new bottle or box of coconut cream concentrate and the oil has separated out, heat the jar (or remove the contents of the box to a glass jar) by placing it a pot or bowl and surrounding with hot water.  Let it sit until it’s warmed enough to stir thoroughly.  Let cool to room temperature.
2.    Mix coconut cream concentrate, lemon juice and honey until thoroughly combined.
3.    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days or store in the fridge for longer-term storage (warm up to room temperature before frosting cupcakes).

Ingredients (Lemon Cupcakes):

1.    Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a muffin tin with Silicone Muffin Cupsor paper muffin cup liners.
2.    Blend all ingredients together in a a until a smooth batter forms.  Let the batter rest for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
3.    Pour batter into prepared muffin tin.  Each cup should be filled approximately ¾ full (or slightly more).
4.    Bake for 22-23 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown along the edges (should pass a toothpick test).
5.    Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack.  Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
6.    Spread a generous amount of frosting (which ever you chose) on each cupcake.  Candied lemon zest and edible flowers make great decorations for these cupcakes.
7.    Enjoy!



I am unfamiliar with palm shortening, being new to grain free living. Would butter work in this for the caramel frosting in place of the palm shortening? Thanks!

Butter didn’t work. 🙁 the honey mixture never incorporated into the butter, but the cupcakesstilltasted good. I wonder if had been using my good mixer and really worked to get it to mix, if it would have worked.

I tried coconut oil… didn’t work very well. It still tasted fine, but was very runny. I just drizzled some over the cupcakes to make them more moist, but I was disappointed that it didn’t work.

I can’t have eggs, so have you tried this with any egg substitutes? I’m afraid to try all these yummy baking recipes in fear of wasting the ingredients if they don’t turn out. I’m wondering if flax meal or applesauce would work, but I’m no baking expert 😉 any ideas and/or quantities?

Hello! Thank you so much for this recipe – I am looking forward to trying it. I would love to try this as a layer cake – do you think it would work? If so, would make two or three 9 inch round layers? Would it change the baking time? Thank you!

Yes, you could make a 2-layer cake out of it. You would probably need to cook it longer than the cupcakes. Just remove it from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

These were DELICIOUS! My husband has a nut allergy and is always wary of my clean, paleo treat creations (due to the use of almond flour) and he was delighted. He could not believe that these were made with simple and healthy ingredients, and yet tasted so good! So glad I found your website-you are fab! We will be making your lemon cheesecake tonight! 🙂

Tried doing the caramel frosting but it’s not mixing well. The shortening is just sitting in clumps in a lake of honey/ lemon mixture.

My cupcakes came out great but the frosting (the lemon caramel one) would never really set. Tasted great and in the fridge it was like thick molasses but wouldn’t stay on top of a cupcake, not very frosting line at all! Any ideas why???

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