Gluten-Free Lemon Poundcake Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Gluten-free Lemon Poundcake Cupcakes

My younger daughter’s good friend turned four while we were out of town. So, of course, we had to plan our own special get-together with her now that we are back – it’s never too late to share cupcakes and gifts with friends!

One of my talented friends – Girl Scout leader extraordinaire – was whipping up batches of lemony poundcake and cupcakes this weekend for a girl scout bake sale – and posting the mouth-watering photos to prove it. Since I was coincidentally looking for a yummy treat to bake for the birthday girl, I begged her to share her recipe to see if I could make it gluten-free. She willingly obliged and said that the recipe originated with her co-leader – a pastry chef. (This group of girl scouts is one lucky gang…)

The original recipe uses vanilla extract and cake-flour. I substituted an organic lemon flavoring that I picked up at Whole Foods and my current favorite all-purpose flour from Jules Gluten-Free.

Ingredients for the Lemon Poundcake Cupcakes: 

3 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon flavoring
1 1/2 cups Jules Gluten-Free Flour, sifted
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons butter, softened

Directions for Making the Cupcakes: 

1. Combine the milk, eggs, lemon flavoring, and softened butter in a small bowl. I used a heavy whisk to mix the ingredients together.

Sift the flour …

2. Sift the gluten-free flour into a large mixing bowl. Seriously. Sift the flour. It will take you five extra seconds.

3. Add the baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix in a large mixing bowl on low until the ingredients are well combined.

My sous-chef has his eye on the mixing…

4.  Add half of the wet ingredients. Mix on low to combine. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining butter-milk-egg mixture. Beat for about a minute on medium.

5. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake tins – I used paper liners lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. This batch made just over a dozen cupcakes.

Out of the oven … about 20 minutes

6. Cook at 350 degrees for 18 to 25 minutes. Test with a long toothpick to make sure that the cupcake is cooked through. Remove cupcakes to a cooling rack and let them cool down while you prepare the lemon buttercream frosting.

Ingredients for the Lemon Buttercream Frosting: 

Lemon flavoring

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup shortening (I like Spectrum Organic trans-fat free)
1 teaspoon lemon flavoring (see photo left)
7 – 8 teaspoons water (maybe more)
1 lb (3 3/4 cups) confectioners’ powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Wilton Meringue Powder (bought mine at Michael’s)

Directions for Making the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

1. Cream butter, shortening, lemon flavoring, and water in a large mixer.

2. Add powdered sugar and meringue powder (optional).

3. Mix all ingredients on medium speed.

4. After the ingredients are combined, mix an additional minute or so to make it nice and creamy. You might need to add an additional teaspoon or so of water if the frosting is too stiff.

Frosting the cupcakes … I removed the wrappers from my cupcakes before I frosted them but it is personal preference if you prefer to keep the wrappers on! We also chose to change the color of our frosting using some gel coloring. The girls chose purple and the boys chose blue. I divided the frosting in half and dyed each half the appropriate color using little bits of gel color on toothpicks mixed into the frosting bit by bit. Color is totally optional! White looks gorgeous, too!

Lemon Buttercream Frosting … Lots of it!

After you have colored your frosting, scoop the frosting into plastic baggies and cut off the corner of the bag – we are very fancy over here! Twist the bag so that the frosting can be easily squeezed out of the corner of your ziploc bag and gently make fat circles around the top of your cupcake – starting on the outside and working your way into the top! My seven year old can even get the hang of this … it’s really not that hard and we think it looks pretty cool.

This batch of frosting makes about 2 1/2 cups and I used just about every last bit because we really piled the frosting on high! (If you have extra frosting, it will last in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.) These individual lemon poundcake cupcakes are so good that you could even skip the frosting or make a nice light glaze to go over the top. However, since this was a party, we had to do it up! Enjoy!!! 

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

6 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Lemon Poundcake Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting”

  1. That girl scout leader is a really special person! I am not personally GF but ALOT of people in my life are and the Jules flour is my personal favorite lately too! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing!

    1. I agree, lucky to know her!! 🙂 Glad that you are also a fan of Jules Gluten Free … her flour really is amazing! You can’t miss with this recipe if you have her flour on hand.

    1. Hi Carrie! Using a gluten-free flour definitely makes cakes and breads more dense. In this recipe, because it is intended to have a poundcake-like texture, the density kind of works! As for baking time, if I was using regular flour, I wouldn’t be surprised if these cupcakes only took 15 minutes. Mine were closer to 20 minutes for cooking.

    2. Thanks, Carrie! I would also really recommend you sifting the flour… I think it makes a big difference in cakes and cupcakes using gluten-free flour! Good luck!

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