These Moist Lemon Cupcakes with Mousse Filling are super moist with a fresh lemon flavor and tucked inside is a tangy lemon mousse filling. They get finished with a lemony cream cheese frosting. YUM! 

Lemon Cupcakes.

Do you love lemons?  Lemons bring sunshine into my life.  I love them!  Although, I might love them, it took three times experimenting in the MCT kitchen before getting these little bites of lemony sunshine to the perfect texture.  Something that I thought would be an easy win-win in the kitchen ended up testing my science of baking know-how.


As I mentioned, I experimented with these cupcakes three times before getting the perfect texture along with the perfect amount of moistness.

Experiment 1 – I used butter, milk and lemon juice for moistness and flavor and self rising flour for leavening.  And eggs of course for binding everything together.  The cupcakes had a great flavor, but the cupcakes had a somewhat cornmeal like texture.  No…no…no!

Experiment 2 – I used butter, buttermilk and lemon juice for moistness and flavor and all-purpose flour and baking powder and salt for leavening.  The texture was okay but not as tender and moist as I preferred.  Nope…not a keeper!

Experiment 3  (Winner)  – I increased the buttermilk by two tablespoons and added an extra egg yolk.  The cupcakes were soft and moist.  We have a winner!!!


I made a quick and easy mousse filling to hide inside of the cupcakes.  I wanted anyone who bit into these lemony bites of bliss to get an extra creamy lemony surprise and believe me my friends were pleasantly surprised.  I could hardly resist getting a large spoon and helping myself to the entire bowl of mousse when I was filling the cupcakes.  I doubled this recipe, therefore the pictures of the mousse and frosting are a doubled batch.

I used a Wilton cupcake corer to remove a small section of the cupcake to make room for that delicious moose.  If you don’t have a cupcake corer don’t fret.  You can use an apple corer or just use a small paring knife to core out the centers.  Tip:  Save the centers that you remove.  Use them to enjoy with ice cream, or you can enjoy them with your leftover mousse filling.

These cupcakes are also excellent filled with lemon curd.  I was going for something light and creamy so I decided on mousse.  Try it both ways and see which one you prefer the most.

The lemon cream cheese frosting

For the frosting, I made a quick and easy, five-minute, lemon cream cheese frosting.  A perfect complement to these tangy cupcakes.

Lemon Cupcakes.

Are you a lemon lover?  If so, check out my other lemon recipes:

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love getting your feedback. 🙂

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Moist Lemon Cupcakes with Mousse Filling

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  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven


These Moist Lemon Cupcakes with Mousse Filling are super moist with a fresh lemon flavor and tucked inside is a tangy lemon mousse filling.  They get finished with a delicious cream cheese frosting. YUM! 


Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons full fat buttermilk


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 small box lemon instant pudding, 3.5 ounce


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

  1. Sift the flour.  Re-measure the flour and sift again along with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer).  Mix the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated and mixture is light and creamy.  Add the buttermilk alternately with the dry ingredients,  Mix only long enough to incorporate the dry ingredients.  Do not over mix.
  3. Divide batter equally between the muffin cups.  Gently shake pan back and forth to evenly distribute batter.
  4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.  Cupcakes only be lightly browned browned around the edges.  Do not over bake.
  5. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Add the whipping cream and pudding to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer).  Mix on low speed until mixture begins to thicken slightly.  Turn mixer to high and mix until mixture becomes thick.  You can actually make the mousse filling first if you prefer and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Using a cupcake corer, apple corer or a thin knife, remove the center of each cupcake, going about two thirds of the way through.  Save the centers to enjoy with ice cream or leftover mousse.
  3. Place a round tip in a pastry bag and fill bag two thirds full with the mousse.  Fill the center cavity of each cupcake level with the top of the cupcake.  Set cupcakes aside.  (If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can snip off one corner of a plastic storage bag and use it).


  1. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer.  Whisk on medium high speed until cream cheese is real light and creamy and free of any lumps.  Add the   butter, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix well on medium speed.  Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed until it’s mostly incorporated, then turn mixer to medium speed and mix until frosting is light and creamy  Frosting should be the perfect consistency for piping.  If it’s a little bit too thin, add a little more sugar.  If it’s a little too thick, add a little bit of milk, until you have the perfect consistency.
  2. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes using your favorite decorating tip.  Garnish with sprinkles or other decor if desired.
  3. Store cupcakes in an airtight container.  Keep refrigerated until one hour before serving.
  4. Cupcake will stay fresh for up to three days, refrigerated.


Cupcakes can be made up to one day in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Frosting and mousse filling can be make up to one day in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.

Cupcakes can be frozen without frosting for up to three months.