Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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Calling all lemon dessert lovers! This easy Lemon Buttercream Frosting is impossible to resist. Pipe it onto cupcakes, spread it on a cake–or just eat it with a spoon. It’s that good!

Warmer weather means more lemon recipes! In my book, lemon desserts are a year-round indulgence. Lemon Bars, anyone?

Creamy lemon frosting in a clear glass bowl.
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Why this Recipe Works

This is the ONLY lemon frosting recipe you’ll ever need! We love the fluffy consistency and zing of citrus in every bite.

  • Made with real lemon juice and zest.
  • Four simple ingredients.
  • The perfect balance of tart and sweet.
  • A versatile frosting for lemon cake, lemon cupcakes, cookies and all your favorite lemon recipes!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for lemon buttercream frosting.
  • Fresh lemon. Using fresh juice and zest is a must for best flavor. You’ll need both the zest and the juice for this lemon buttercream frosting recipe. Use our easy guide on how to zest a lemon for best tips.
  • Heavy whipping cream. This gives the frosting a rich creamy flavor that’s so much better than regular milk.
  • Powdered sugar. Sometimes referred to as confectioner’s sugar.
  • Butter. I always choose unsalted butter for my baking.

Serving Suggestions

The hardest part of making lemon buttercream frosting from scratch is deciding how you’re going to use it!

Lemon frosting ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer.

Recipe FAQs

How much lemon juice do I need for this frosting recipe?

You’ll need about 2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. One medium sized lemon should yield that much juice easily.

Can I use regular milk instead of heavy cream?

The heavy cream creates a richer, creamier frosting. However, if needed to, you can substitute milk. Add a little at a time to avoid making the lemon buttercream frosting too thin.

I only have salted butter. Can I still make this frosting recipe?

Yes, salted butter will work if you don’t have unsalted. For best results, use a high quality butter with high fat content and low water content.

How do you store homemade buttercream frosting?

Keep this frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Let it sit out at room temperature for 10 – 20 minutes before using to soften it up.

Can you freeze lemon buttercream?

Freezing is a great option for leftover buttercream! Lemon buttercream can be stored in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and soften at room temperature before adding to your cupcakes and cakes.

Lemon buttercream frosting whipped to a fluffy texture.

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Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe

4.65 from 14 votes
By: Aimee
Calling all lemon dessert lovers! This easy Lemon Buttercream Frosting is impossible to resist. Pipe it onto cupcakes, spread it on a cake–or just eat it with a spoon. It's that good!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 servings


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
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  • For the frosting, beat butter for 3-5 minutes until pale in color.
  • Add powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice (about 2 Tbsp from fresh lemon) and cream. Beat for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.


  • One lemon, depending on the size will yield anywhere from 1-2 Tablespons of zest and juice. For the frosting, add what tastes good to YOU. More lemon zest for more flavor.
  • Recipe makes enough frosting for a 2 layer cake or 24 cupcakes.


Calories: 143kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 2mg, Sugar: 18g
Course: Basics
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

The search for the perfect lemon cupcake frosting is over! It doesn’t get any tastier (or easier) than this sweet Lemon Buttercream Frosting recipe .

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 29, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Perfect for my family and for the cupcakes I just made! So excited to make this! Looks tasty and very yummy!

4.65 from 14 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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