I love lemon desserts. They’re easily one of my favorites in anything – cakes, cookies, bars, you name it. And lemon totally reminds me of springtime, but without the allergies, sinus infections, pollen everywhere, and random days of hot weather that spring usually brings.
All that I can do without.
And one of the first things I baked when I first started baking was lemon bars. Well… my version of lemon bars. It was simply lemon cake mix, baked into a bar recipe, and studded with white chocolate chips. They were so simple but so delicious, and to this day they’re still one of my family’s favorite recipes.
These Lemon Bar Cupcakes get their name because they have lemon bar filling inside the cupcake and in the luscious frosting. They’re sweet, tart, and bursting with lemon flavor from that irresistible lemon bar filling, and they have just the right hint of crunch and sparkle from the yellow sugar sprinkled on top.
Springtime in a cupcake – with no traces of allergies? Sign me up!
Lemon Bar Cupcakes
- 1 box lemon cake mix plus ingredients on back of box
- 1 small box lemon pudding mix just the dry mix - I used sugar free, but you can use any kind
- 1 can Duncan Hines Lemon Pie Filling
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- About 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Yellow sanding sugar for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350* degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 18 paper liners. Set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the cake mix according to package directions on back of box. Stir in the lemon dry pudding mix to incorporate.
- Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full with the batter. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool the cupcakes completely.
- Using a small paring knife or a cupcake corer, core the cupcakes and discard centers, being careful not to puncture through the cupcake's bottom. You only want to core about halfway through the cupcake. Fill with some of the lemon pie filling.
- Now, to make your frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup of the lemon pie filling until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. You may not need all of the powdered sugar. If frosting becomes too thick, add in a little more lemon pie filling.
- Spoon the frosting into a piping bag attached with a large open-star tip. Begin piping the frosting onto the cupcakes, taking care to cover the lemon filling in the center. Sprinkle immediately with the yellow sanding sugar. Serve immediately, or store cupcakes airtight at room temperature for up to a day, or airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You guys – I cannot emphasize enough at how marvelous these cupcakes are! So light and fluffy, with that creamy lemon bar frosting and the gooey lemon bar filling. These are the ultimate springtime lemon cupcakes for a lemon dessert lover!
Heather @ Sugar Dish Me says
Gahhh I love these sososoosososo much! All the lemon everything but lemon bar filling INSIDE the cupcakes?! Sign me up.
Heck yeah, honey! You’re officially signed up. Come on down to California and I’ll bake these for your sweet face!!!
Jen @ Baked by an Introvert says
These cupcakes look great for spring! I love lemon desserts!
Thanks so much, Jen! I do love lemon desserts in the springtime, too!
June Burns says
Mmm those look fabulous! A very springy flavor indeed 🙂
Thanks June! I love me some lemon 😀
Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking says
I love anything lemon, and these cupcakes look and sound amazing!
Thank you Lisa! I’m having a major lemon crush right now 😀
Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking says
Ugh, all my comments are going to spam… le sigh.
They’re so pretty! Perfect for Easter.
Thank you so much, Tina! These would be perfect for Easter 🙂
Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking and More says
Pinned and drooled over!! Girl, these are magnificent!!! I LOVE anything lemon!!
Thanks so much, Lynne! xoxo.
You seriously make cupcakes that make my heart full of happiness! I love everything about these!! Like really!!
Thanks Zainab! <3
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says
What a great spring time recipe!
Thank you Laura!
Camille Beckstrand says
These look AMAZING!!!
Thanks so much, Camille!! 🙂
Thank for sharing.
Looks really yummy
These look delicious, sadly we do not have canned Lemon pie filling in Canada 🙁
Debbie – feel free to use lemon curd, either prepared or homemade 🙂 Enjoy! xoxo!
does anyone have a recipe for this but not using a box cake mix?
Sandra, feel free to search a site like AllRecipes.com for a scratch-made lemon cake. Then proceed as normal! 🙂
Judy Schindler says
HHaving trouble signing up
Anyone know what the filling equivalent would be in the UK? The cake mix is not a problem as I can make that
Lisa – do you have lemon curd? If so, use that – this is essentially the same thing.
Catherine Walker says
Do you use regular cooking lemon pudding mix or the instant ?
Thank you for posting this! They are by far the best lemon cupcakes!!
So glad you love them, Cathy!
What if the pudding is already in the cake mix?
Hi Laura, if there’s pudding in the cake mix you can omit the pudding from the recipe. However, I’ve added pudding to cake mix containing pudding and it works just the same 🙂
Dawn (Dee) says
Pure perfection. Can’t wait to have a reason to make them again. A huge hit. And fun to make!
Hi Dawn! Woohoo! So glad you loved them!
These look yummy!! But would they hold up at room temperature for about 4 hours? I have an open house I would like to use them at!
Donna Flynn says
I have tried this recipe twice. The cupcakes come out of the oven looking like souffles and very shortly afterwards they have shrunk down and in to mini cupcake size. Why? I ask? Did any one else have this problem? and, what can you do to keep them from shrinking?
Hi Donna! I am sorry this recipe is giving you troubles. Some suggestions: when too much air is incorporated into the cake batter (as is the case with accidentally over-mixing the batter), this will cause the cupcakes to deflate and shrink once removed from the oven. Also, make sure you fill your cupcake tins 3/4 full, which still gives the cupcakes space to expand and rise. Hope this helps!
This cake definitely has a “wow” factor. It looks fantastic!
Very delicious! I made a homemade lemon curd for the filling because I couldn’t find canned lemon pie filling. That wasn’t too hard to do and it all turned out amazing! The yellow sanding sugar really sets these off. Family and friends loved them!
Theses are delicious. I think I put too much filling in the cupcake, so you might want to watch your portion. The frosting is delicious. I made these for a birthday party and they were a hit!
So glad you enjoyed them, Ann!
Pamela Damm says
Just took the cupcakes out of the oven. Am going to refrigerate them after frosting. Taking them to a picnic tomorrow, so will refrigerate them until then. My concern is the sugaring will it dissolve if refrigerated
Are these regular size or mini cupcakes
Going try making these this weekend