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Lemon Basil Cupcakes Recipe

Lemon Basil Cupcakes Recipe

Lemon cupcakes are a delight of summer, and a touch of basil really dresses them up. They're a wonderful light ending to a meal or a bright breakfast choice. Garnish each one with a candied fresh basil leaf. —Julie Ohnstad, Marietta, Georgia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD:24 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon peel strip (1-1/2 inches x 1/2 inch)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 new small paintbrush
  • 24 fresh basil leaves


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • 2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 3. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a small round pastry tip. Fill with lemon curd. Push the tip through the top of each cupcake to fill.
  • 4. For syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, basil and lemon peel. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Strain; discard basil and peel. Cool completely.
  • 5. In a large bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, 3 tablespoons lemon syrup, vanilla, lemon peel and extract until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Frost cupcakes. (Cover and refrigerate remaining syrup for another use.)
  • 6. Place corn syrup and sugar in small bowls. Dip paintbrush in corn syrup; brush over a basil leaf. Coat leaf with sugar. Repeat. Garnish cupcakes with basil leaves. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 cupcake equals 376 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 81 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Wine Pairings

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.