Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Delicately Sweet Lemon Cupcakes are capped with a Unique Fresh and Creamy Lemon Mascarpone Frosting. Perfect for those moments when you want to indulge in a light but luscious treat.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

A few months from the start of this little corner of the web, these lemon cupcakes were made; that was 7 years ago. Immediately, I was impressed by the turnout but after a few years, I felt indifferent for the images. They say, you eat with your eyes, so making these again with better images gives me confidence to continue to share a delightful recipe.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

If you’ve followed my experiences over the years, you may have noticed the improvement in writing, recipe development and certainly the artistry in photography – which happens to be my favorite part of blogging!

There are a few posts from the past I am currently updating whether it be the recipe or the images. You may have noticed a recent change that begun with a brownie post that was definitely good but could be tweaked for better or as I would like to call it, its Best yet! These lemon cupcakes were no different.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

The first change started with flour. This time around, I used pastry flour rather than all-purpose. It has a finer texture and a less protein content at 6% as opposed to all-purpose flour at 6-8%. Higher protein can create a drier, chewier texture. Using pastry flour gave the cupcakes a tighter crumb with extra volume and lightness. If pastry flour is not in your pantry, feel free to use all-purpose flour in the same volume.

Aside from the updated images, the frosting was the main component of the recipe to upgrade. During the first few years of blogging, my practice was limited to mostly buttercream or a cream cheese frosting. And while both tastes great, the desire to expand my skill set and use new ingredients came over. One of my newest attempts to make a different type of frosting was made this year and I fell in love. Take a look at this amazing Swiss meringue buttercream, I almost guarantee you’ll never want to go back to American buttercream again!

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

In this case, there wasn’t a new technical skill performed. Instead I chose to try a new ingredient never worked with before and that’s mascarpone cheese. An ivory-colored, creamy Italian cheese sold in tubs and is commonly used in tiramisu.

American buttercream used in the past lemon cupcakes is undoubtedly buttery and sweet! The downside to this type of frosting is that it can often be quite heavy and cloy. The kind people tend to scrape off a good amount because “it’s too much or too sweet.”

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

Why use mascarpone cheese?

Mascarpone cheese is quite different. As a frosting, you may want more on a cupcake than anticipated, but of course, this is dependent on what it’s flavored with. One of the first notable traits is its buttery scent and creaminess!

When whipped, air pockets may develop creating a very light and airy frosting. You can see these air pockets in the bitten cupcake shown above. To some, mascarpone cheese will have a more desirable soft or subtle aroma with the slightest bit of tang while maintaining its buttery and creamy characteristic. Note that its tang is practically unrecognizable thus perfect for altering its natural flavor when you want to add a more distinguishable one.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

All-in-all, I would make these cupcakes again when I want to indulge in a light treat with a more summery feel. By the way, can you believe I still had the same cupcake liners from 7 years ago?! I was surprised myself!

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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

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4.8 from 15 reviews

  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 18 cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian



Delicately Sweet Lemon Cupcakes are capped with a Unique Fresh and Creamy Lemon Mascarpone Frosting. Perfect for those moments when you want to indulge in a light but luscious treat.




  • 2 1/2 cups (305 grams) fine pastry flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (266 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons (14 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup (160 grams) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large egg whites (105 grams)
  • zest of 2 lemons (14 grams)


  • 2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (29 grams) powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon (7 grams)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).  Line 18 cupcake wells with cupcake liner; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, eggs and zest until liquid becomes a homogenous blend, about 1 minute. 
  4. Slowly pour liquid mixture in with the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Avoid overmixing. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner; about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans about halfway through baking.  Cupcakes are ready when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry with just a few crumbs.  Allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack to room temperature before frosting.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large chilled bowl using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and lemon juice until soft peaks begin to form.  Add in mascarpone cheese and continue to mix until stiff peaks form. 
  7. In a piping bag fitted with a 1M star tip, fill the bag with frosting and pipe in a circular motion beginning from the edge and working upwards toward the center. As you approach the tip, begin to release pressure and pull straight upward to form a tip. Sprinkle with lemon zest.  ENJOY!



I used Bob’s Red Mill for fine pastry flour. If you do not have fine pastry flour, you may substitute for all-purpose flour.

I used 3 tablespoons Saco buttermilk powder mixed in with 3/4 cup water.  Alternatively, you can mix the buttermilk powder in with the dry ingredients and add the water with the liquid ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Cuisine: American

More Lemon Desserts

Recipes Using Mascarpone Cheese


  • Blackberry Lavender Crumble
    A buttery crumble over a succulent blackberry lavender filling creates a charming dessert with a beautiful floral scent. A delightful treat best served warm with ice cream!
  • Baileys Tres Leches Cake
    Talk about chocolate decadence doused in Irish Cream. This sinfully lush Baileys Tres Leches Cake will make you fall in love from the very first bite!
  • Blood Orange Mascarpone Tart
    Brighten your wintry days with the soft raspberry-citrus flavor of Blood Oranges in this Mascarpone Tart nestled in a homemade all-butter pie crust. And for a little extra lusciousness, dollop honey-sweetened mascarpone whipped cream and blood orange curd.
  • Praline Pumpkin Bread
    Get cozy with the warm scent of Praline Pumpkin Bread. Just sweet enough with a perfect tender crumb and an incredibly nutty crunch of pecans and sweet caramel glaze.

27 thoughts on “Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting”

  1. I’m making one 3-layer cake soon and want to use this frosting… should I triple the recipe? I need enough for filling between a couple layers and frosting the cake . What would you recommend?

    1. Hi Ariana,
      Yes, Definitely tripling the mascarpone frosting portion of the recipe would be sufficient to frost a few layers and around the sides. I always say, it’s best to have extra frosting than just enough. I’d love to see your cake when it’s all done. Feel free to tag me on IG or twitter if you have an account (@urbanbakes #urbanbakes). Have fun and hope you enjoy it!
      – Connie

    1. Hi Susie, I recommend for best results, make on the same day. It is possible to make a day early but it may lose its volume and not have that nice “fluff.” Some say you can rewhip and it should be okay but personally, I would make the same day of serving. Had this been a frosting using butter, than that would be a buttercream-type of frosting that can definitely hold its shape made a day early. It’s a good thing this mascarpone frosting can whip up in just minutes! Good luck and happy baking!

      1. I was so excited to make this recipe, because lemon and mascarpone are my favorites… it was not great. I followed the recipe to a T. It looks beautiful, but the taste leaves much to be desired. It’s way too salty, and the icing has little flavor or sweetness. I don’t like overly sweet desserts either… but it just tastes like whipped heavy cream and salty lemon bread.

        1. Hi Shelby, Sorry this didn’t work for you; I wish this wasn’t the outcome. Are you 100% positive you used 1 teaspoon of salt? In my experience, it would be impossible to have salty cupcakes with 1 teaspoon of salt to 2 1/2 cups of flour along with over a cup of sugar. I could see salty cupcakes being a possibility had 1 TABLESPOON been used but certainly not a teaspoon.
          As mentioned in the post itself, the frosting is different from a buttercream type that is sweet. I also mentioned, I changed the original recipe made years ago to have a less sweetened taste so it clearly states there was another “sweeter” version which has a direct link you could follow. Since you mentioned my frosting has little flavor or sweetness… one good thing about mascarpone cheese or in most frostings in general, you may add more sugar and zest to reach your desired level of sweetness and flavor.
          Thank you for giving this recipe a try. I wish you the best of luck in baking.

  2. Your photos are absolutely stunning and these cupcakes are exquisite. I wish I could reach in and grab one…they are so pretty. It’s like something you would find at a wedding :) I have to make these for the summer season <3

    1. Aww so sweet, Tammy. I’m flattered you think these cupcakes are wedding worthy. I truly enjoy creating and taking photos of food so there’s a lot of heart behind it. <3

  3. Love your upgrades to the recipe!! You do eat with your eyes and your photos clearly show how gorgeous these amazing cupcakes are!

  4. These cupcakes are so beautiful and delicate, and I have such a weakness for lemony sweet things so I am making them tonight!

  5. These photos are gorgeous! I am also in the process of giving old good posts new images, but it takes time. Great choice with mascarpone! That is my favourite too, and it pairs so well with lemon as it’s much less sour on its own than cream cheese!

  6. You caught my attention at lemon… then at light… then at luscious! These cupcakes are stunning and delicious! I can’t wait to whip up a batch of these.

  7. You can count me among the group who tend to avoid American buttercream. I love desserts, but it’s just too rich and sweet for me in general. But this mascarpone frosting is spectacular, and a welcome change! It’s also a wonderful tangy compliment to the lemon.

    Very glad you returned to this recipe armed with knowledge and skills you’ve gained along the way. Your photography here is fantastic, and wonderfully inviting. Cheers!

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