These Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes are one of my all-time favourite cupcakes. Lovers of lemon will be delighted with them. They are intensely lemony with a moist and tender texture. So, when life gives you lemons, put them to good use and bake a batch of these delicious gluten-free cupcakes.
Why we love this recipe:
The cupcakes are made with simple ingredients that you may already have on hand.
Topping the cakes with the lemon and sugar drizzle keeps them moist and reinforces the vibrant lemon flavour. It also adds lovely texture to the cake as the sugar provides a little crunch. Further, it is easy to make the drizzle; quicker, too than frosting the cakes.
Like our Chocolate Cupcakes, these are ideal for special occasions, they are also perfect for school lunch boxes, to take on picnics, to potlucks or to enjoy with the family.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Butter – One of the most important roles that butter plays in baking is the flavour that it adds. In addition, it helps to give the cake a more tender texture.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – for the best flavour it is essential to use fresh lemon juice.
Lemon zest – helps reinforce the lemon flavour.
Caster/superfine sugar – As the name suggests, it is finer in texture than regular granulated sugar and therefore, it dissolves more readily.
Eggs – I use large free-range eggs. The eggs add structure and richness.
Almond flour/almond meal – I prefer to use blanched almond flour/almond meal as it gives the cakes a finer texture than we would get from whole almond flour.
Gluten-free self-raising flour – I have used a commercial gluten-free self-raising flour which is made from a blend of naturally occurring gluten-free flours along with the addition of a raising agent. However, you can substitute regular self-raising flour if you don’t need the cupcakes to be gluten-free. Our gluten-free flour blends contain either xanthan or guar gum to stabilise and provide structure to our recipes.
Sea salt – a small amount of salt is a great flavour booster in sweet dishes.
Granulated sugar – I have used granulated sugar in the lemon drizzle as it provides more crunch.
Step by Step Instructions:
- To begin, add butter, sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream them together;
- Then, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on the lowest speed, I slowly add the sifted flour, almond meal and salt.
- Once the mixture is combined, you are ready to add it to the prepared muffin tin.
- Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the mixture into the paper-lined muffin cups. Bake the cupcakes in the pre-heated oven for 17-20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- and 6. Combine the lemon juice and sugar and drizzle this mixture over the still-warm cupcakes.
Tips for success and FAQs:
It is important that you have your ingredients at room temperature otherwise they will not incorporate smoothly.
Bake the cupcakes for approximately 18 minutes or until they are a light golden shade and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Try not to over-bake the cupcakes as they will become dry.
For the best flavour it is essential to use fresh lemon juice.
Drizzle the lemon and sugar mixture onto the cupcakes while they are still warm from the oven. Leave in the tin for the drizzle mixture to set then remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack.
Yes, you can. Wait until they are completely cool and wrap securely in cling wrap. Either wrap well in aluminium foil or place into a freezer-safe container and freeze up to 3 months.
Yes, this recipe will work with regular or gluten-free self-raising flour.
More delicious lemon recipes for you to try:
- Classic Lemon Curd
- Belgian Lemon Tea Cake
- Three Ingredient Lemon Marmalade
- Lemon Madeleines
- Creamy Lemon Pie
- Individual Lemon Curd Meringues
- Quick and Easy Lemon Ice Cream
Whether you’re baking these Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes for a special occasion or unwinding by doing some leisurely baking, you can be certain that they will be a crowd-pleaser.
Let me know in the comments below when you have tried them!
Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- ½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter (at room temperature) See Note 1
- 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup (220 g) caster/superfine sugar
- 4 large eggs (at room temperature) See Note 1
- 1 ¾ cups (175 g) almond meal/almond flour See Note 2
- 1 cup (150 g) gluten-free self-raising flour – sifted
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt See Note 3
For the Lemon Drizzle:
- ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice strained
- ¾ cup (170 g) granulated sugar See Note 4
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 175 Degrees C (350 F) and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners.
- Chop the room-temperate butter into small cubes. Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric beaters, add the butter, caster/superfine sugar and lemon zest to a bowl and combine well until the mixture is light and creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour, almond meal and salt. To avoid over-beating, fold in the last of the flour by hand.
- Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, evenly distribute the mixture between the 12 muffin cups.
- Place into the pre-heated oven and cook for 17-20 minutes until they area light golden shade and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. –see Note 5Remove the cupcakes from the oven and set aside while you make the drizzle.
For the Lemon Drizzle:
- Mix the lemon and sugar together and drizzle over the top of the still warm cupcakes.
- Wait about 5 minutes for the drizzle mixture to set and then remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
- So that the ingredients combine smoothly, it is essential that all ingredients be at room temperature.
- I prefer to use blanched almond meal/almond flour as the cakes will have a finer texture than using whole almond meal/almond flour.
- I use coarse cooking sea salt; do not use fine table salt, it is too strong and contains anti-caking agents.
- I use granulated sugar in the lemon drizzle mixture. The granulated sugar provides more crunch.
- As all ovens are different, this time may vary slightly. The cakes should be golden, slightly bouncy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- For the most accurate results when baking, we recommend weighing your ingredients using a kitchen scale.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on one cupcake as one serve. The nutritional information is an estimate only.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
Love how light and fluffy these cupcakes are! Truly perfect gluten free baking.
Thank you so much, Lisa 🙂
A lemon lovers delight!! So good!
Thank you so much, Miranda!
Oh, Wow! These look amazing. I was keeping yesterday’s yummy recipe, the Gluten Free Almond Cake, to make as a surprise Father’s Day present, but now I can’t make up my mind which one to make. Almond cake or Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes? What a choice! Maybe I’ll have to both.
Many thanks for these recipes. They are great to have, especially as I am learning to cater for a Celiac.
Hi Ros, I’m delighted to hear that you are enjoying our gluten-free recipes. We have a lot on the blog and I hope they will be helpful. And now the dilemma; which cake to choose? If you’re looking for a cake which is quickly and easily made, the Almond Cake is ideal. So fast! People who love lemon will enjoy the cupcakes. But maybe you’ll make both? If we can be of any help with your journey into gluten-free cooking, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Kind regards, Alex.
These are so scrumptious that they didn’t last long in this house! They were very easy to make and I substituted the butter with nuttelex to make them dairy free.
Fantastic to know that works as a substitute – thank you so much for letting us know 🙂
I am a big fan of lemon so these are right up my alley Alex! Yum!
Thank you so much, Christie!
Katherine | Love In My Oven
Love all things lemon!! These are fantastic and I love that they’re gluten-free!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Like happy rays of sunshine – so pretty! Such a nice change of pace that they don’t need frosting (and like you said – quicker, too!). And I love that they can even be frozen since they’re not frosted – brilliant!
Hi Shelley, thank you for the lovely comments regarding our Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes. I am delighted to hear that you like them, thank you for letting me know. 🙂
We love how lemony these muffins are – a family favorite!
Thank you so much, Gina! So pleased you enjoyed these 🙂
I was sold t lemon. These came out perfect and were such a hit around the house!
Thank you so much, Danielle!
I love lemon drizzle cupcakes so much! Can’t believe how easy they are to make!
I am so glad you enjoyed these, Chris 🙂
What a great recipe. Just checking- Do I need to combine the flour, almond meal and salt together before slowly adding to the mix? Also should the almond meal quantity read 1 1/4 cups?. Can I also reduce the sugar quantity in the mix? I found my cupcakes were a bit chewy on top with little pinholes, but the texture inside was fine? Thanks for your help.
Thank you so much for your comment – I am glad you like the recipe!
To answer your questions:
1. No need to combine the flour/almond meal/salt first – you certainly can do this though.
2. The recipe quantity of almond meal is correct as written (1 3/4 cups) but we do always recommend a kitchen scale where possible for complete accuracy in baking.
3. I have never reduced the sugar quantity in this recipe, so I can’t comment on this as such, but I don’t see why reducing it slightly would be an issue.
4. Pinholes on top tend to come for one of two reasons – perhaps the butter and sugar was not creamed together for long enough, or once the flour is added, the mixture may have been slightly overbeaten. I wonder too if perhaps your oven heats a little hotter on the top than ours does, and perhaps you could try the middle rack next time?
I hope this helps, and thank you for stopping by our blog 🙂 Kind regards, Alex