Spice Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Soft spice cupcakes loaded with raisins and nuts, topped with a sweet and tangy lemon buttercream frosting. A unique flavor combination you’ll love!

Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for sharing with friends and family. These spice cupcakes with lemon buttercream are not only easy, but delicious! You’ll love the unique pairing of lemon and spice.

frosted spice cupcakes on a table

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • 100% from scratch
  • Lightly spiced flavor from cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • Added raisins and walnuts for texture
  • Homemade lemon buttercream

How to Make Buttermilk

If you don’t have buttermilk at home, make your own! Pour one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a one cup measuring cup. Then fill the rest of the way with milk. Allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes and then add to the recipe.

How to Make Spice Cupcakes

We use a stand mixer or hand mixer to mix this batter. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed so all of the ingredients get mixed in evenly.

  • In a large mixer bowl, combine the shortening and brown sugar. Mix well.
  • Add the buttermilk and eggs and mix again.
  • Add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Fold in the raisins and walnuts. There is no need to pre-soak the raisins.
  • Place about 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. Fill the cups about ½ full with the cake batter.
  • Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until the top springs back when you touch it.

Can you use self-rising flour?

Yes! If you use self-rising flour, omit the salt and baking soda, but still use the full two cups of self-rising flour.

Lemon Buttercream

As with all of our buttercream recipes, it is best if you use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip buttercream into the perfect texture.

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until almost white in appearance.
  • Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
  • Add the lemon juice and the lemon zest as the confectioners’ sugar, mixing constantly.
  • Add in milk as needed to get a good piping consistency and beat until light and fluffy.

Piping Frosting Swirls

Frosting swirls on cupcakes may look complicated, but it is actually fairly easy!

You’ll need:

  • Frosting Bags. We like disposable. No cleanup. (Unless you want to wash it and reuse it.)
  • Large Frosting Tip. We like either Wilton 1M or 2D. With these large tips, there is no need to use a coupler to hold the tip in. They’ll slip right into the frosting bag.

Cut off about an inch of the tip of the frosting bag. Place the frosting tip into the bag and push down so it is nice and tight.

Fill the frosting bag with frosting, then squeeze out any air.

frosting bag piping frosting on a cupcake

Place the tip perpendicular to the top of the cupcake, then push and swirl in circles, piling up the frosting as high as you’d like it to go. When you are done, stop squeezing the bag and pull quickly up.

an unwrapped spice cupcake on a plate

How to Store Cupcakes

Cupcakes are safe to store at room temperature for 3 days, or in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Make sure to store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

You can freeze them for up to 2 months.

spiced cupcake cut in half laying on a table
spiced cupcake cut in half laying on a table

Spice Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

4.50 from 2 votes
Soft spice cupcakes loaded with raisins and nuts, topped with a sweet and tangy lemon buttercream frosting. A unique flavor combination you'll love!
Servings 24
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

For the buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions
 

Make the cupcakes:

  • In a large mixer bowl, combine the shortening and brown sugar. Mix well.
  • Add the buttermilk and eggs and mix again.
  • Add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Fold in the raisins and walnuts.
  • Place about 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. Fill the cups about ½ full with the cake batter.
  • Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until the top springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the buttercream:

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until almost white in appearance.
  • Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
  • Add the lemon juice and the lemon zest as the confectioners’ sugar, mixing constantly.
  • Add in milk as needed to get a good piping consistency and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Use a large cake decorating tip (Wilton 1M or 2D) to pipe swirls on the cupcakes.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Recipe Source: Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 24 cupcakes, with 1 serving being 1 frosted cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 256
Keyword cupcake recipe, easy spice cake

About Julie Clark

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