Lemon White Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Roses

Prep Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 30 cupcakes

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Lemon and white chocolate is just such an amazing combination. I don’t know how it works… it just does. The citrusy lemon flavour and the buttery white chocolate flavour complement each other in this mysterious, wonderful way.

overhead image of lemon white chocolate cupcakes on white plate with pink frosting roses

I love this frosting recipe.

I have used it a few times, with both white and semisweet chocolate, and both are awesome. It is surprisingly light and fluffy and not too sweet. It whips up so beautifully in just a few minutes, and holds extremely well for piping.

close up image of lemon cupcakes with white chocolate frosting piped in a rose

These cupcakes are perfect for Mother’s Day or a spring birthday — moist and fluffy but not over the top sweet.

My baby girl turns 2 in just a few short weeks, so I’ve been looking at some different types of cakes and decorating ideas. I am just not a fan of fondant. I mean, it looks awesome. I just don’t know if I want to eat it. Or a cake covered in it.

Here you can see the contrast between the pink and purple.

Since I made these cupcakes with two-tone roses, I wanted to experiment a bit with a softer look. So instead of putting  a line of food colouring down the crease in my piping bag, I did this:

inside view of piping bag with one layer of frosting on the first edge
  • Once again, I lined up the thin end of my petal tip (I used a 125 this time) with the crease in the bag
  • I mixed two different colours of icing, one a purple-ish pink, and one a pale pink
  • I wanted the lighter colour at the tips of my petals, so with a small offset spatula I filled the bag about half full with the pink frosting, on the side with the smaller end of the petal tip. Leave space on the other side for your darker colour — make sure you can see right out the end of your tip still.
  • Carefully fill the rest of the bag with your darker colour, slowly pushing it toward the end of the tip. If your frosting is firm enough, this should be relatively easy.
  • The rest of the rose tutorial can be found here — I did everything exactly the same except that I didn’t start with a round bud this time. I created a tight swirl in the center of my cupcake with my petal tip and slowly worked my way around.
bite out of lemon white chocolate cupcake on black background

The two colours I used are fairly pale, and so the ombre shading is very subtle and delicate. If you want something a little more obvious, just make sure there is a greater contrast between your colours.

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Lemon White Chocolate Cupcakes with Ombre Roes

5 from 1 vote
Fresh, citrusy lemon and creamy, buttery white chocolate — a winning combination!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 30 cupcakes
Calories 254cal


For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon extract*
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • yellow food colouring optional

For the frosting

  • 3/4 cup chopped white chocolate or chips
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • CakePreheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin pans with liners or spray with non-stick.
  • In a large bowl, with a stand mixer or whisk, beat butter, applesauce and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and stir until well-combined. Stir in lemon juice, extract*, and buttermilk.
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt and food colouring and stir just until combined.
  • Spoon batter into lined or sprayed muffin tins about ¾ full. I baked mine exactly 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Bake until toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Coo while you prepare the frosting.
  • FrostingIn a small bowl, combine chocolate and milk and microwave at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, putting back in the microwave for another 30 seconds if needed. Set aside to cool.
  • In a stand mixer beat butter until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate, icing sugar and vanilla. Beat slowly at first, increasing speed as the icing sugar is incorporated.
  • Beat on medium-high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes.


*The original recipe calls for lemon zest. If I had had lemon zest, I certainly would have added it instead of extract. But good, fresh lemons can be somewhat difficult to find here on a regular basis, and so I settled for extract.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 254cal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 101mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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Cupcakes adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles.

Frosting adapted from Inside BruCrew Life.

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! Your piping skills are amazing! These roses are picture perfect! They look almost too good to eat! Note that I said “almost”. 🙂

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Denise! Everyone starts in the same boat — I just happen to really like playing with my food 😉

    • Ashley says

      Thanks so much Prudy! I was just over on your blog and I love the looks of your recipes, especially those Pop Tarts! They don’t seem nearly as hard as you’d think 🙂

  2. Librarian Lavender says

    Wow, these cupcakes are looking absolutely stunning! They’re almost too pretty to eat!

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