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Cupcakes are little bundles of happiness.

And lemon cream cheese frosting is quite literally the icing on the cake.

My best friends (my bridesmaids) (my old, lovely college roommates) were turning the big 2-5 this past weekend. As is my tradition (and duty) as best friend/food blogger/lover of cake and cupcakes, I volunteered to host the party and provide the treats.

Lemon desserts are a favorite of one of my friends, so I had the idea of pairing lemon with chocolate. After taking a survey of my fridge and cabinets, I found 1 lemon, 1 package of cream cheese, lots of sugar, and 1 package of cake mix.

And, as I often say on this blog, magic happened.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (Adapted from Real Simple)
Frosts 12 cupcakes
>> Click here for printable recipe


  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon


  1. Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until the cream cheese is soft.
  2. Slowly add the sugar, zest, and juice and beat until creamy, about 3 minutes.

My Two Cents: Look at those sparkles of lemon zest in the frosting :) That’s real lemon flavor right there.

Everyone at the party was raving about these cupcakes. The lemon in the frosting wasn’t overpowering, and wasn’t too subtle. It was pure perfection.

I used a box chocolate cake mix for this recipe, and there’s no shame in that — especially if you have a killer frosting to go on top. This frosting would also be perfect with vanilla cupcakes or lemon cupcakes.

If your cream cheese is not at room temp when you want to make this, you can defrost it in the microwave for 15 second intervals until it is soft enough to beat.

Beware, though. The frosting only makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes. So double it if you have 24 or if you’re planning on frosting a cake.

Might I also suggest investing in silicone cupcake wrappers? They’re cute, reusable, green, and you’ll never have to buy cupcake wrappers ever again.

Enjoy! :D