Recipe: Citrus Sans Basil Cupcakes + Giveaway!


For our second monthly cupcake recipe {last month was Bahama Mama, remember?}, Suzi and I took inspiration from my Citrus & Basil cupcake soap. We consider ourselves to be pretty good in the kitchen, but even we couldn’t think of a way to combine citrus and basil into a cupcake without it tasting strange. So, we skipped the basil and went wholly citrus {truthfully, we were going to add it as a garnish, but our grocery store was out of fresh basil!}.


Oh, and, you can win your very own Citrus & Basil cupcake soap, too! Details at the end of the post!


Citrus Sans Basil Cupcakes with Zesty Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting — makes 18 cupcakes. Note: the cupcake recipe is inspired by this one from Martha Stewart, with a few tweaks. We take full credit for the frosting, however ;)

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 ⅔ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 orange (~ 1 ½ tbs)
  • zest of 1 lime (~ 1 tbs)
  • zest of 1 ½ lemons (~ 1 ½ tbs)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, divided (we added ½ cup at a time)
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • zest of one lime (~ 1 tbs)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice


The cupcake batter comes out surprisingly fluffy, but don’t be fooled! They end up being fairly dense after baking.


Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º and line your cupcake trays with paper liners.
  2. Add flour and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together.
  3. Blend butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix vanilla extract and oil into the butter mixture.
  5. Beat eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time.
  6. Mix all three zests into the butter mixture.
  7. Add in the flour/salt mixture and beat until well combined. You’ll want to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times with a spatula.
  8. Once evenly mixed, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about ⅔ of the way.
  9. Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes.


Frosting Directions:

  1. Cream together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add lime zest  and lemon juice and mix well.
  3. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup at a time.
  4. Blend together until whipped and slightly stiff.
  5. Spoon into a frosting bag or use a frosting pump and lay it on those cooled cupcakes!

Here’s a GIF of Suzi doing the frosting, ha!



Optional: add in some funky star candles. We had Stan and my Dad blow these out during their combined birthday party yesterday. :)


Not optional: Use caution when zesting your citruses! Suzi accidentally zested her finger. Ouch!


How do win the free Citrus & Basil cupcake soap? In the comments, tell me your favorite thing to make with citruses or basil. The contest will close this Saturday, October 5th, at 11:59 EDT. Open to U.S. residents only. The contest is now closed, thank you for entering!

Congratulations, Carolsue!