Lemon-Ricotta Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Frosting Save RecipePreview Recipe
Christina Holmes

Lemon-Ricotta Cupcakes with Fluffy Lemon Frosting

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes 12

Joanne Chang makes her moist, lemony, fresh-tasting cupcakes with honey instead of refined sugar, which keeps the sweetness in check. This is the perfect grown-up cupcake.

Slideshow: Cupcake Recipes


  1. One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  2. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  3. 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
  4. 1/3 cup honey
  5. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  6. 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 2/3 cup honey
  6. 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  7. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  8. 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  9. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 1 large egg yolk
  12. 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  1. Make the Frosting In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and beat until incorporated. Beat in the honey, vanilla and salt. Cover and refrigerate until firm and spreadable, about 3 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, Make the Cupcakes Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the honey with the ricotta, vegetable oil, lemon zest and vanilla; whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Whisk in one-third of the flour mixture just until incorporated, then whisk in half of the crème fraîche until smooth, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the remaining crème fraîche until well incorporated.
  3. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely. Frost the cupcakes and garnish with lemon zest.
Make Ahead
The cupcakes can be refrigerated for 2 days.