Day 189/365: Lemony Sunshine Cupcakes

Amazing Lemon Cupcake Recipe

I love the tart taste of lemon in any food and this amazing lemon cupcake recipe quickly became a favorite. It’s rare that a Food Network recipe doesn’t turn out good, and this delicious cupcake recipe will have people asking for more.

Lemon Cupcake recipe

Lemon Sunrise Surprise Cupcakes

Lemony Sunshine Cupcakes from the Food Network as just as good to look at as they are to eat.

This recipe and resulting cupcake is actually from my friend Shelli who made these for her co-workers and favorite customers on her last day at Hamilton Color Lab in Omaha. I inherited her job and am the point of contact for all customers and help photographers, artists, and businesses get the most out of their images.

All the customers that came in that day were sad to see Shelli leave, there were calls, hugs, and well wishes as she heads back to school to continue her next life journey. But for the two of us it’s not good bye, it’s just see you later as we were Facebook friends before I found the job.

Recipe was found my her daughter on the Food Network.


For crust and topping:

  • 1 1/3 cups shortbread cookie crumbs, (22 Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (Shellie suggested to reduce to 2 TBSP)

For the batter:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small box (3.4 ounce) instant lemon pudding
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box lemon cake mix (recommended: Betty Crocker Super Moist)
  • 1/3 cup lemon curd


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard muffin tins with 16 foil cupcake liners; set aside.

Place shortbread cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl; stir until well combined; set aside.

In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time and mix just until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add vegetable oil, water, and the box of lemon pudding. Mix until combined. Add cake mix and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Batter will be on the thick side.

Place a slightly heaping tablespoon of shortbread cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use your fingers or the bottom of a small glass to firmly pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining shortbread cookie crumb mixture for topping.

Use a 1/4 cup spring loaded ice cream scoop and place a level scoop full of batter into each muffin cup.

Load the lemon curd into a small sandwich size resealable bag, removing the air from the bag before sealing. Squeeze the curd to 1 corner of the bag and use scissors to snip a 1/4- inch piece from corner of bag; set aside.

With a damp finger or the end of a wooden spoon dipped in water, make a shallow indentation into the center of each cupcake. Pipe 3/4 to 1 teaspoon lemon curd into each indentation. Sprinkle tops of cupcakes evenly with remaining shortbread cookie crumbs.

Bake for 21 to 23 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until edges of cupcakes are lightly golden brown.

Serve cupcakes warm from the oven or at room temperature.

7 thoughts on “Day 189/365: Lemony Sunshine Cupcakes

  1. Thanks ladies, to think that if it hadn’t been for this project I wouldn’t of dove into photography again and even found this company or job. So excited about the possibilities

  2. Congratulations. You might want to try this shot on a white background. I fell into a job the same way. Being a Nikon rep.

    1. I was lucky to get a shot of it before I ate it. Just put it on a display table by the window and took a quick pic. But I should experiment more and get a white box. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. I am so excited to see “the cupcake” has arrived. I’ve been on the lookout for it, thinking, I really should make those cupcakes again to use up the lemon curd I still have. I am glad you enjoyed them.

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