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+ servings
lilac cupcake on a platter

Lilac Cupcakes and Lilac Buttercream Frosting

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 cupcakes
Calories: 312kcal
Author: Emily
These Lilac Cupcakes and Lilac Buttercream frosting are beautiful to make and even more delicious to eat!
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Lilac Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • ¾ cup lilac sugar (see notes)
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon lilac syrup (see notes)
  • ½ cup milk, room temp

Lilac Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoon lilac syrup (see notes)
  • 2-3 tablespoon milk
  • purple food coloring (or red and blue)
  • fresh lilac flowers for decoration


Lilac Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare the cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the egg, lemon zest, and lilac syrup and mix in.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients and mix into the sugar mixture using a spatula or spoon (you don't want to overmix the flour!). Add half of the milk and combine. Repeat until all of the ingredients have been mixed in.
  • Fill liners with batter and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Allow the cupcake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Lilac Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix in completely. Put in the vanilla, milk, and lilac syrup and combine. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and continue beating until the frosting is smooth. Add the food coloring and mix in completely.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes using a piping bag and tip of choice (I used Wilton 2D). Add fresh lilac flowers on top of each cupcake for aroma and decoration. Enjoy immediately.


  • Ensure you use only lilac flowers that have not been sprayed with chemicals. Rinse the flowers and remove them from the stem before eating or using them in these recipes.
  • Make your own lilac sugar in your coffee grinder! Place ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lilac flowers in your coffee grinder. Pulse until combined. Place in an airtight container until ready to use. 
  • Make your own lilac syrup by steeping lilac flowers in a simple syrup. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 cup lilac flowers in a small saucepan. Being to a boil and remove from the heat. Allow the syrup to steep and cool for 2-3 hours. Strain the flowers from the syrup, add purple food coloring, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. 


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.2g | Protein: 1.9g | Fat: 18.1g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 29.7g | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg