Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cupcakes, Gluten Free

There is nothing that makes Cap’n Awesome happier in the middle of a dreary winter than a little lemon treat. Maybe it is the color yellow, or the fact that he hails from the lemon-loving in-laws, or that he thinks lemon is a condiment that goes with everything, but mention lemon and he is instantly cheered.

Blueberries and lemon are great friends. In this little confection the lemon mingles with a twist of blueberry just to give the tiny cake a nice flavor balance.

The cupcake recipe is simple. You need a bowl, a glass container to melt some butter with enough room to add more wet ingredients, and a wooden spoon or whisk to mix it all together. Scoop into cupcake liners.  Bake.  That’s it.

Be sure to get some powdered lemon peel because it pops the flavor. It is worth it. I have the small container from Penzeys and it is lasting a long time. I purchase almost all my herbs and spices from them and not only are they fabulous but the prices are right.  I’m always looking for bargains on good stuff.

I tried to make a nice sugared blueberry concoction for the swirl. The first batch  became hard (blue) candy and the 2nd batch became my first stove-top carbon experiment of the year (later in the week I’d make more carbon in the oven).

Then I had a moment of clarity, often referred to as sanity and realized that people are not going to stand around the stove-top waiting for some blueberries to sugar up properly so they can make a silly cupcake. Nope. So I took myself to the store and asked: “Self, what would make a swell blueberry swirl?”  It came to me after I put variations of chocolate in my cart along with some really nice cheeses – having nothing to do with my mission – that blueberry jam would be just about perfect.

The lemon butter cream frosting does require a mixer and whip attachment. It is worth the clean up because you get to eat the leftovers from the bowl. How bad is that?

Bring a little sunshine into January and make these lemon blueberry swirl cupcakes immediately.  Your day will be much better for it. Really.

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cupcakes, Gluten Free
The flavors of lemon and blueberry in this cupcake are sure to make you swoon. Make sure you find the best blueberry jam/jelly you can get because the flavor pops right out. The fresh blueberries with the lemon butter cream are delicious. In the middle of winter this cupcake will remind you that sunshine and warm days are really on the way, even if it just in your kitchen for now. Fiori di Sicilia flavoring can be found at King Arthur Flour (online). My little bottle has lasted for well over a year and a tiny bit goes a long way - it is an awesome flavor of citrus and vanilla.
  • 6 oz. GF flour (3 oz. superfine brown rice flour, 2 oz. superfine white rice flour, 1 oz. tapioca starch)
  • 6 oz. white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered lemon peel spice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon Limoncello
  • ¼ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional but splendid)
  • 1-2 tablespoon juice from a lemon
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons really good blueberry jam
Lemon Butter Cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature (but not gooey melty)
  • 18-20 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon (generous) of Limoncello
  • ¼ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional but splendid)
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
  • a dozen or so large fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put liners in a cupcake tin. (12)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, weigh the flours together, add in the sugar, powdered lemon peel, baking soda and salt. Whisk. To the melted and cooled butter add the eggs, lemon zest, flavoring and mix well. Add to the dry mixture and whisk or beat with a paddle attachment until smooth, about a minute or two. Scoop into cupcake liners about ⅓ full. Add about a ½ teaspoon of jam on top of each cupcake scoop. Using a toothpick give it a quick swirl. Scoop remaining batter until each liner is about ⅔ full. Add another half teaspoon or so of jam to each cupcake. Swirl again.
  3. Bake at 350 for five minutes. Turn oven to 325 and bake about 10-12 minutes more or just until a toothpick comes out with tiny crumbs. Cool and transfer each cupcake to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Butter Cream
  1. In a stand mixer whip together the cream cheese and butter until one mushy mess. Add in all the flavorings. Whip. Then add in the sugar starting with about 18 oz. and whip on low until incorporated. Add in lemon juice one tablespoon at a time or just until the butter cream looks like the right consistency - not too spready and not too stiff. Add more sugar or more lemon juice to adjust. Whip on medium high for at least three minutes until very light and fluffy. Scoop into a piping bag. Refrigerate the bag of butter cream or put the bowl in the refrigerator to set a little bit. It might need a little chilling to apply properly. When it is feeling slightly set, go ahead and pipe on generous mounds or slather it on with a spatula. Top with a single blueberry and then refrigerate until the butter cream is totally set. It should stay that way even at room temperature although it will get much softer.


  1. Gorgeous photo, can’t wait to try these!

  2. The powdered lemon peel sounds amazing, Lisa. I bet you have a Penzy’s store, like, right around the corner from you. Lucky duck. It looks like a great resource, though. Bookmarked.
    Glad to see what you ended up doing with those pretty blueberries.


    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Sort of. There is a fairly new Penzy’s not too far away. Before that I just ordered online, but it is fun to go there and sniff everything. I really bought it on a whim and it turned out to be one of those great things. Your pasta looks fabulous. I am off to the store to get the filling stuff so I can make some later. You know, because we are getting a storm. With rain. : )

  3. Where I live, we are having super cold weather (-30 celsius!). So this recipe is going to hit the spot to help remind me spring is just around the corner – I hope!

  4. Mmmmm….. these look so DELICIOUS! I’m a NUT for anything lemon! But, HELP, what is “limoncillo”? I tried to google it and got a fruit that looks like a lime. A tsp of the fruit? I’m sorry. I feel so unsophisticated right now! But, I R-E-A-L-L-Y want to make these for my family! School me, friends?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Amber- it isn’t you! I spelled it wrong in the cupcake ingredient list! Limoncello. It’s a liqueur. If you can’t find any just use a bit more lemon flavoring. Enjoy!

  5. These cupcakes are absolutely amazing! I’m delighted with them! I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Vera – You did a great job with the feature – using a photo and a link back to the recipe here is exactly right. Thank you.


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