Fresh, bright, lemon-thyme olive oil cupcakes

Jun 5, 2014 at 4:41 p.m. ET

Adding herbs to your baking is all the rage. I got in on the trend by combining citrusy lemon and fresh thyme in one sweet cupcake bite. 

Lemon thyme olive oil cupcakes with lemon thyme buttercream

I have a huge weakness for cupcakes. I try not to make them too often for fear they will be the only thing I eat until they are all finished. Unfortunately my husband doesn't like cake, so they are all mine. It's a problem. However, after I made these cupcakes, I actually got his attention. They are the perfect blend of lemon, olive oil and fresh thyme flavors. Totally perfect for summer and just a little different from your average cupcake. The sprinkles are optional, but who doesn't love sprinkles?

Lemon-thyme olive oil cupcakes recipe

Yields 24


  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Sprinkles (optional)


  1. Prepare the cake mix according to the box directions, but substitute the vegetable oil called for in the box mix with olive oil.
  2. Gently stir in the lemon zest and thyme leaves.
  3. Add 24 paper liners to a cupcake tray, fill them with cake batter, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Follow the baking time recommendations on the box directions.
  4. Once they are fully baked, let the cupcakes cool on a baking rack.
  5. Top the cupcakes with frosting (recipe below), and sprinkle them with sprinkles if desired.

Lemon-thyme buttercream frosting recipe

Yields 24


  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar (may need more)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the butter at medium speed.
  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, kosher salt and thyme leaves.
  3. Mix on medium speed until completely combined.
  4. If the frosting is too thin, then simply add more powdered sugar to thicken it up.

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