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A rich, moist buttermilk chocolate cake is paired with a silky bittersweet chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and filled with an easy homemade lemon curd. These are fabulously addictive Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes!

Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes

The Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream is creamy and smooth with a delicate chocolate flavor. Unlike the American Buttercream, this frosting isn’t overly sweet – a perfect pairing with this intense chocolate cake! The tart lemon curd surprise in the middle elevates these cupcakes above the quotidian!

Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes
These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a moist cinnamon cake filled with a spiced apple compote and are frosted with an easy salted caramel buttercream!
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Of course, this double chocolate lemon surprise cupcake could stand alone with no filling. A chocolate ganache or caramel filling is never remiss, but the slightly tart lemon curd tantalizes the tastebuds!

I was experimenting with how buttermilk vs sour cream tasted in chocolate cake, but I loved both so much that I had to use them both. The sour cream variety was a bit lighter and more springy, while these buttermilk chocolate cupcakes are a bit denser and more like pound cake. I love pound cake.

Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes

The cake in these double chocolate lemon surprise cupcakes melts in your mouth while the chocolate flavor intensifies.

Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes
5 from 2 ratings

Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes

A rich, moist buttermilk chocolate cake is paired with a silky bittersweet chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and filled with an easy homemade lemon curd in these fabulously addictive Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Assembling Time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 18 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:


To make the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin tins with 18 cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together on high until thick. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla with the last egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the melted chocolate and mix to incorporate.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. I did three additions. You want to stop mixing as soon as the last of the flour has been incorporated.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. The batter should almost reach the top of the liner. Bake in preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs.
  • After 2 minutes, remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling or frosting.

To Prepare the Buttercream:

  • Follow the recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream but add 75 grams bittersweet chocolate (melted and cooled) after adding vanilla and salt.


Even though these were still relatively moist on day 3 with no icing, I would not recommend serving them that way. They are best when filled and iced as soon as possible and eaten on day 1 or 2.


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 185
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Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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  1. Ok, you just need to stop posting these amazing cupcakes. I’m a little bit jealous at your cupcake decorating abilities. Oh, and I love the lemon + chocolate combo here…what a delicious idea! Oh, and I love pound cake. A lot.

    1. Hahah! Thanks, David! I’ll show fluffy and airy the back door whenever pound cake shows up. I’ve grown rather fond of you but I’m just not sure I can comply with your request! I LOVE cupcakes! And they have the added bonus that I don’t eat an entire cake.

      1. Hmmm…you do make a valid point about cupcakes and not eating the entire cake. But the problem arises when you eat all of the cupcakes instead. I think you need to make yours look uglier so that I don’t want to eat all of them. just half of them.

        1. Want to know a secret? I always bake a half recipe of cupcakes. That way I only have 6 – 8 cupcakes to eat and pass off to taste-testers! If I made them ugly, then no one would want to eat them and I’d be sad. You don’t want to make me sad, do you, David? 😉

          1. Ooo…I like secrets!! I don’t think I like secrets that involve less cupcakes, though. But I really don’t want to make you sad, so I guess I’ll have to settle for this secret.

  2. Gorgeous gorgeous cupcakes Lindsey! I absolutely love the surprise lemon filling inside – that sounds like such an amazing combination paired with the silky chocolate SMB. Pinning this stunning beauty 🙂

  3. These cupcakes look extravagantly delicious! Love…love the lemon surprise, and even after 3 days looks very moist and glorious 🙂

  4. Seriously tell me your secrets to getting cupcakes this perfect! My cupcakes have never turned out as good looking as these before.. loving the lemon surprise in the middle especially. I will be recreating the recipe, and hopefully be having some luck!

    1. Thanks, Thalia! I hope you do make them! Patience is my main secret. Apparently decorating cupcakes is the only time I do have patience! I also have some tricks for certain shots. I’ve thought about doing a post on it but I didn’t really know if anyone would read it 🙂

    1. Whhaat?! It is surprisingly good! I don’t think every combination would work like it does with some classic combos like peanut butter and chocolate, for example. 🙂