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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.41 / 5 (224 votes)

Prep time:
30 min
Cook time:
20 min
makes 12

Charlotte Morgan tops a lemony sponge with a dollop of tangy sherbet frosting to reinvent an old fashioned sweet into a cupcake


1. For the sponge: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole tin with cupcake paper cases. Tip the flour, sugar, butter and lemon zest into a food processor and blitz on a slow speed for one minute, until you achieve a sandy consistency.

2. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until just incorporated. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy at this stage – it will come together! In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk together with the egg. Pour into the batter and beat for a couple of minutes until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl to catch any unmixed ingredients as you go.

3. Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases, filling each one up two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the golden sponge bounces back when prodded with a finger. Leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.

4. For the frosting: Tip the butter and icing sugar into a food processor and beat until well combined. Add the lemon juice, colouring and sherbet, and then beat again for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.

5. When the sponges have cooled completely, carefully spoon a third of the frosting into a piping bag and use it to decorate the first four cupcakes. Repeat until you have finished them all. Alternatively, just use a palette knife to spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cupcake.

6. Decorate with the dip dab lolly, or a sprinkling of colourful sherbet.


For the sponge

  • 120 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 145 g golden caster sugar
  • 40 g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 1 large egg

For the frosting

  • 225 g butter
  • 400 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • few drops yellow food colouring
  • 3 packets sherbet dip dab sweets, sherbet only

To decorate

  • Dip dab lollies, or coloured sherbet

Tips and suggestions

Leftover frosting? Try sandwiching two digestive biscuits together with a dollop of frosting for a quick pudding.

Don't worry if your cupcake comes out of the oven looking a little flat - it's supposed to happen! A flat sponge is ideal when it comes to frosting the cupcake.

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Latest Comment


Absolutely divine! I added a wee bit more lemon juice which gave it more of a zing. The cupcake did not rise high but I prefer it that way, makes decorating easier for me. I found the texture very light and fluffy. I did not have sherbet handy so I smashed a heap of lemon sherbet hard-boiled sweets with a rolling pin until they were super fine. It gave the frosting that gorgeous lemon sherbet taste which it was suppose to have.

Rosalind Evans Rosalind Evans  Posted 26 Nov 2012 2:23 AM

These are amazing! Really light and fluffy and the icing is lovely.

magenta_witch magenta_witch  Posted 18 Mar 2012 12:48 PM

The sponge is incredibly dense and doesn't rise well. Tried twice and I'm an experienced baker.

Zombiecakes Zombiecakes  Posted 12 Mar 2012 11:30 PM

They look gorgeous and I love sherbet so there's a really good chance that I'll be giving this recipe a go :-)

sparky61 sparky61 Posted 18 Jan 2012 11:13 AM

Success Smile Very yummy!! X

CarrieC63322 CarrieC63322 Posted 20 Nov 2011 11:08 PM

Really yummy

YvonneF32938 YvonneF32938 Posted 12 Nov 2011 3:08 PM


red courgette red courgette Posted 07 Oct 2011 10:27 AM

JohnC90107 JohnC90107 Posted 22 Sep 2011 11:12 PM