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Honey Lemon Buttercream

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Beautiful frosting kissed with the flavors of honey and lemon. It is great for decorating and tastes amazing too!

mixer paddle filled with honey lemon buttercream frosting, ready to use.

American buttercream that dances across your taste buds with the flavor of honey and lemon. It is a perfect way to top cakes, cupcakes or cookies during the spring or summer. Really though, it would be great any time!

Honoring the Bees That Made The Honey

My dad and brothers keep bees.  They have been busy building more hives in anticipation of spring.

It seems they caught the bug. 🐝 (hee hee!) Now it’s like a competition as to who can have the most and best bees!

With the warmer weather and the budding trees and flowers there is a lot of activity at their current hives as well. They have had their fill of sugar water and honey over the winter and are ready to get out and collect pollen.

So I thought it would be fun to use some of their sweet reward in a fun dessert. 

starting to ice the beehive cupcakes with lemon honey frosting.

Making Honey Frosting

The plan was to serve the cupcakes outside on a warm day, so I built the recipe on an American buttercream base. (Find out more about the different types of frosting in my frosting 101 guide!)

Honey is so super sweet, so when paired with the powdered sugar it definitely ran the risk of being too sweet. Luckily using lemon juice as both the liquid and as a flavoring helped to temper the overwhelm.

frosting beehive cupcake cake with bee cupcake.

The results were absolutely delicious if I do say so. It had the perfect mix of lemon and honey.

The flavors were strong enough to definitely get both tastes but not too overpowering.  Plus it was stiff enough to pipe while still having plenty of lemon juice to help with the flavor and sweetness.

mixer bowl full of honey lemon buttercream frosting.

How do you store this honey buttercream?

Like most American buttercream recipes, this lemon and honey buttercream can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. You can refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze it for 3 months. Just bring it back to room temperature and stir it well before using it.

More Great Honey and Lemon Recipes

For a lovely cake, try baking up a honey lemon Bundt cake. It is so delicious and is the perfect mix of flavors and great texture.

Or try making a honey chess pie. It has just a bit of lemon that takes it to the next level.

Making homemade honey lemonade is another great way to highlight this tasty pairing. It is so refreshing on a hot summer’s day.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card.

mixer paddle filled with honey lemon buttercream frosting, ready to use.

Honey Lemon Buttercream

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Beautiful frosting kissed with the flavors of honey and lemon. It is great for decorating and tastes amazing too!
4.95 from 18 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Tablespoons lemon juice and zest if desired


  • Beat butter until soft and creamy.
    1 cup butter
  • Add powdered sugar, salt, honey and vanilla and a Tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Beat for at least 3 minutes. 
    5 cups powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅓ cup honey, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar as necessary to get your desired consistency.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 27gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 84mgSugar: 26g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 22nd of April 2024

It sounds so delicious. I will try it on lemon cake.


Tuesday 23rd of April 2024

I hope you love it!


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Are you measuring your honey in a liquid or dry measuring cup?


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

I use a liquid measuring cup, but in a forgiving recipe like this the slight difference between the two won't make a huge difference.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Sunday 2nd of June 2019

This is going on my list to try asap. If I had honey in the house, I'd probably be trying it today! So awesome that you have honey in the family! We talk about doing it, but we just aren't brave enough! So, we will continue to get ours at the farmers market! We feel safer that way :)


Sunday 9th of June 2019

I don't blame you! Though they guys don't usually have a ton of problems with being stung. My dad has 8 hives going right now because they keep swarming and splitting!


Tuesday 21st of May 2019

Your beehive turned out so cute and I know that it tastes good because it has honey lemon buttercream frosting!!!


Sunday 9th of June 2019

Thank you so much!