Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

A deliciously moist and flavorful lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting. Absolutely *almost* too pretty to eat! 

A deliciously moist and flavorful lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting! The sweetest, simplest cupcake recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

If I could eat only frosting for the rest of my life and still fit into my clothes, I would choose this creamy raspberry frosting. It’s like a pink cloud of deliciousness. My fingers were stuck in the bowl tasting it. I’m glad I work alone so no one could see (or stop) me.

And the perfect accompaniment to my pretty pink frosting? My favorite homemade lemon cupcakes, of course. These are completely bursting with fresh, summertime flavors. If you love fruity desserts as much as I do, this luscious cupcake is for you.

Don’t you just want to reach through the screen?

A deliciously moist and flavorful lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting! The sweetest, simplest cupcake recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Raspberry and lemons go together like ketchup and chicken fingers. Bad example?

I haven’t played around in the kitchen with a raspberry and lemon dessert in awhile, so I decided these would be the first recipe to bake in my new kitchen. Things were going smoothly until I forgot about the cupcakes in the oven as I was upstairs organizing my things to start writing these. No other way to break in the new oven than with burnt lemon cupcakes. Let’s try this again.

Batch number 2, as I babysat the oven, baked up charming and perfect.

The BEST Homemade Lemon Cupcakes

These simple lemon cupcakes have a soft, moist crumb. I attribute that to the creamed butter and 2 eggs. They’re tender with a bright tartness that will make your lips pucker. In a good way, of course. Smack dab in the middle of not too sour and not too sweet.

While they’re not as flashy as my pina colada cupcakes or my over-the-top s’mores cupcakes, these lemon cupcakes hold their own. Even Kevin’s friend, who “doesn’t like lemon” raved about them. We all had seconds.

They’re the sweetest finale for any occasion.

Creamy Dreamy Raspberry Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pink frosting in a pink mixing bowl mixed together with a pink mixer. I know I’m out of control. And yes, this is the bowl I kept tasting the frosting out of. No judging.

I’m so excited about this raspberry frosting and am feeling the need to spread it on all my desserts like this or these or oh-my-god these. The raspberry frosting is just a basic vanilla frosting recipe with the addition of raspberry jam. Nothing complicated or fancy, yet extraordinary results.

Look how creamy it is! I call it my cloud frosting. 🙂

I found that I had some extra frosting, so I filled the last few cupcakes. You can see a photo of the filled cupcakes at the bottom of the post. See a photo in this post about how I fill cupcakes the easy way – no piping tip or special tools needed.

A deliciously moist and flavorful lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting! The sweetest, simplest cupcake recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Like all my cupcake recipes, these raspberry lemon cupcakes are simple to make as long as you take your time. I always tell readers to read the recipe in full before beginning so you know the what, the where, and the when. It makes things run a little smoother and cleaner.

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Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A deliciously moist and lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting. They’re bursting with bright, fresh flavors.


Ingredients

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • fresh juice from two medium lemons* (1/3 cup (80ml))
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Raspberry Frosting

  • 3/4 cups (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (165g) thick raspberry preserves or jam*
  • optional: fresh raspberries and lemon slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 12-count muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until creamed. About 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, beating on low speed after each addition. Batter will be thick. Beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix this batter at any point. Spoon batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes. Check at 18 minutes, then again at 20. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting: Beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the raspberry preserves and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 full minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, is separating (due to the fruity jam) or looks too wet. And then add more salt to offset added sweetness.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I filled a few of the cupcakes with some frosting before topping with more frosting. That’s optional, but recommended. It gives the cupcakes more raspberry flavor! To fill the cupcakes: using a sharp knife, cut a circle/hole into the center of the cupcake to create a little pocket about 3/4 inch deep. Place 1 spoonful (a little more than 1 teaspoon) of raspberry frosting inside and top with the piece of cupcake you removed to seal. See photos in this recipe for a visual.
  6. I used a Wilton #12 piping tip to frost the cupcakes. Top with fresh raspberry and a lemon slice. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day and then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and frost the day of serving. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
  2. Lemon Juice: 1 medium-size lemon = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. You need about 1/3 cup in this cupcake batter.
  3. Cream: Heavy cream is highly recommended over milk or half-and-half for the frosting to obtain the creamiest, fluffiest texture.
  4. Preserves: I prefer Bonne Maman jams and preserves. You can find this brand at all major grocery stores.
  5. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: raspberry lemon cupcakes

226 Comments

  1. Hi Sally! Would love to try this cupcake recipe but was wondering if it’s possible to put a few fresh raspberries in the batter as well??

  2. Howdy! I made these sweet treats back in January on NYE for my daughter Veronica and her boyfriend, hopefully soon to be son-in-law;) !. They totally loved them and so did my hubby Charles. Glad to see so many great new recipes on your website. This recipe is the lemon to my raspberry Sally!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you for this amazing recipe. I made these for a friend’s bday and everyone absolutely loved them! My husband said they were some of the best cupcakes he’s ever had. Ran out of butter so substituted olive oil for half the butter for the batter. And didn’t have an electric mixer so did it all by hand with a whisk and they still came out amazing! Will definitely make them again.

  4. I made these for a friend’s birthday/master’s graduation + belated boyfriend’s birthday celebration today. I was standing outside talking to a group of friends when I heard shouting in my direction — four party guests were in communal shock over how good these were and could do nothing but yell at me. One of them said, “YOU ARE THE GREEK GODDESS OF CUPCAKES.” They were gone before I could try one, but I will say the raw batter and frosting were INSANELY delicious. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. Haha – so happy everyone loved them! You definitely need to make them again and eat one (or three) before sharing! 🙂

  5. I made this recipe and it was absolutely delicious. It has been a while since i made cupcakes so i was worried…but these were easy and came out moist and perfect! I made them with a buttercream frosting and a raspberry frosting and they were both yummy 🙂

    1. Hi Amy! I would make 2 separate batches instead of doubling. It’s easy to over-mix when working with a lot of batter.

  6. Sally,

    I bake a ton and wanted you to know that I have followed you for years! I am making these lemon cupcakes with my own vanilla buttercream icing for a birthday this week. Since I love using options like oil, sour cream, and buttercream to ensure the cupcake is moist, I was wondering if I could either substitute the whole milk or perhaps add 1/4 of buttercream in addition. Thoughts? I definitely understand using butter instead of oil for a recipe like this, but just want to make sure I help it out a little bit. It sounds like yours turned out just fine with the whole milk though!

    Thank you!
    Sara

    1. Hi Sara! Do you mean buttermilk instead of buttercream? Trying to understand the question. For best results, I always recommend making the recipe as written.

  7. I’m sorry if this has previously been asked, but what type of milk (whole, 2%, etc.) would you recommend for the cupcake batter?

  8. Hi Sally! Love your recipes (whenever I’m in the kitchen my husband gets excited and asks, “Are you making something of Sally’s!?”) 🙂

    I was wondering if instead of filling the cupcakes with frosting, I could fill with a similar amount of the jam? If you think that would work, I’m planning to bake the cupcakes the day before and frost the next day – would it be my safest bet to also insert the jam the next day? Thanks!

    1. Haha – Melissa, this made me laugh! Yes, jam in the enter would be great! I would add the jam filling the same time you frost them. Enjoy!

  9. These were amazing and came out perfect! First recipe I’ve made that came out like the close to the pic.. I added a little lemon zest in top with a raspberry. Made exactly 15 cupcakes like the recipe said..nothing went wrong..success!! Taste amazing!

    1. Hi Bronyn! Heavy cream is recommended over milk or half-and-half for the frosting to obtain the creamiest, fluffiest texture. Keeping that in mind, you can substitute with milk or half-and-half.

  10. Made these tonight and omg they were so good! Perfect combination of sweet and tart! Very appropriate for the warmer weather!! I will definitely be making another batch of these soon!

  11. Hey Sally,
    Wondering for this recipe, why not use cake flour vs. all purpose flour. These look delicious and super excited to try them, just curious about using the different types of flour! Thanks so much !

    1. Hi Jessica! I didn’t really begin to use cake flour often until a few years ago– a lot of my previous recipes use all-purpose flour. You can use cake flour instead. These lemon cupcakes are great with a lighter flour.

  12. Hi Sally! Do you think this frosting would go well with your vanilla cake?? I so badly want to make your “best vanilla cake I’ve ever had” layer cake but want something a little more than simple vanilla frosting. I’m thinking the raspberry frosting could be good but you know your cakes and frostings better than I do!

    1. I think it would be wonderful, Debra! A layer of homemade lemon curd would also be quite delicious 🙂 For thicker lemon curd (ideal for in between cake layers): replace 2 of the egg yolks with 1 whole egg. This means you will use 2 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg. Keep the rest of the recipe and instructions the same.

  13. I was going to make your super moist chocolate cupcakes for an event 2 days ahead of time, and use this and your favorite vanilla buttercream to frost them.
    Could I frost them a day and a half in advance and still have them be fine? I’m not sure if I’ll have time the night before, and the event is first thing in the morning.

    Also, do you think this and the vanilla buttercream would swirl together well when piped?

    1. The chocolate cupcakes with the two frostings swirled together would be SO GOOD! I would prepare the frosting in the piping bags the night before and pipe them on in the morning.

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