Bursting with fresh bright flavors, these raspberry lemon cupcakes are *almost* too pretty to eat! This spring or summer dessert recipe starts with a deliciously moist and flavorful lemon cupcake and is topped with creamy rich raspberry frosting. It’s nothing complicated or fancy, but you’ll enjoy the extraordinary results!
Tell Me About These Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
- Flavor: While they’re not as flashy as our piña colada cupcakes or as over-the-top as our s’mores cupcakes, these lemon cupcakes certainly hold their own. They have a bright and tangy lemon flavor that’s balanced with the sweetness from the fruity frosting on top.
- Texture: These simple lemon cupcakes have a soft, moist, and springy crumb. It’s the same recipe we’ve trusted for years and you can read more about it in our lemon cupcakes post.
- Ease: Like all our cupcake recipes, these raspberry lemon cupcakes are simple to make as long as you take your time. We 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!
The raspberry frosting is pretty close to our vanilla buttercream and it has the addition of raspberry jam. It has the perfect amount of sweet raspberry flavor (not overpowering at all) and if you need more excuses to make it, we love it on these vanilla cupcakes and these blueberries and cream cupcakes.
We found that we had some extra frosting, so we used it as a filling for the cupcakes. Feel free to do that as well! You can see a video of exactly how we fill cupcakes the easy way in the post for Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes. No special tools needed.
More Favorite Cupcake Recipes
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- Coconut Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Banana Cupcakes
Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
- Category: Cupcakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
A deliciously moist and lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting. They’re bursting with bright, fresh flavors.
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons lemon zest*
- 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice*
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 12-count muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lemons: You need about 2-3 medium lemons to yield this amount of zest and juice.
- Cream: Heavy cream is highly recommended over milk or half-and-half for the frosting to obtain the creamiest, fluffiest texture.
- Preserves: I prefer Bonne Maman jams and preserves. You can find this brand at all major grocery stores.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: raspberry lemon cupcakes
Reader Comments & Reviews
Could you use raspberry powder instead of jam in the frosting to get the flavor without the seeds?
Hi Sherry, if using freeze dried raspberry powder, we recommend following our recipe for strawberry buttercream (swapping for freeze dried raspberries) instead. Enjoy!
I made these for a birthday celebration at my husband’s office. Due to gluten sensitivity among the coworkers, I subbed in Krusteaz Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour mix instead of AP flour. Other than that, I made no changes, and these were a huge hit! Both the lemon and the raspberry flavors came through beautifully and distinctly — and I loved that they were clearly the natural flavors. This recipe is a keeper!
I have made these in the past and they are amazing. If I wanted to double the batter, would I also need to double the frosting or would 1.5x be enough?
Hi Madeline, We are so happy you enjoyed these! If you want the same amount of frosting on top you can double the frosting recipe. For the best results we do recommend that you make two separate batches of the cupcakes instead of doubling.
If already frosted, and you are putting them out tomorrow, should I put them all in the fridge? Or leave them out overnight?
Will the frosting harden?
Hi Kaitlyn! Cover cupcakes (use an airtight container if you have one large enough) and let sit at room temperature overnight. If you put them in the refrigerator they will dry out. See recipe notes for our recommended make-ahead instructions!
I saw your 6 inch cake recipes and read that you can use your cupcake recipes to make the cake. I was wondering if I can use this recipe for that and how many layers would it make? What changes would I have to make?
Hi Christina, correct! You can use this cupcake recipe for 3, 6-inch cake layers. Follow the baking time and temperatures found in the 6 Inch Cakes post. Happy baking!
These are amazing! I’m new to baking and they turned out so wonderful! I’m not a huge fan of raspberries so I used blueberry jam instead, and I filled the cupcakes with jam instead of more buttercream, other than that I followed the recipe exactly. My family flipped out. The next day my 2 year old nephew’s first words when he woke up we’re “Auntie, cake! Mmmmmm!” It’s been 2 months since I made them and my family still brings them up. My brother in law has also now requested these for his birthday. Great recipe! Thanks Sally!
A lovely, light and flavorful recipe! I used a raspberry coulis for the filling and added it to a Swiss meringue buttercream. A wonderful combo of flavors. Tastes like summer. Thank you!
Should the whole milk be room temperature for this recipe?
Yes! Unless noted, all ingredients should be at room temperature. Here’s why!
I’m making these in a mini size in a few days, would the baking time be the same as if I made them regular sized? If I plan to put them out a few hours after frosting, should I refrigerate them in the meantime or can I leave them at room temperature?
For mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. The frosting will be just fine at room temperature for a few hours. Enjoy!
Hi Sally, could you use freeze dried raspberries instead of jam for the frosting? If so how much?
Yes, it’s actually my preferred method (that I discovered since writing this recipe!). Follow my recipe for strawberry frosting but you can use freeze dried raspberries instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/strawberry-frosting/
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?
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.
Sally, I need to make a sheet cake…should I double the recipe?
Hi Carrie! Yes, I recommend doubling the recipe or making the batter twice. Sometimes making two separate batches is better because you don’t risk over-mixing or under-mixing.
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!
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.
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 !
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.
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!
Could this be made into a layer cake?
Here is my favorite lemon layer cake recipe. You can double this raspberry frosting for it!
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 🙂
Will this frosting recipe cover a 9×13 cake?
I’d 1.5x the recipe.
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!