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

224 Comments

  1. Totally fitting that you broke in your oven with cupcakes that are lemon with pink frosting…that is so YOU, Sally! love it (nevermind the burnt batch, gah, don’t you hate that when you get involved in a project and then burn your food. I do that…ummm…way too often) I want that rasp frosting on everything, no cupcakes even necessary 🙂 pinned

    1. I was pissed, Averie! 1st recipe in my new oven… and I burn it. That’s what I get for now having an upstairs level and not a one level apartment when I can’t really leave the kitchen!

    1. Thanks Jasmine. And it’s funny you say that because I found I had to add a little more confectioners’ sugar to avoid the curdling. And the jam was quite thick, so that helped.

  2. I want that bowl of frosting SO much…with the cupcake to use as a dipper. And I’d get through all the frosting on one cupcake 😉 I love that blue flowered plate you use! It’s so pretty and perfect for these gorgeous cupcakes.

    1. I had you in mind when I made these Caley because you love fruity desserts as much (if not more!) than I do. I love that blue floral plate too. Got it from Home Goods last year. It came with an adorable matching tea cup.

  3. These are just way too cute! But, like you said, only ALMOST too cute to eat. I definitely love lemon and raspberries and that frosting looks so light and fluffy! I could it with a spoon….or just face plant into the bowl. Pinning!

  4. First thought after seeing the pictures: they’re so pretty! Pretty and colourful desserts are my favourite and I’m a sucker for the more uncommon flavour combinations like raspberry & lemon or white chocolate & ginger. I already have a lot on my baking to-do list this Summer but I’m definitely going to make these my Labour Day, “going back to school” treat :)?

      1. 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.

  5. Getting used to a new oven can be so hard! I think my best friend is the oven thermometer. It’s the only thing I can trust in this cold, cruel world. 😉
    Love the cupcakes. And all the pink is not overboard, really. If you can’t OD on pink right now, when?!

  6. I have made these lemon cuppies several times and they are beautiful, light and fluffy! For a baby shower I filled with a fresh strawberry filling and they were a big hit. This is my go-to lemon recipe now. Thanks Sally!

  7. Oh my gosh my mouth is watering!!!! Between these and that Lemon Blueberry Cake…ugh! I wish I were your neighbor! I’ll bet these are GLORIOUS! And you grab some of that frosting out of the bowl…you deserve it! 🙂

    Photography is amazing, as usual!

    1. I’ve only met our new neighbors once and haven’t told them about my baking addiction yet… they have no idea all the desserts that are coming their way!

  8. These do looks almost too pretty to eat! However, they also look too delicious not to eat!
    And frosting? Yes please. Just give me a bowl of frosting and some pretzels for dipping and I am one happy camper.

  9. I used to own a cake baking/decorating business before I started blogging, and a recipe that took me forrrrevvvverrrr to perfect was a MOIST lemon cupcake. I had plenty of moist vanilla-y cupcakes with a hint of lemon and plenty of dry, super lemon-y cupcakes. My recipe is VERY similar to yours. Glad to know I’m on the same level as the pros! Hahaha. Beautiful as always, Sally!

    1. Thanks Lynn! And I find that moist lemon cupcakes are a tough recipe to get down. These took me some time to develop last year, but I’m happy they have plenty of lemon flavor.

  10. I love how whenever you begin a new chapter in life, the “firsts” are always documented; however, it’s the ones which are disasters you’ll actually remember, right?! It always seems to work out this way. Lol!

    I really need to get on the lemon train considering I never use them when I bake anything. I love how many recipes you have with them, too. I think I just hate the whole juicing them portion, but that’s just me being lazy and avoiding sticky fingers. Ha!

    1. Laur, lemon desserts are sooooo good. Please please please try it soon. And start with this one! Juicing does get annoying, but worth it. Totally.

  11. These cupcakes are gorgeous, Sally!! I love that pink raspberry frosting. So pretty! Lemon and raspberry are so perfect together and two of my favorite summer flavors. Love that you combined them in a cupcake! Plus, the idea of raspberry frosting clouds makes me really happy. 🙂

  12. Sally – First I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your blog, I’ve tried many recipes and they all come out successful, plus I love your Sally’s Bites of Real Life! I was so excited when I read the recipe you posted today, because it’s my birthday and I love raspberries and lemons together. Thank you so much for posting all of your genius recipes!!!

  13. 1. Life with frosting and no weight-gain… WANT!
    2. I burnt dinner last night because I focused on making a cake …besides, who needs chicken when there’s a cake about to enter zee oven!
    3. You alllllways make the best sweet treats!! I LOVE all your cupcake-creations!

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