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

228 Comments

  1. I made these yesterday and well……..wow! They were amazing! I was afraid the cupcakes would be too sour but it was perfectly balanced. And the icing was just unbelievable! I didn’t have raspberry jam so I mushed up some fresh raspberries and added them in. The icing tasted so fluffy and I have a lot left over so I think I’m going to try it on chocolate cupcakes today.

  2. I made these on Saturday. It is a very easy recipe. They taste great, love them. I made them for a party and everyone said they love the taste combination. Only ran into a snag with the frosting did not have enough confectioners’ sugar to compensate for the wetness of the raspberry preserves.

  3. Could the frosting be made the night before and piped on the next day? If so, would you store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or would you leave it sit out?
    Thanks!

  4. Oh my gosh these look so good! I was just wondering, if you used blueberry preservative, could you make blueberry lemon cupcakes? I’m thinking you probably can, so I’ll give it a try! Thanks for the recipe, I’m gonna make them for my sisters b-day!

  5. Made the lemon bases and they turned out perfect…thanks for the recipe! Moist and light cakes that tasted even better a day later 🙂

    I will use this as a go to cupcake recipe from now on and just adapt the flavour e.g. extra vanilla bean paste, or cocoa, or something else.

  6. Hello! These look delicious 🙂
    I am thinking about making these for my nieces birthday party tomorrow but I was gonna get everything ready today. If I refrigerate the icing over night, would it still be yummy for tomorrow? I usually never do that so I just wanted to make sure first. Thank you 🙂

  7. God bless you for this recipe! <3 I'm so thankful to have found it! Just finished making them for my sweet baby girls first birthday tomorrow and they turned out great! I had enough icing from one batch for a double batch of cupcakes and enough batter and icing to make 12 minis too! 🙂

  8. Good recipe and so easy. I substituted strawberry jam since I had extra I’m wondering how lemon extract would work. There seemed to be a heavy (competing) vanilla flavor. But the frosting and cakes were yummy. Thank you

  9. Hi Sally! If I want to make 24 of these cupcakes do I just double the amount of all Ingredients or is it better to make 2 separate batches?

    1. Doubling is fine, but I always find it easier and to make two separate batches. Less likely to overmix that way since you are working with less batter at a time.

  10. Made these today and they were absolutely AMAZING!
    So delicious, so fluffy.
    Instead of raspberry jam I used fresh raspberries, frosting had a rich pink colour.
    Thanks for the recipe, greetings from Lithuania!

  11. Just made these! Incredible! I put mashed frozen raspberries in the icing. The amount of lemon in the cupcakes were perfect! Thanks Sally, these are definitely a winner (and happy wedding day too)!

  12. Hi Sally,

    I’d love to make this as a cake and was wondering if you could tell me if the recipe would make enough batter for 1 or 2 9″ round pans, if the cooking times will differ, and if there will be enough frosting. I think the cupcakes are beautiful, but I need to make a birthday cake and this recipe sounds perfect!!!

    1. Debbie, this cupcake recipe would make enough for a single layer cake. Perhaps even have a little MORE than enough for 1 single layer cake (but not enough for two). I suggest pouring the batter into the 9inch cake pan, fill halfway, and then use any extra batter for a couple cupcakes. I am unsure of the bake time for a cake.

  13. Hi Sally!

    I made these cupcakes a couple months ago for my birthday and they were DELICIOUS. I also piped a bit of lemon curd into the middle of the cupcakes for some added lemon flavor because I absolutely love lemon flavored cakes, baked goods, pastries, etc. The raspberry frosting is an amazing complement too! Good thinking on that one! I ate two of these the night of my birthday and one the day after. Oops, haha.

    The only thing was my parents complained that the cake was too dense. I had no idea why they were complaining. The cake was perfectly moist and soft. I guess I just really love cake so much that as long as it’s moist, I enjoy any texture. My parents prefer that light and fluffy texture you get from a boxed cupcake mix (*total eye roll*).

    My question is, what are your recipe recommendations for making a homemade cupcake with the light and fluffy texture of a boxed mix? I’m no expert, but is it the vegetable oil a boxed mix requires that gives the cupcakes their texture? I was looking at your Moist Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting recipe and they sound and look like something my parents would more enjoy. What do you think?

    Thanks,
    Bria

    1. Hi Bria! The oil makes boxed cakes and cupcakes extremely moist and rich. Not necessarily cakey and fluffy. That’s all in the package. You could try reducing the flour ever so slightly here OR use cake flour in its place to obtain the softer texture your parents crave.

      1. Thanks for the tips, Sally! Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose in all your cupcake recipes for a softer texture?

      1. I personally never taste a difference. If you use it, you can reduce the salt down to 1/4 teaspoon if you’d like.

  14. Hi Sally,
    Do you think the frosting recipe makes enough for a 9×13 cake, or should I double the recipe? I’m making this for my family’s Christmas (lemon and raspberry is a little unorthodox as a Christmas dessert, but I think it’ll be a nice break from all the chocolate and heavy food). Thanks!

    1. Hmm. I wouldn’t double the recipe. How about you 1.5x it? So not quite doubling it– I feel 1.5x the amount would be enough!

  15. Is the frosting the right texture to frost in a rosette design and hold? I don’t like crisco in frosting but so many people say this is what you need to use to have a rosette design hold.

    1. Dana, use this layer lemon cake recipe (it’s practically the same):

      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/02/09/lemon-blueberry-layer-cake/

      And the raspberry frosting recipe from this post.

  16. Hi Sally! Love your blog, your recipes are amazing, especially for a beginner like me. I do have a question though:

    I noticed you used melted butter for this recipe and the creaming method for your “Homemade Lemon Cupcakes” recipe. What’s the difference? How do you decide which method to use? Tks!

  17. Hi Sally,

    Is the recipe suitable for mini cupcakes? How long should I cook them for. To obtain a lighter texture should I use cake flour? Is the proportion the same for cake flour?

  18. I made these cupcakes and took them to work and they were a big hit. I’m usually more partial to orange than lemon so I did half orange and half lemon for the juice/zest and subbed the raspberry jam with orange marmalade. They ended up tasting like orange dreamsicle ice cream. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again!

  19. Hi! I absolutely LOVED the look of these cupcakes and had to give them ago myself – and they’re great! Really tasty and a great flavour combination, just lovely. I have written a review of your recipe over on my blog at http://girlinacoffeecup.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/lemon-and-raspberry-cupcakes.html , and i’d really appreciate it if you could go and check it out? I’ve left links to your blog and this post for any of my followers that want to try them out too 🙂 Thank you for such a fab recipe! Alanna x

  20. How far in advance can I make the frosting ?I have a party on Thursday and today is Tuesday so should I wait a day ?
    Thanks 🙂

  21. Question – I’m very interested in making these for Easter and I’m excited for all the great reviews! Do you have a preference for the type of lemon juice used? A real lemon vs buying lemon juice?

  22. These are great! Thanks for the share. I am super picky with cupcakes and was hesitant as this recipe looked too simple. Proved me wrong! Not too light, not too heavy. Perfect doming and tastes great. Thanks!

  23. All the flavors were wonderful, but I had issues with the frosting despite the warnings. I added almost an additional 3/4C powdered sugar and I thought it’d be ok, but it slid right off the edges of my cupcakes and was not even firm enough to hold the lemon wedge and raspberry. The cake is dense, but I like it that way. I will make again, but will probably start off with 4 1/2C sugar and go from there.

  24. Hello. This looks amazing and I am going to give them a try this weekend. how much lemon zest are you supposed to use?

  25. Wow, I just have to say these cupcakes were absolutely fabulous! The cupcake is definitely going to become my go-to for lemon cupcakes, and the frosting was so smooth & pretty! It was a bit thin/runny but that was become of the jam I used (pure raspberry jam I bought the other day from a farmer’s market!); it turned out to be fine anyways — I swirled the frosting on and it was beautiful. I made these for mother’s day & my mom just loved them. Definitely going to make again.

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