A deliciously moist and flavorful lemon cupcake topped with rich and creamy raspberry frosting. Absolutely *almost* too pretty to eat!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
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 preferred
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 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
- 3/4 cups (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature2
- 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners' sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream3
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup (165g) thick raspberry preserves or jam4
- 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 tip: 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.
- 1 medium-size lemon = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. You need about 1/3 cup in this cupcake batter.
- For the frosting, here is a photo of perfectly softened butter for making frosting. It's not too soft, not melted in the slightest, slightly firm but not cold.
- Heavy cream is highly recommended over milk or half-and-half for the frosting to obtain the creamiest, fluffiest texture.
- I prefer Bonne Maman jams and preserves. You can find this brand at all major grocery stores.
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