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 just made these and they were fantastic! I took your suggestion and substituted cake flour for all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb. I also weighed the flour and sugar according to your recipe. Both the cupcakes and the icing were perfect!

  2. Your recipe looks fanstastic !!! I want to make strawberry lemonade cupcakes in a jar for my wedding in August and this recipe looks yummy and simple !!!

    I’m going to top the frosting with purple chocolate music notes 🙂 I can’t wait to report back how they turned out…I’m thinking its best to make a trial dozen first 😉

  3. Hi Sally,

    I would like to make these for Father’s Day but it is an hour drive to my parents home. I am concerned that the frosting will melt or slide off the cupcakes (it appears to be very creamy and soft). Would you recommend doing this as a 9×13 cake to avoid a travel mess?

    1. Gerri, this recipe isn’t enough to fill a 9×13 pan. The cake would be quite thin. Maybe a 11×7 pan. For a 9×13, I would make this cake recipe. It is practically the same, only doubled. Fill the pan 2/3 full. If there’s extra batter, you can make a few cupcakes. I’m unsure of the baking time since I only typically make it as a layer cake.

  4. Hi Sally,
    Made these tonight and they are amazing.  I found the batter was enough for me to get 18 cupcakes.  Thanks for the recipe . 

  5. Oh my goodness! I have so many things to say about this recipe. First, the reason I tried this today is because for TWO YEARS I haven’t been able to stop telling people this story: On my wedding day, the ONLY tier of our wedding cake that was completely served was the layer I chose- lemon cake with raspberry frosting. Being the bride, of course, I hardly had time to think all day, let alone think about cake, and I didn’t get a SINGLE BITE of ‘my’ later! Anyway, I have gone on and on since my wedding day (2 years ago) about how I never got to taste the cake flavor I specifically picked. And now, this/these!??? They were BEGGING me to make them. So I did. These cupcakes are perfectly tart and sweet and heavenly!!! I don’t even have words to do this recipe justice. It is everything I imagine my wedding cake was! I did, in fact, double the recipe and it worked out perfectly well. I forgot to double the butter in the frosting and it still turned out great. And, I HATE to do this to any of you, but… I’m a calorie counter. I had to see how far back these cupcakes were gonna set me. And they hit hard! I got 26 cupcakes from my recipe and the nutrition is as follows (SORRY!): 408 calories, almost 15 grams of fat (8.8 saturated), 60 carbs and 47 grams of sugar. I know what people will say… but you’re eating dessert and you baked and it tastes great so who cares about the nutrition? Oops. Sorry everyone, I do. My solution? Cut it in half and eat throughout the day as mini desserts so I don’t have that calorie bomb all at once late at night. I think that’s a win/win. Anyway, thank you so very much for the recipe. I cannot wait to try more of your wonderful sweet creations!

  6. Hi, I plan to make these tomorrow, but one of my family members strongly dislikes heavy frosting. I was wondering hot to make this frosting have a very light and whipped texture and taste. Or, if the frosting already comes out like that. Thanks!

    1. This is a lighter textured frosting for sure. You can lightly frost the cupcakes too– as in, don’t use as much as I do in these photos!

  7. My daughter picked this recipe for her birthday cake. Using the suggestions from other comments, I doubled the cake and frosting recipe to make 2-9″ round cakes. I adjusted the bake time to 40 minutes, based on the Wilton chart. Though they cracked slightly, the cakes came out beautifully (The icing completely covered the cracks anyway.)! We stacked the cakes with a thin layer of icing and a layer of the raspberry preserves in the middle. It couldn’t have turned out better, and everyone said it was one of my finest cakes. Thanks for the recipe!! 

  8. I made these over the weekend for a birthday party, along with the Very Vanilla cupcakes, and they were awesome! They were very light and delicious. And pretty!

  9. Hey, Sally. I’m glad I live in a universe where your blog exists. I absolutely love this recipe.

    But just one question — can I use your strawberry frosting with the freeze-dried strawberries and use freeze-dried raspberries instead? My frosting came out pretty thin, and that’s totally my fault. I should probably work on it (I’m aware of your powdered sugar = thicker – salt = cut the sweetness rule), but the strawberry frosting seems much safer.

    I’m a sleepy, lazy girl. But those lemon cupcakes, especially refrigerated, reminds me of why I live on this godforsaken planet.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!

    1. Soooo glad you love the lemon cupcakes! And yes, you can definitely use my strawberry buttercream recipe and use freeze-dried raspberries instead. Genius. Enjoy Michelle!

  10. you will not find a moister and deliciouser cupcake recipe in the entire galaxy. so easy to make makes you feel like an amazing baker whoever the hell you are. for a second we imagined that we could own our own bakery cause they were so GD good, even though we are covered from head to toe with frosting and batter. a real treat! and i don’t normally like cupcakes or frosting… haha got you CUPCAKES ARE GOD.

  11. Hey Sally.  I saw your “make ahead tip” but would it be Ok to frost them the day before serving.  I want to make them for my daughters bday at school but I won’t have time to frost them that morning. I would need to have them completely ready the day before.  I don’t want them to turn mushy.  

    1. Hi again.  You usually respond to questions so well so I was just wondering if you missed this one.  I have to make them this weekend so I would really like to know if I can completely prepare them one day in advance. 

      1. I’ve frosted cupcakes a day before consumption and they’ve remained fabulous. What I did was refridgerate them and seal them tightly. Still incredibly moist and flavorful.

  12. Hi Sally,

    I’ve just made these cupcakes and they turned out perfectly, as do all of your bakes that I try, so thank you!

    I’m making my sister’s 30th birthday cake this weekend and thought this would be a really nice 4 layered cake with the raspberry icing all over and raspberries and other fruit on top! Just wondering if you’ve used the recipe for a full cake before, and if so, timings etc? I’m thinking of using 8 inch tins so I thought I’d double the recipe to make 4 layers,  and bake at same temperature for about 20-25 mins? Thanks if you have a chance to reply xxx

  13. Hi! I love your blog.. every recipe of yours I’ve made has been so delicious!! I love the lemon cupcakes with rasberry frosting, do you think a bit of the rasberry preserves would be good as a filling for the cupcake, in place of the frosting/no filling?? Thank you 🙂 

  14. Hi Sally,
    I have made these twice in the last 3 weeks! For my birthday and my nieces baby shower. They were a HUGE hit!! Everyone wanted to know what bakery they came from. Kudos to you! 
    If I just wanted to make a yellow cupcake can I just remove the lemon from the recipe?

    Thank you
    Lara

  15. Hi Sally,
    If I wanted to make these as mini cupcakes, how do you think I should adjust the baking time? Thanks so much, I can’t wait to make them!

  16. I have made these several times and they come out perfect and yummy every time! Was wondering if anyone has made these into mini cupcakes using a mini muffin/cupcake tin? Sally, do you have any idea on baking time doing it this way? Thanks!

  17. I made these cupcakes to give some variety to my niece’s party and everyone loved them! I followed the recipe exactly, except my grocery store only had what seemed to be large lemons. One lemon had the right amount of juice for a dozen cupcakes, but about half the zest. It didn’t seem to really effect anything.

    Next time I might try the icing with blueberry preserves! 

  18. Do you know how much lemon juice I should end up with from 2 “medium” lemons? I’m not sure if the ones I have would be considered medium or large, and it seems that even with lemons of the same size, the amount of juice yield varies quite a bit.

  19. Hey Sally!

    I have made these cupcakes before and for this weekend (orthodox easter) I was curious on how I could turn them into a cake form?

  20. I would like to make these for my mother in law’s 60th birthday party. But she asked for me to make mini cupcakes. Can you tell me if the baking temp would be the same? How long would you say I would have to bake them for? Thanks in advanced and I loved your vanilla cupcake recipe!

  21. Hi,
    I’ve made this recipe three times thus far but for some reason, this most recent batch has been more dense and doughy. Please help, I love your recipes and would like to figure this mystery out. Thanks!

  22. I have the biggest raspberry patch in my backyard…….oh yes, jam happens……kind of excited, although if I do try this, I fully intend to sub 1/2 cup of cream cheese for the that much of the butter in the frosting 😉

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