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
- 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
- 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.
- Lemon Juice: 1 medium-size lemon = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. You need about 1/3 cup in this cupcake batter.
- 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