Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

It's spring!  Little green sprouts are working their way into the sunshine and the birds are chirping.  I love the shades of yellow that emerge with the spring - the daffodils, the goldfinches, and the rainboots of everyone in town.  

It should be no surprise then that I love cooking with lemons in the spring.  The crisp, tart taste and the brightness of lemons are the perfect complement to the sunny, warming days.  These AMAZING cupcakes are my absolute favorite.  They're not too sweet, a problem I have with most cupcakes.  The tartness of the lemon is perfectly balanced with the creaminess of the cream cheese frosting and the sweetness of the raspberries.  

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
(I'm not sure where I got the original recipe or I would give them credit!)
Makes 30 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

3 C all-purpose flour
2 C sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
zest of 2 lemons
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 eggs
1 C whole milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line cupcake pan with paper baking cups and spray with with non-stick oil.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in an electric mixer.  Add the butter, mixing until just coated with the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients in parts until fully combined.  Do not over-beat.

Fill each liner about two-thirds full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry Cream Frosting:

8 oz. cold cream cheese
3/4 cup room temperature butter (make sure it really is room temperature)
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Few drops of red food coloring (optional)
3 or more cups of powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese, butter, and jam together until smooth.  Add all remaining ingredients, except the powdered sugar.  Slowly, a little at a time, add the powdered sugar until smooth.  The frosting should be stiff enough to hold its shape when piped. 

Place the frosting in the refrigerator until the cupcakes are completely cooled.  Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and garnish with fresh raspberries or sprinkles.  

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