Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

lemon raspberry cupcakesSummer is coming to an end, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather in Pittsburgh today. It’s in the 90s, with humidity through the roof. And when I think of summer flavors – fitting for a day like this – I think of lemon and raspberry.

These cupcakes are a delightful blend of sweet and tart, combining a lemon cupcake with raspberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting. The most labor-intensive part of this recipe is the straining of the raspberry filling; in order to get a seedless result, you’ve got to spend several minutes pressing the mixture through a fine sieve. You could certainly buy raspberry filling at your local baking supply shop if you’d like to save time, but there’s something very rewarding about making your own.

 Raspberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces raspberries, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, stir together raspberries, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the mixture boils, then allow it to boil for 1 minute, stirring well, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and press through a fine sieve to filter out the seeds. Allow to cool before using; makes about 1 cup. Once you fill your cupcakes, you’ll have a small amount of filling left over that you can use as you like.

Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two 12-inch muffin ups with paper liners; this recipe made 17 cupcakes for me.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Add egg and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add lemon zest and beat until combined.

Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, in three batches, beating until combined.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about half full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Lemon Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until fully incorporated, about 3-4 minutes.

Add lemon juice and lemon extract and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.

To assemble the cupcakes:

Using the small end of a melon baller, scoop out a small amount of cake from the center of each cupcake; reserve for a trifle or another use.

Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip; twist the tip end of the bag so the filling doesn’t start to run out when you pour it in. Fill the bag, then carefully pipe filling into each cupcake.

Fit a 14-inch piping bag with a Wilton M1 tip and pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.

Store in an airtight container at a cool room temperature for up to 3 days.

lemon raspberry cupcakes 2Here’s a look inside the cupcakes.

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