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.

Lemon Almond Cupcakes

IMG_6224Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! While the rest of the world will likely have chocolate today, I’m celebrating with two of my favorite non-chocolate flavors: lemon and almond.

A few days ago I made some lemon curd, using up the egg yolks from my recipe for egg-whites-only Valentine Cake. As always, I wondered: what should I do with this lemon curd? I should fill some cupcakes with it, that’s what. You can certainly use store bought lemon curd for these if you like; I must admit that my homemade curd only filled about 1 dozen cupcakes, so this batch is half-filled, half-not. These treats are definitely more lemony than almondy, but they’re delicious nonetheless.

Lemon Almond Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • About 2 cups lemon curd, for filling*

*This recipe would make more than enough for all 20 cupcakes

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; my batch made 20 cupcakes.

Combine milk and almond extract; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine cake flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, then reduce mixer speed to low and add butter a few cubes at a time. Continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the milk mixture.

Return to medium speed and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into prepared cupcake pans, filling about 1/2 to 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Lemon Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and salt 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, lemon extract, and milk and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.

To assemble the cupcakes:

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip lemon curd for 1-2 minutes to lighten.

Using a small knife, cut into the center of each cupcake at a 45-degree angle, about 1/8 inch from the edge, all the way around. Remove the core and cut away all but the top 1/4 inch, leaving a small disc of cake. Reserve the scraps for a trifle or other treat.

Fill the inside with lemon curd and top with the disc of cake.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of frosting onto each cupcake and spread with an offset spatula.

Store in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.

 

Lemon Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

Ahh, lemons.  Fans of amy bakes in the ‘burgh know very well of my sincere appreciation of this sunny citrus fruit.  I’ve had a recipe for lemon cupcakes on my mind for a while now, and these are prepared with a simple lemon cream cheese frosting, but I look forward to experimenting with strawberry or raspberry cream cheese frosting in the future.

I don’t usually pipe my frosting, but these cupcakes seemed to request it.  I have big plans to buy a massive pastry bag and enormous plain tip the likes of which are seen on the Food Network, but for these I used a regular 12-inch pastry bag fitted with a #12 Ateco tip.  You could certainly embellish these cupcakes with sprinkles, colored sugar, or a bit of candied lemon peel, but I’ve gone the traditional route with a simple swirl of frosting.

Note: lemon curd can be made from scratch, but I used ready-made lemon curd that I found in the jelly and jam section of my grocery store.

Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line two 12-inch muffin ups with paper liners; you will need additional liners, as this recipe yields about 30 cupcakes.

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

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add lemon zest and beat until combined.

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

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

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon curd
  • yellow food coloring

Preparation

In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar and salt together; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, shortening, and vanilla.

Add powdered sugar in four batches, beating well after each addition.

Add lemon juice and lemon curd and beat well.

Add several drops of yellow food coloring and beat well.

To frost:

Spoon frosting into a 12-inch piping bag fitted with a #12 Ateco tip.

Pipe frosting in a swirl on top of each cupcake.

Store in the refrigerator.