Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

It's official: Every season should be cupcake season. In our Southern kitchens, it's always a good time of year to make sweet treats that have a show-stopping flavor profile and a sweet-as-can-be presentation. Impressed? You will be. In fact, it was the lemon slice and raspberry topping that really stole our dessert loving hearts. In this creative cupcake recipe, lemon is paired with a raspberry buttercream for a dessert that's made for any kind of celebration, from bridal showers to birthday bashes to graduation get-togethers. When it comes to baking projects, we love choosing combinations that highlight peak seasonal ingredients that we can easily pick up on a grocery store run or at the local farmer's market.  And while our recipe makes a dozen, it's hard not to double (or triple) this show-stopping dessert. The more, the merrier!

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
70 mins
Yield:
1 dozen

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 3/8 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 3 lemons)

Buttercream

  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

  • 2 1/2 cups (about 10 oz.) unsifted powdered sugar

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) salted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish

  • 12 Lemon slices

  • 12 Fresh raspberries

Directions

  1. Prepare the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with cupcake liners; set aside. Beat sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla until combined.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed until just combined after each addition. Stop to scrape sides of bowl using a rubber spatula. Fold in lemon zest and juice.

  3. Scoop slightly rounded mounds of batter using a 2-inch cookie scoop, and drop into cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted into centers of Cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in tray 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the Frosting: Mash raspberries in a small bowl using a fork. Transfer mixture to a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl, and push on berries using back of a spoon to strain juice. Discard solids. (You should have about 1/2 cup raspberry juice.) Set juice aside. Beat powdered sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and 1/4 cup raspberry juice. Beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add additional juice 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Transfer Frosting to a piping bag with the tip cut off (about 1/2 inch).

  5. Pipe Frosting onto Cupcakes. Garnish with lemon slices and raspberries.

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