These lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting are a refreshingly light and fruity dessert!
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I love a lemon dessert any time of year. These lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting are of no exception! They are easy to make and refreshingly light. The lemon raspberry combination goes together so beautifully.
I originally made this recipe years ago for our neighbors' daughter's Evening of Elegance event at school. Her mom actually gave me the idea of lemon cupcakes, to offset her contribution of something chocolaty. These cupcakes are perfect for any dainty occasion, like bridal showers, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and Easter!
🍋 Lemon Cupcakes
The cake part to these divine lemon cupcakes is the best you'll have! Light and fluffy in texture with a burst of lemon flavor. It will take a little more time to whip these up than your typical cake mix, but well worth the extra effort for being from scratch!
The batter is mixed with egg whites, creating a more spongy texture. But, it's very welcoming with the light lemon and raspberry flavors. I like to bake them in miniature cupcake pans, but regular sized works well too! Expect 24 regular sized cupcakes or 48 miniature cupcakes.
🍓 Raspberry Frosting
The raspberry frosting is so soft and velvety thanks to the use of shortening. The texture is smooth and not grainy allowing to be easily piped onto the lemon cupcakes. Use a large round decorating tip, like the Wilton 1A, to create the pretty swirls from my photos.
Combining the raspberry frosting with the lemon cupcake is a match made in heaven! The perfect duo for such a delightful dessert!
🧾 Grocery List
There is nothing out of the ordinary when shopping for this recipe, unless you haven't heard of cake flour. You should be able to find this in the baking aisle of any grocery store. I typically buy Swans Down cake flour in a red box.
Ingredients for Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting:
- Cake flour (2 ¼ cups)
- Baking powder
- Buttermilk (see recipe note)
- Egg whites (4 large)
- Granulated sugar (1 ½ cups)
- Lemons (2 large)
- Unsalted butter (1 cup)
- Salted butter (½ cup)
- Shortening (½ cup)
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon extract (or sub with lemon juice)
- Raspberries (⅔ cup)
- Powdered sugar (3 cups)
- Milk (if necessary)
Click here for full recipe ingredients and instructions.
🧁 How to Make Lemon Cupcakes
- Preheat oven and line cupcake tin.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
- Whisk milk and egg whites in another bowl.
- Rub together lemon zest and sugar.
- Beat butter until fluffy, then slowly add rest of the ingredients.
- Evenly distribute batter into cupcake liners.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Let cool.
This recipe calls for 4 egg whites. Don't discard the yolks! Save them to make ice cream.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Raspberry Frosting
- Puree raspberries in blender and strain.
- Cream butter and shortening, then mix in vanilla and raspberry puree.
- Gradually stir in powdered sugar until consistency reached.
🍰 More Lemon Dessert Recipes
- Slow Cooker Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Lemon Cupcakes with Candied Lemon Chips
- Oatmeal Lemon Cream Bars
- Lemon Scones
- Freezable Lemon Bars
- Lemonade Cheesecake
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This recipe was originally published in February 2011 and updated February 2021.
Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting
For the Cake:
- 2 ¼ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk (see note)
- 4 large egg whites (see note)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- lemon zest from two large lemons
- ½ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
For the Frosting:
- ⅔ cup fresh raspberries , frozen or thawed
- ½ cup salted butter , at room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1-3 tablespoons milk , if needed
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Position the rack to the center of the oven. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites until well blended.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large mixer bowl and rub together with your fingers until the zest has moistened all the sugar. Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter in at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very light. Add in the extracts and then one third of the flour mixture, while continuing to beat on medium speed. Mix in half of the milk-egg mixture, then half of the remaining dry ingredients. Beat in the rest of the milk and eggs until fully incorporated, then mix in the remaining of the dry ingredients. Beat at medium speed for a full 2 minutes to aerate. Evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake pans.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes (for regular cupcakes) or 10-12 minutes (for miniature cupcakes). The cupcakes are done when they pass the toothpick test and are springy to the touch. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make the frosting:
- Puree the raspberries in a blender and then push through a fine mesh strainer to discard the seeds; set aside. Cream together the butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment. Beat in the vanilla and most of the raspberry puree, until fully combined.
- Stir in the sugar ½ cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition, until reaching desired consistency. Use more or less sugar as needed, and add more raspberry puree to taste. If the frosting is too thick, beat in milk one tablespoon at a time.
- Pipe frosting onto cupcakes or spread evenly with knife or spatula. Garnish with additional fresh raspberries if desired.
- If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute with mixing 1 tablespoon vinegar into 1 cup of milk and let stand 5 minutes. Top off with additional milk to create 1 and ¼ cup.
- Do not discard your egg yolks. Save them to make ice cream instead!