I can usually exhibit a decent amount of self control when it comes to desserts. I learned this skill at a young age when I worked for a big law firm where it seemed every day we were in a conference room staring down a ginormous cake in celebration of someone’s birthday. Over time it became easy to say “no thank you”. At home, I cut things in half and share with whoever is closest. There is always a willing dessert lover close by in this house.
All of that changed with these seemingly innocent cupcakes.
I can’t decide what I like best about them. It might be the lemon curd/cream cheese frosting that is oh, so light and dreamy and packed with luscious lemon flavor. Or maybe it is the lemony cupcake that has a wonderful, light texture and a fresh raspberry baked inside. The cupcakes are good enough to eat on their own but you wouldn’t want to miss out on this amazing frosting. Trust me. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.
The grocery list – Granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, cake flour, milk, eggs, fresh raspberries, a lemon, and butter.
For the frosting – Neufchatel or regular cream cheese, lemon curd, and powdered sugar.
Let’s get started on the cupcakes first.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. I didn’t take a picture of this process because flour is boring but one note – please be sure to use cake flour. It is responsible for the delicate texture of this cupcake.
Place a stick of softened butter in a large mixing bowl and add the lemon zest.
Give it a whirl with your hand mixer until it is well combined and creamy.
In goes the granulated sugar.
Beat this mixture with your hand mixture for a couple of minutes and then add in the fresh lemon juice. Mix for another minute.
Add the egg yolks, two at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time.
Alternating with the milk, mixing after each addition.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula or spoon as needed.
The cupcake batter is ready to roll.
Divide the batter between 18 cupcake liners and place a fresh raspberry right on top of each one. There is no need to press the berry down, it will sink in as it bakes.
Bake at 350 for 22 to 25 minutes. When the cupcakes come out of the oven, let them cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Time to move on to the frosting. Lemon curd is wonderful made from scratch but for convenience sake, I like to keep some prepared lemon curd in my pantry. This one from Trader Joe’s is inexpensive and very good.
Beat the cream cheese and lemon curd with your hand mixer till well combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat again.
That’s it! Three ingredients and ready in minutes.
Cake decorating is NOT my strong point so this little kit from Wilton has made the whole process so much easier. This is not a sponsored post. I’m just sharing the love with ya’ll.
You can also use a pastry bag to pipe the frosting on to the cupcakes to make them fancy schmancy.
Top them off with a fresh raspberry.
I tried cutting it in half to share. Honest.
Then I went and got another.
You gotta try it. A sweet, delicious alternative to chocolate on Valentine’s Day.
Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
Yield: 18 cupcakes
- 2-1/2 cups cake flour
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (use a Meyer lemon if available)
- 1-3/4 cups white sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approximately 1/2 lemon juiced)
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (6 ounce) container fresh raspberries
- Lemon Curd Frosting (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 18 paper liners.
Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer, cream butter and lemon rind together. Add granulated sugar, beating for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and beat for another minute. Add egg yolks two at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to the butter mixture, a small amount at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat until well combined, smooth, and creamy.
Use a small spoon to divide the batter between the 18 cupcake liners. You should fill each about about 3/4 full. Set one raspberry on top of each cupcake. There is no need to press them into the batter; they will sink in as they bake.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
For a decorative look, use a pastry bag to pipe the frosting on to the cupcakes. Top each frosted cupcake with a raspberry.
Store cupcakes covered in the refrigerator.
Lemon Curd Frosting
Yield: Enough to frost 18 cupcakes, 1 13″x9″ cake, or 2 9″ layer cakes
- 1 (10.5 ounce) jar lemon curd (approximately 3/4 cup)
- 2 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese (regular or Neufchatel)
- 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat the lemon curd with the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl till well combined. Beat in the powdered sugar till smooth and creamy.