Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
  • 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 2/3 c. lemon curd
For the frosting:
  • 3/4 c. butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 c. raspberry preserves

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12 count muffin tin with paper liners. You can also line another 6 tins or spray a small cake pan (5-7" in diameter) with cooking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld electric mixer), beat the 1/2 cup of butter and granulated sugar together on medium high speed until pale and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.

In a medium bowl, Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on the lowest speed until just combined. Add the milk, lemon juice, and zest, beat on low until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling 2/3 of the way full. (Pour any remaining batter into the additional tins or prepared cake pan.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in their tins for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, fill the center of the cupcakes with about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd, either by cutting a small hole in the center and then replacing the "lid" after filling the cupcakes or by using a fill tip and a piping bag. Set aside.

To make the frosting, fit a large piping bag with a large open star tip and place it in a large glass, with the top of the bag folded over the edges of the glass.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 3/4 cup of butter on a medium high speed until it is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. Add the cream, vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and zest; beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Remove half of the frosting and set aside. Add the raspberry preserves to the remaining frosting and beat for another minute until all combined.

Spoon the lemon frosting into one side of the piping bag, doing your best to get it as far down the bag as possible (a parfait spoon worked well for me). Spoon the raspberry lemon frosting into the other side. Gently squeeze from the top of the bag, piping into a bowl until the frosting starts coming out two tone. Pipe onto the cupcakes in swirl patterns of your choosing.

Store the cupcakes, covered, in the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes prior to serving.

  • Yields: 12-18 cupcakes (I opted to make a dozen cupcakes and one small cake for my youngster to decorate)
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes