Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

The combination of raspberries and lemons epitomizes summer in my book. There is sweet simplicity about this flavor duo that just works together to form some seriously stunning desserts.

When I was asked to help bake a few sweet treats for our end of the year luncheon at work, I thought this blend of fruit would be the perfect way to kick off our summer vacation.

I like making cupcakes for functions because they have such a high level of portability. They allow people to grab one and go about their day while savoring something delicious. The tulip cupcake/muffin wrappers I baked them in added a little level of uniqueness to a very delicious cupcake.

People were intrigued my these little yellow paper wrappers and thought I made them myself. I am betting they can be easily replicated with parchment paper, but I picked mine up at the local cake decorating store.

For the cupcakes, I used my favorite cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan and topped them with a big swirl of raspberry buttercream. Beware…this frosting may force you to lick the bowl, spoon, beaters, spatula and maybe even your fingers! Yeah, it’s that good, so don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

adapted from Dorie Greenspan | makes approximately 24 cupcakes

For the Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray

To Make The Cake:
1.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
Cool on wire rack.

For the Raspberry Buttercream
1/2 cup raspberries (blended into a puree and pushed through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds)
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening*
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of raspberry extract*
1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
2-4 tablespoons very cold milk (add until you reach desired consistency)

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add extracts and raspberry puree and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

*If you don’t have raspberry extract, simply add a little bit more raspberry puree until you reach your preferred level of raspberry flavor. If you add more puree, cut back on the milk.
*If you do not like to use shortening, simply sub in butter. The frosting will not be as structurally sound, but will taste just as delicious.

122 Responses to “Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes”

  1. Jodi — July 18, 2010 at 12:58 am

    I made these for a bake sale, and they were a huge hit!! They are so delicious and have the perfect blend of tart fruit and sweet creamy frosting for summer. They completely sold out when I made them!


  2. Katie — August 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm


    These look delicious! I’d like to make 12 cakes though instead of 24, is there anything I need to know about cutting the cake and frosting recipes in half? Thanks!


  3. Megan — August 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    These look so delish! Can’t wait to try to recipe!!


  4. Kristyn — August 9, 2010 at 2:27 am

    I wanted to make strawberry lemonade cupcakes and was debating lemon cake with strawberry buttercream vs. strawberry cake with lemon buttercream when I came across this recipe. Debate settled! :) The lemon cupcakes were divine. I substituted strawberry puree for raspberry and added a little bit of fresh lemon juice to the frosting as well. I made them for some friends celebrating their 12th anniversary and also for a back-to-school dessert social. Everyone loved them, can’t wait to try more recipes!


  5. Danielle — August 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I made these this weekend, they were excellent and everyone LOVED them!!!! The only thing I struggled with is, my frosting did not come out as light, fluffy and thick as your picture shows. Should I beat the butter/shortening longer? Also, what size tip did you use for piping? they are so pretty! Thanks :)


  6. Rachel — September 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    In short, these were heaven in a cupcake. The cake was a light and fluffy as they come and the frosting was tangy and delicious! I cannot bestow enough praise on these cupcakes. Thank you thank you thank you!!!


  7. Reilee — September 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    How did you achieve that awesome swirl of frosting? It’s amazing!


  8. Ardna — September 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

    i love the cupcake wrapper!! and lemon + strawberry is such a greeat combination!!


  9. Stephanie — November 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    All your recipes sound so good and your photo shots are wonderful! Thanks for sharing.


  10. Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) — February 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous! I just made a batch of these today in miniature form for my neighbor girl’s Evening of Elegance at her high school. They turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)


  11. Renee — March 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    What a fabulous recipe, they turned out so well! I was just wondering if I should refrigerate the cupcakes (frosted) overnight or if I should leave them on the counter in a container?


    • Gina — April 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

      I tried storing frosting but it didn’t last because my husband ate it..lol

    • Jamie — April 24, 2015 at 9:13 am

      That happens a lot around here too! Thanks for visiting!


  12. Melissa — April 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    What tip do you use to get the frosting like that on the cupcake?


    • Damietta — December 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      To get that puffy, ‘holding my breath” look with frosting–go to the Cake decorating store and look for plain round tips.
      You use the small ones for piping stems on flowers, the middle-sized for lettering on cakes, but the one you want for this is the big one–probably 3/8″ in diameter, or maybe more.
      Hold the tip about 1/8″ above the top of the cake, and hold it straight up! Squeeze the bag until the frosting is close to the edge of the cupcake; then lift it up [just barely clear of the frosting] and squeeze again.
      To finish, either ‘trail off’ the frosting for that ‘DairyQueen’ look, or just stop squeezing and pull away, then garnish with goodies.
      If you haven’t done much piping, practice on a Silpat, so that you can ‘recycle’ the messy ones.

  13. valerie trank — April 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I made these yesterday for some Easter treats. They were extremely good. I found that the raspberry flavor really came out after the frosting sat on the cupcakes over night. This was not a “quick” recipe so be prepared to take a little time with them, but they are so well worth it. I also backed off the milk in the frosting so that I could add more raspberry pure. Great recipe


  14. Kayla — May 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Can you use butter flavored shortening?


    • Jamie — May 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      I don’t think I would use butter flavored shortening in this recipe.

    • Kayla — May 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      I ended up using butter flavored since that is what I had and it turned out great – so yummy!

  15. Kayla — May 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Made these for a baby shower and they were a HUGE hit – I am in LOVE with this frosting – so yummy. I want to inject it into a dark chocolate cupcake and top that with ganache or dark chocolate icing – hmmmm. Just trying to find reasons to make this frosting again and again! Thanks for the recipe!


  16. Dawn — June 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I made this raspberry frosting recipe last night and it is soooo awesome! You will not be dissapointed! I have never left a comment on a recipe in my entire life but I felt compelled to come back today and leave a comment because it is that wonderful! I will use this frosting for my sister’s baby shower cupcakes. I’m confident this is the best there is!!!


    • Jamie — June 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting! I’m so happy this recipe compelled you to make your first blog comment, I hope your sister’s shower is amazing!

  17. kyleen — June 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Wow these look delish and your photographs are so gorgeous. I have some strawberries in my freezer and I was wondering if the buttercream could be made with strawberries instead.


  18. Stef — June 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I love the look of these! This was the exact combination I was hoping to use for my mini cupcakes! I will be making these for my best friends wedding? How long do the cupcakes stay good for? And I wad hoping you could tell me what type of tip you used:) These look amazing!!


  19. Kelsey Pettit — July 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    These were absolutely delicious and a huge hit! Only a couple problems; you don’t specify the size of the lemons you used, so it’s hard to tell how much zest should actually be added; I love zest so I wound up putting in a LOT (two absolutely huge lemons’ worth), and it worked out great. Also, this recipe makes about 2x as much frosting as I needed, and even with 2 lbs of confectioner’s sugar it had to be kept in the fridge so the icing wouldn’t drip. But the frosting is delicious, so I’ll be looking for something else to bake so I can put this icing on top of it. Thanks for the recipe!


  20. shondra — July 27, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE these cupcakes! so moist and delicious. the frosting melted a little bit but i just put it in the fridge so they could set. i am TOTALLY making these again!!! so light and fresh. mmmmmmm amazing :)


  21. Joey Peschong — August 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Okay – so these are the prettiest cutest cupcakes I have ever seen. So, they inspired me to try my hand at decorating cupcakes. But first, I signed up for the local cake beginner decorating class. My normal frosting is to eat it from a can with a spoon. So here I am looking for those super cute yellow wrappers, thinking I am so going to impress my in-laws with this cute little cupcake for a snack. But when trying to find them on-line everyone said they don’t bake well, absorb the oil, turn brown in the oven yada-yada-yada. So where is the best place to find those little yellow papers and what is your trick to making them so beautiful?


    • Jamie — August 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      The definitely show oil marks, but the cupcake recipe that I used does not give off a lot of oil, so I think that’s why they worked so well with this recipe. I honestly don’t remember where I bought them, but if you google “yellow tulip baking cups” you should be able to find them pretty easily. Best of luck to you!

  22. Mari — August 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I highlighted these cupcakes on my little blog at http://wadelmat.blogspot.com/ Thanks for sharing!


  23. Juli — August 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I don’t really like the texture of zest in my foods, is it possible to use a less amount of the zest and still have the desired taste?


  24. Rachel — August 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    These cupcakes are AMAZING!!! I LOVE your website!!


  25. Emma — August 28, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Does anyone know how to make this gluten free? i want to make them for a friend that cant have gluten?!?! a reply soon would be great!


  26. Alysha — August 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I just made these and wow they are good! I’m usually not a fan of fruit cupcakes, but I am converted. Opens the cupcake world right up! I was unable to find raspberry extract so just used a whole 6 oz of raspberries, yummy! I didn’t have to add any milk either. I filled my pastry bag and let sit in the fridge for a few minutes while the cupcakes cooled, piped perfectly! Thanks so much for the recipe!


  27. Francesca — September 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    What tip did you use to frost your cupcakes? I use a standard M1 tip and I am bored of that.


  28. King for Su — January 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I love these original shape cupcakes. They don’t look like small cakes but like gourmet ice creams!


  29. Sharon — February 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    In the Buttercream recipe, you list 1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x). What does the powdered sugar, 10x mean?


    • Jamie — February 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Confectioners’ sugar can also be found labeled as “powdered sugar 10x” which is why I gave the alternate name for it in parenthesis. Hope this clarifies your question.

  30. Mayoli — April 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Jamie!

    Just finished baking these … I’m taking them to my inlaws tomorrow for Easter and I gotta say they are absolutely delicious!!



  31. Cait — May 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Am I reading that right? 1 1/2 POUNDS of confectioner’s sugar???


  32. Kaia — June 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Turned out wonderful for me!


  33. Elle — July 10, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Just made these cupcakes and they were such a hit! Loved the flavor of the cupcake as well as the frosting. I ran into a slight problem however which seemed to bother me much much more than everyone devouring the cupcakes- once baked, the cupcake was a lot more dense than I would have liked it to be. It didn’t have that “light and airy” texture a cupcake should have. Any ideas or suggestions as to what could have gone wrong? Should I change the type of flour used? Just a little lost because I followed the recipe exactly and I would absolutely love to make them again but the texture really discouraged me!


    • Jamie — July 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. Did you use cake flour? It stumps me as to why they would be dense, sometimes people complain this recipe is too light and “spongy” – I definitely would not try this recipe with all-purpose flour. I’m sorry the texture discouraged you.

    • Elle — July 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Hi! Yes, I used the cake flour that was recommended in the recipe. Not sure what could have happened, but I’m definitely going to try again! :)

  34. These cupcakes look to die for. I like the dough you use for the cupcakes, it’s seems to be very light and fluffy. Great recipe! Fantastic pictures!


  35. Elizabeth — August 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Made these for a cookout the other day and they were a HUGE hit! They were delicious, really light and fluffy, and looked beautiful. We didn’t use lemon and raspberry extract, but instead added a bit more juice of each. The lemon cake turned out nicely but there wasn’t much raspberry flavor in the icing. I think next time I’ll just go buy the extracts instead :)


  36. eva — March 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    wow…this looks so cool


  37. Sujatha — March 3, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Looks so delicious and seems so simple to make. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.


  38. Andrea — March 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I can’t wait to try these!! What kind of tip do you use to get the big swirls of icing? Nothing I’ve tried looks this pretty!


    • MBA — April 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      I used the large round tip for this cupcake. I hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  39. Crystal — May 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I made the frosting but it came out a lot more pink, salty, and droopy. Can you tell me what I did wrong? I’m going to try to make it again. Yours look so light, fluffy and perfect!!! And that’s what I want :)


    • Jamie — September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Crystal,
      It sounds like your raspberries were a lot more juicy, but maybe not as flavorful as mine. That’s not anything you did wrong, it’s just the produce. Try going for organic berries. I find their flavor is much more intense.
      – Jamie

    • Crystal — September 14, 2013 at 9:26 am

      thank you !! :) I will try that then

  40. baker — October 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    is this rec good for a surprise


  41. Heather — December 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Do you think I can make a round cake out of this? How much do you think it makes?


    • Jamie — January 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Heather, typically you can make 2 9″ rounds from the same amount of batter that makes 22-24 cupcakes. That’s true of pretty much any cake recipe.
      – Jamie

  42. Dani — March 2, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Hi Jamie, I was wondering with fresh raspberries being in the frosting, do you refrigerated them right away or a day or two later? I’m about to make some later today and give them away but wanted to make sure how store them till than and also let the person know how to also. Thanks!



    • Jamie — March 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Yes, you’ll definitely want to refrigerate these cupcakes the day you make them. I take mine out of the fridge about an hour before serving.

  43. Alex — March 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hi! The look great! But… I don’t have any buttermilk… Could i use milk or yogurt instead? Cream? Liquid cream?
    Thanks a lot!


  44. Tracy — June 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    These look so yummy . What was the wrapper made of?


  45. Libby — August 18, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I have never commented on a recipe before but I had to say how perfect these are. Just the right amount of sweetness in both the batter and the frosting- not overwhelmingly sweet like some can be! Also, I have NEVER found a frosting recipe that worked out so well!! I’ve always had to modify the recipes a bit to compensate for something that just wasn’t quite right.. this is the ideal frosting. Absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!


    • Jamie — August 18, 2014 at 11:06 am

      I’m so glad you found success with the recipe! Thanks for dropping by to let me know.


  46. irra — June 14, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Nice recipe and I would like to try


    • Jamie — June 14, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      I hope you get the chance to try them. Thanks for visiting.



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