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. The Italian Dish — June 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    These look great! I needed something for a “ladies’ dinner” dessert and this is perfect. I’ve never made raspberry buttercream frosting. Oh, man.


  2. Manu Miranda — June 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N!!! I’m drooling here ;)


  3. Wow. I need to find a local cupcake store that I can plunder to find unique wrappers. :)

    Now I wish I had raspberries growing in the garden. Sadly, they don’t grow here. :(



  4. Tracey — June 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Gorgeous Jamie! Your photos blow my mind – always so beautifully styled :)


  5. Margaret — June 8, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    OH!! MY!! WORD!! but those look so wonderful!! And the holders – so cute.


  6. My Kitchen in the Rockies — June 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I really like the cupcake idea for a picnic I am planning. Much more practical than baking a raspberry cake. Thanks for the wonderful idea, Jamie.


  7. Jaime — June 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I love how you brought in the yellow with the parchment paper.


  8. prerna — June 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Gosh! this looks divine.


  9. Joanne — June 9, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I love bringing cupcakes for group events as well! It’s so much easier than trying to lug around a cake….and so much easier to plan for serving size!

    This raspberry lemon combo absolutely SCREAMS summer. I’ve become a big fan of using fruit in frosting after a pomegranate cream cheese frosting I made recently. Good call!


  10. hannah @ thepastrykook — June 9, 2010 at 1:20 am

    i could eat it whole including the wrapper! okay maybe not. but these look so delectable!


  11. Rosa — June 9, 2010 at 1:46 am

    So pretty! Mmmhhh, those must taste heavenly!




  12. Cherine — June 9, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Gorgeous!! I bet they taste sooo good!


  13. Jessica @ How Sweet — June 9, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Those are just stunning! You have some of the best photography I have ever seen.


  14. Big Boys Oven — June 9, 2010 at 6:51 am

    wow! this is an excellent bake, awesomely pretty and sexy! :)


  15. Absolutely gorgeous! Love those vibrant yellow wrappers, I have never seen them in that shape before!


  16. merry jennifer — June 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

    If your top photo doesn’t get accepted at TS or FG, I’m never submitting again. It’s gorgeous!


  17. Joan — June 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

    They look wonderful! Where did you get the cupcake liners? They are cute.


  18. Kristine — June 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

    These cupcakes look and sound absolutely delicious! I want one!!! Those cupcake lines are so cute too.


  19. vivienne — June 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Wow, I’m so bookmarking this to make one day! The buttercream is piped so beautifully!


  20. Brooke (Baking with Basil) — June 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Those cupcakes are almost too cute to eat! I LOVE the yellow wrappers!! So creative! Where did you find them at?


  21. Cookbook Queen — June 9, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Love the cupcakes, love the liners, love all of it!! These look soooo good!!


  22. Amanda — June 9, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Great job! Your pictures are stunning… the recipe looks awesome!


  23. Emily — June 9, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Can you substitute lemon juice for lemon extract?


    • Jamie — June 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Sure or just omit it!

  24. Debie — June 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Those look fabulous!! I definitely want to make these! Just have one question, in the frosting recipe you have – 1 stick salted butter – room temperature ..it is listed twice. Do we use 2 sticks of butter, or is this a typo?


    • Jamie — June 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      I use one stick of salted butter and one stick of unsalted butter; totaling two sticks. If you do not have salted butter, use two sticks of unsalted. I would not recommend using two sticks of salted though. I hope this helps.

    • Debie — June 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Ooops…I read the recipe wrong! Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    • Hannah — July 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      This was the exactly what I was wondering! Why do you use two different types of butter? Is it because salt enhances the sweetness? If I were to use two sticks of unsalted, do you recommend using some salt?

    • Jamie — July 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      If I use all unsalted butter, I typically just add a pinch of fine grain sea salt. I hope this helps.

  25. Sharlene — June 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Yum! Cupcakes are one of my favorite things to bring to a party. It’s already portioned out and no extra clean-up necessary for the host. Raspberry and lemon are two of my absolute favorite flavors to bake with so I’ll definitely be trying this one out. Such cute liners too! I’ve just started investing in more decorating tools and papers for lining. Will definitely try to find these.


  26. Kathleen — June 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Jaime, these look amazing!


  27. ingrid — June 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Yeah, so they were good, right?! LOL, I kid.

    Those wrappers are pretty darn cool.


  28. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot — June 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Those cupcake liners are adorable! I could just look at these all day. Ok no, I’d just eat them all. Yum!


  29. Lark (SparkyLarky) — June 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Just looking at the cupcake makes me want to lick the screen! (lol)
    Cant wait to try the recipe myself.


  30. maria — June 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen!


  31. Katrina — June 10, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I love the little paper wrappers these cupcakes are in! They’re so cute. I want to make these tonight!


  32. LaRae Davenport — June 10, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Hey Jamie,

    What are some other sites you recommend getting fun cupcake liners??


  33. Thailand Breeze — June 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    It looks so cute!

    Lemon, vanilla and raspberry must go really well together.

    I love fresh raspberries with vanilla ice cream or milk +_+

    Nice recipe.


  34. Lynn — June 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Raspberry and lemon are some of my favourite flavours too. These look fantastic! I love the liners!


  35. Joanne Choi — June 11, 2010 at 10:52 am

    beautiful gorgeous cupcakes. I love the yellow liner. I find myself intrigued with the idea of shortening in frosting as my experience with fruit purees in frostings has led me to believe that it shouldn’t be done as the fruit makes the frosting running. Yours looks absolutely gorgeous and like it holds up even with the piping.


  36. I have a confession to make… I just made the frosting. BUT – I slapped it on top of your lemon cupcake recipe.

    AND IT WAS FABULOUS for my office BBQ last night. Everyone loved it. :-) I’m officially the cupcake lady… dunno what I think about it yet.



  37. Taya — June 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed looking around your site (yum!). This recipe inspired me to add raspberries to a creamcheese frosting I was making for a birthday cake, so thanks! I didn’t have fresh or frozen berries so I just pressed the seeds out of my favorite raspberry jam and added about 1/8 of a cup to the frosting as well as some lemon extract. It gave the frosting a hint of pink and a light, fresh taste. Thanks for the inspiration!


  38. Eliana — June 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    This cupcake has summer written all over it. It also looks super delish.


  39. Jamie — June 14, 2010 at 4:56 am

    There is something about summer that makes me crave lemon and berries – a perfect combination. These cupcakes with this frosting is stunning and delicious!


  40. Nicole @ The Dirty Oven — June 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    What a beauty of a picture. Those cupcakes look delicious!!! Super awesome!
    Keep it up. I love your posts. You are such an inspiration.


  41. Swee San — June 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    it just screams SUMMER !!


  42. Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking — June 16, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Mm, cupcakes. Definitely one of my favorite treats! After Swedish Princess Cake, though ;)


  43. dokuzuncubulut — June 16, 2010 at 3:27 am

    I love it, it’s cute….


  44. Amanda — June 16, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Wow, so pretty. I love the liners too. I see they make them in my favorite color, purple!


  45. sensiblecooking — June 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    That is so summer, yellow wrapper and the raspberries on top not only sounds deliciousness but looks too. Wish I could make some right now.


  46. Three Baking Sheets — June 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm


    Just what I need…another baking website to drain my wallet. I don’t think I can survive without those cupcake liners, though.


  47. Amy Kelly — June 17, 2010 at 8:53 am

    These photos are absolute perfection! I don’t think you could have decorated and styled those cupcakes any more beautiful. I’m planning to try these next week for the hubby to take to a potluck at his work. I recently baked your Oreo Cupcakes for my hubby and his coworkers and they LOVED them. I’m sure they will be a hit as well! I’m excited to try the flavor combination because I haven’t done much baking with fruit as the star flavor.

    Thank you so much for always sharing the most delicious and beautiful recipes!


  48. Carolina Garofani — July 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I made these for a friend over the weekend, and they were a HUGE success.
    Thanks SO much, the buttercream is absolutely delicious! Yum!


  49. Margo — July 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    These are the most attractive cupcakes I have ever seen! The combination of red and yellow always makes me happy and makes me think of nice weather when tulips are in bloom and everything is right with the world. Not only do these look great, but the recipe sounds like it must be wonderful. Wow.



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