The cupcakes are actually double-raspberry – there is a raspberry jam filling hidden under the frosting. I used the same jam, instead of commonly used icing sugar, to sweeten the cream cheese frosting. I strongly dislike the mouthfeel of icing sugar-based fillings.
Makes 12 cupcakes, very generously frosted
For the cupcake batter:
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pure lemon extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup milk, at room temperature
For the filling:
- About 1/3 cup of raspberry jam
For the frosting:
- ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1/3 cup fine, or, even better – extra fine granulated sugar
- 6 oz (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 lb (2 packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp natural raspberry extract (optional)
- A few drops of red food color (I use organic color and it takes about ¼ tsp to get the right tint)
Make the cupcakes:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Fit parchment cupcake liners into regular-size muffin molds.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub with your fingertips to release fragrant lemon oil.
In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for a few seconds, until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the extracts. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl as necessary, and beat only enough to incorporate the ingredients after each addition.
Divide the batter between the prepared muffin molds. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in their molds for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, and then unmold and cool completely on the rack before filling and frosting.
Make the frosting, fill and frost the cupcakes:
First, in a small bowl, combine the jam and fine sugar together, stir and let it sit for a few minutes, stirring a couple of times to help the sugar get dissolved.
In a small bowl, using electric beaters, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
In another larger bowl, using the same beaters (no need to wash them) beat the cream cheese until light, creamy, and completely lump-free. Beat in the jam-sugar mixture and extracts. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the creamed butter just until the ingredients are combined, should take less than a minute, add the color.
To fill the cupcakes, cut out a small, round, fennel-like hole with a sharp paring knife in the top of each cupcake. Enjoy the scraps right away. Spoon about a teaspoon of raspberry jam into each cavity. Don’t overfill the cupcakes; otherwise, the frosting can slide off.
Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a rosette over the top of each cupcake. Refrigerate to firm up the frosting a bit, for about 20 minutes or so.
The cupcakes can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Remove the cupcakes from the fridge 30 minutes prior the serving time.
July 11, 2015 at 11:55 am
I think the amount of butter listed for the frosting is incorrect. Generally speaking, 6 ounces isn’t 1 1/2 sticks. Plus, in the cupcake ingredient list it says 1 stick is 4 ounces. Not sure what the correct amount of butter is but I’m going to use 1 stick (8 ounces) and hope for the best.
May 18, 2015 at 6:22 am
These look absolutely delicious! I would love to make these for a wedding in October, but have some questions.
I have to travel about 6 hours for the wedding with the cupcakes – Can they be frozen for the drive? If so, how would you suggest?
Can they be iced and/or filled beforehand or do I need to do it when they’re defrosted?
Thank you in advance!
June 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm
I just made these. The cake base is quite good (mine were done in 20 minutes–any longer and they would have burned), but the frosting was a total nightmare. It was extremely runny and wouldn’t set, even after spending an hour in the fridge. I ended up adding an additional 5.5 cups of powdered sugar before it got to a consistency that I could work with. Even then, I had to rush to store the cupcakes in the fridge before the frosting lost too much shape.
June 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm
Made these last night. Cupcakes are amazing. I did double the recipe and substituted car flour instead of regular flour. Advise, if you have eer dealt with lemon zest before, make sure it’s very small especially if hubby (mine) hates texture in cupcakes. The icing was a disaster for me. It was way to runny. Doesn’t set at all. So, I made Wilton’s butter cream frosting recipe and replaced the milk it called for with raspberry jam and it was so good! Pairing lemon and raspberry is absolutely tasteful. I will be making these again. :)
March 30, 2014 at 8:26 am
I had serious problems with my frosting not setting up, it’s only 65 right now so it’s definitely not caused by heat. I ended up adding some powdered sugar and it set a bit better, but definitely not to a point where I could use a bag and tip to pretty up the cupcakes. Flavor was great though and really, isn’t that the most important thing?
October 24, 2013 at 5:40 am
Sweet .. !!
October 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
This frosting was a disaster for me. Possibly, the butter was still a bit too cool but it initially creamed very nicely. Against my better judgement I didn’t cream butter and cream cheese, as in other cream cheese icing recipes. Followed recipe to a tee. Once I added butter and icing was really lumpy. Flavour was lovely but I ended up throwing 2 batches (30$) worth of ingredients in the garbage.
August 20, 2013 at 11:01 am
Love the cupcakes they look so gorgeous and I love the cut flowers.
August 2, 2013 at 6:01 am
Could I use powdered sugar do the frosting instead? Cause I don’t think I have enough for the cupcakes and frosting
June 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm
Crystal, Leah, maybe your jam wasn’t quite thick (you can see a consistency of mine on the photo, and it is thick), or your butter was too soft to begin with. When the temperature is too hot during summer, butter gets too warm too quickly.
Luce, I’m so glad you liked the frosting! Thank you very much for letting me know.
June 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm
I just have to let you know… My mother and I were making cupcakes for a work function and needed a drop dead delicious frosting…Yes we found it. So for a little background… We had already made the cupcakes, vanilla with a splash of rum and we had the brilliant idea to put a little something inside. Raiding the pantry we found raspberry spread (with seeds) and apricot preserves. OMG we followed your recipe for the frosting substituting with apricot and it was heavenly. In that sinfully good kind of way! Thanks for the recipe and I cant wait to make the real one!!!
June 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm
The raspberry cream cheese frosting remained fairly soft, our decorative ridges were soft, even after cooling it in fridge before piping it on the cupcakes. Any suggestions? We used ingredients as listed, did not use raspberry extract or food coloring.
June 2, 2013 at 7:02 am
These look SO delicious and perfect for all those springtime celebrations like bridal showers!
May 28, 2013 at 6:14 pm
Sorry, I posted in the wrong recipe. hahahah
May 28, 2013 at 3:59 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 :)
May 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Wow! the cupcakes itself look so soft and delicious and with the cream cheese frosting..I can’t stop imagining how delicious they would taste.
May 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm
Amy, I made them from gum paste using a small flower cutter. The centers are also gum paste painted with edible gold. This is the easiest project ever.
May 6, 2013 at 8:24 am
Can you please tell me where you got the darling flowers on these cupcakes? Did you make them or purchase them? Making wedding cupcakes next month and need small white flowers like those shown above.
April 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm
Juliana, thank you very much!
April 24, 2013 at 9:54 am
Beautiful cupcakes Vera…love the flavor!
Hope you are having a lovely week :)
April 24, 2013 at 8:27 am
Rosa, Kisa, Holiday Baker Man, thank you very much for your kind comments!
April 23, 2013 at 5:46 am
I bet these are amazing!
April 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm
That marvel straight! and how precious you are prepardo!
April 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm
Lovely cupcakes! This flavor combination is just heavenly.