I'm starting off the Valentine baking season with these Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes.  I was inspired to make this flavor combination by a gift I received recently of raspberry flavored sugar.  I thought a completely raspberry cupcake would be too much, so why not add the fresh, tart flavor of lemon into the mix.  Looking online for recipes was challenging because there are so many options.  I toyed with doing a lemon curd center, but then found this recipe from Sweetopia that incorporated fresh raspberries.  I'm happy with the end result, flavorwise, but I think there is one modification I would do with the raspberries.  Instead of folding them in the batter, I would drop 2-4 berries (depending on the size) into the cups after the batter had already been poured.  I was using some very large berries, so some of the middles were a little too soft for my liking because there were too many raspberries.  Other than that, it's a good cupcake!

Raspberry Sugar

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups raspberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high until fluffy
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time
4. Add lemon zest and lemon juice and mix
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, and salt - and add 1/3 of the mixture to the stand mixer and combine.  Add some of the milk and combine.  Alternate until all dry and wet ingredients are incorporated.
6. Pour batter into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, about 1/2 full.
7. Add raspberries - 2 to 4 depending on their size
8. Fill with additional batter until 3/4 full
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean
10. Let cool on a rack before adding raspberry buttercream icing

Raspberry Coulis


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
12 oz. or 2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
2 Tablespoons cold water
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch 

1. In a pot on the stove, make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and water to a boil over high heat, then reducing the heat and stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the raspberries and cook on low until raspberries are soft, approximately 8 minutes
3. Dissolve cornstarch in the 2 Tablespoons of cold water, then pour into the raspberry mixture and cook an additional 3 minutes
4. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pour the raspberry mixture through the sieve to remove all of the seeds.  Discard the seeds
5. Cool the coulis then put in the refrigerator until needed.  This coulis can be frozen for up to a month

Raspberry Buttercream


1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6-8 cups of confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup raspberry coulis

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter by beating it for 2-3 minutes until smooth
2. On the lowest speed, alternate between mixing in 1 cup of confectioner's sugar and a portion of the wet ingredients.  Start with the total 6 cups of confectioner's sugar and add more for your desired consistency of the buttercream.