For Easter with my family, we originally planned on having a picnic. My brother would make fried chicken, my mom would whip up my grandma’s macaroni salad, we’d have a jello mold, the whole deal. Well, the weather did not cooperate. However, we still made picnic food and ate at home!
I’ve been wanting to make raspberry lemonade cupcakes for a while, and what better time than for a picnic-themed Easter celebration! I used lovely spring-colored liners and planned to use food dye to brighten up the frosting, but it didn’t need it – the raspberries did their job.
Lemon Cupcake (makes about 12)
1/3 c. butter (softened)
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 c. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package (6 oz.) fresh raspberries – I guess you can substitute frozen in a pinch
First, do your prep work! Make a raspberry puree by putting the fresh raspberries in a blender. Then, over a bowl, pour the puree onto a few layers of cheese cloth. Get your hands dirty and squeeze the puree through the cloth in order to strain out all the little seeds. Set strained puree aside; it will be used for both the cupcakes and the frosting.
Zest two lemons into a bowl – the zest will be used for both the cupcakes and the frosting. Squeeze those two lemons, careful to catch all the seeds, making sure that you have at least 1/4 c. of juice for the cupcakes themselves.
Now, get started on the cupcakes themselves! Cream together the softened butter and the sugar together. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and blend until just combined.
In a measuring cup, combine the lemon juice and milk (do not do this too far ahead of time or else it will curdle!). In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate blending in the milk mixture and the flour mixture, ending with the flour.
Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 way up. Top each scoop of batter with about a teaspoon of raspberry puree.
Now, add a bit more batter on top of the puree, making each cup 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Take into account that the raspberry may show on the toothpick. Just be sure that there’s no raw cake batter!
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
1/2 c. butter
2-3 c. powdered sugar (to taste)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. raspberry puree
Just like a standard buttercream, start by creaming the butter! Blend in the vanilla. Start to mix in the powdered sugar. Just before you reach a thick consistency that you want, add the raspberry puree. The frosting will be thinner now, so continue to add powdered sugar until you reach the taste and texture that you like. If the frosting is still thin, let it sit in the fridge before piping onto the cupcakes!
This batch of cupcakes got a unanimously delicious review! My brother, Matt (warning, content might not be appropriate for all cupcake enthusiasts), even said they were the best I’ve made. Don’t believe me? You want proof? Well, here he is so politely enjoying them…