Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

So I have been on somewhat of a raspberry lemon baking bender lately! I tried a Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake, a 4 layer cake and these cupcakes! These cupcakes were hands down my favorite experiment! Also my most frustrating. Getting the raspberry curd filling just right was pretty stressful. So let me share the secret…….do not let it boil! If the butter separates, it’s basically over. I learned that one the hard way.

I also learned something new about the baking universe. So I use flavor extracts quite frequently to give my treats a little extra oomph. But the after taste of extracts has really started to bother me and I thought I was just going to have to deal with it. But I was in our specialty cooking store the other day picking up some semolina and I turned around and there was an entire wall of baking flavors and a variety of types of products. There was a little paper with some info about the different types of products. And I discovered emulsions. They are great because they are a water based formula which gives great flavor without the funky taste you get from regular extracts that are alcohol based solutions. Who knew?! So I got a lemon one and a raspberry one and tried these cupcakes again and the result was amazing!

Makes 28 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 Package Jello Instant Lemon Pudding
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp  Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Frosting:

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Extract or Emulsion
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • If you want to make swirled frosting then add 1/3 cup of Fresh Raspberries and 1/4 tsp Raspberry extract or emulsion to half the frosting

Raspberry Curd Filling:

  • 6-oz  Fresh Raspberries, or you can use frozen if necessary
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients for the cake together in a stand mixer, scraping down the sides to ensure its fully mixed. Pour batter into cupcake liners leaving about 1/4 inch empty at the top. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the cake starts to slightly brown on top. Place pans on a wire rack to cool for at least 10- 15 minutes before filling and frosting.

To make the Raspberry Curd filling

In a medium sauce pan add the raspberries, sugar, butter, lemon juice and salt. Over low-medium heat stir all the ingredients together. As the mixture heats up the berries will start to break down. Make sure you are stirring regularly. Don’t let it come to a boil, just a light simmer. Once the minute is all the same consistency remove from heat and let it cool about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl whisk some eggs together. Very slowly start whisking in the cooled raspberries. Once the raspberries and eggs are completely combined then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and over medium heat bring to a simmer whisking frequently for about 7-10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to cost the back of a spoon.

If you are ambitious you can strain the curd to remove the seeds, but I tried this once and it gave me all the stress. So I live with seeds. Let this cool to room temperature and fill the cupcakes. You can either cut out a small pocket in the middle of the cakes and use a spoon or use a pastry bag with a filling attachment. The filling is amazing so don’t be shy! You can also save any leftover curd in a jar in the fridge and use it on toast or pancakes or topping for ice cream!

To make the Frosting:

In a medium bowl beat the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer until well combined. Beat in the extracts and lemon juice. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time mixing thoroughly.

If you are swirling your frosting, take half the frosting into another bowl and beat in the raspberries and extract. Using a pastry bag and your favorite decorating tip swirl frosting on top of the cupcakes.

You can garnish with some fresh raspberries is desired.

Ok……. I am off the Raspberry Lemonade bender. What should my next obsession be?

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