I had an epiphany this weekend: I hadn't made cupcakes in, like, months. I might as well be saying I hadn't breathed in months, it's that serious.
For me, baking, particularly baking cupcakes, is akin to living. Since I just wrapped up a 30-day paleo challenge, I felt like the Easter weekend was an opportune time to try out my new Springtime cupcake falvor, Lemon Raspberry.
Generally, I don't waver in my opinion of my abilities, but I'll be honest...I wasn't sure I still knew how to bake. I mean, I cook all the time, but was it possible I could have fallen out of practice in the last few months? Might I not be able to get the right pouf in the cake? Would the frosting be too runny? Oh god. What if they were just--ugly?!?!
You'll be glad to know my fears were completely unfounded. I'd like to be able to say "hey you guys, it's just like riding a bike!" but those of you that know me personally know I never learned how to ride a bike, so I can't substantiate that comparison.
So yeah, these were incredible and quite popular among the friends I shared them with Saturday night. The lemon cake is fluffy, and when filled with lemon curd, the perfect amount of tart, which is paired perfectly with the sweet raspberry buttercream on top.
I'm pretty sure.
Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
Makes about 2 dozen
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
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 jar good quality lemon curd (or you can make your own)
For the buttercream
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 pint of raspberries
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2. Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Whisk buttermilk and egg whites in another bowl to combine.
4. In a stand mixer, combine sugar and lemon zest on low speed until the sugar is fragrant and moist. Add butter and beat at full speed until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes.
5. Add vanilla and lemon juice to the butter mixture. Then add 1/3 of the dry ingredients on medium speed until incorporated. Then add half of the milk mixture until just incorporated. Continue to add the flour and then the milk, ending with the flour mixture until all the ingredients are combined. Finally, beat the batter another minute or two to ensure everything is combined and aerated.
6. Using an ice scream scoop, divide the batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool.
7. While cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Whip the butter in a stand mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar in 1 cup increments until you get it to the sweetness you desire.
8. In a food processor, puree raspberries. Add the puree to the buttercream and continue to whip until the puree is well incorporated. Add milk if needed to get a thinner consistency.
9. Refrigerate for a few minutes while cupcakes continue to cool.
10. Using a pairing knife or an apple corer, remove the center of the cupcake about halfway down. Fill the hole with a dollop of lemon curd. Top with buttercream and a fresh raspberry before serving.