Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Cupcake Recipe

Someone reading this blog asked for my lemon-raspberry recipe so here it is.  Be sure to read the instructions.  This is an adaptation of a recipe I found online somewhere I don't even remember where now but there are several little things that are important to do!  Here goes...

Lemon Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
fresh grated zest and juice of one large lemon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream, full fat
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat unsalted butter for a few minutes.  Add the sugar and beat for 5-10 mins more until well combined.  It is important to beat the butter and sugar well so you don't get any sugary lumps when you bake.
In the meantime in a separate bowl whisk all the dry ingredients plus the lemon zest together.
Back to the mixer, add the eggs one at a time.  After adding two eggs, scrape the bowl, and add the other two eggs.  Scrape again. 
Add the extract and lemon juice, beat for a min. 
Add the sour cream and beat for another min or two.  Scrape the bowl.  Always scrape the bowl!
With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  I usually add about 1/2, turn the mixer up for a min, turn it off and scrape the bowl, then back on for the rest.  Mix on medium until it is incorporated but not over mixed.  It will be thick.
When you lift the head of the stand mixer, take a spatula and scrape the blade.  The lemon zest will stick to it.  Fold it back into the batter with your spatula so there are no chunks of zest in the cakes.
Line a baking pan with paper liners and fill about 2/3 full (not too full because these rise really well).  I use the medium sized Pampered Chef ice cream scoop and over fill it to measure these out.  Makes about 30 - 36.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 22-25 mins or until it springs back after gently pressing with your finger. 

Take out of the pan after a min or two so the bottoms don't brown and let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting

4 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
about 6 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
about 1/4 cup fresh raspberry puree*

*Raspberry Puree: 6 oz fresh raspberries cooked in a small sauce pan with 1 Tbs white sugar and a splash of lemon juice.  Cook until the berries break down and you can smash them with a spatula.  Let simmer for 5-10 mins more and set aside until completely cool.  It should thicken a little.  (I do this to cook some of the water out of the berries so the butter cream doesn't separate.)
If you don't want the raspberry seeds in your frosting, you can use a sieve to separate the pulp and juice from the seeds.  This takes some time and I don't mind the seeds so I used an immersion blender to puree it. 

For the butter cream, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until smooth. 
Add the vanilla extract and 3 Tbs of raspberry puree and mix until incorporated. 
Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time remembering to scrap the bowl every so often. 
When all the sugar is mixed in, continue to add the raspberry puree until you get the desired texture, flavor, and color.  Remember that adding too much can make the frosting runny and it will separate.  It's hard to tell you exactly how much to add because each batch of berries seems to have a different amount of water.  Use your best judgement and good luck!

Frost the lemon cupcakes with the raspberry butter cream, top with a fresh raspberry (or even fill them with more raspberry preserves) and enjoy!

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