Saturday, April 25, 2015

Raspberry-filled Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


Spring has evaded us folks living in the Midwest (I refuse to call myself a Midwesterner) for a long time. And then all of a sudden, the weather reached the 50's, we started to see squirrels and hear birds chirping, and everything felt alive again. A beautiful family of cardinals made its home outside our town home. The bright red streak as the cardinals flit around is definitely a sign that spring is finally here.


To honor spring and the cute little birds outside, I made these raspberry-filled lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting. These would also be great for mother's day which is coming up on May 10th! The cupcakes are a doctored cake mix recipe, which is great when you're in a pinch (or not the best baker) and it makes deliciously moist cupcakes. If you have a recipe from scratch you love, go ahead and use that. The frosting is to die for! Dye it yellow or pink for added cuteness. The raspberry jam filling adds a much appreciated sweetness to the tart of the lemon. All in all, it is a perfect combination.

Give these cupcakes a try and good luck in the kitchen!


Lemon Cupcakes
adapted from Cannellavita
(makes around 24 cupcakes)

1 package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) package instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp lemon extract or essence (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 FÂș.


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and blend till fully combined. Spoon into a cupcake pan lined with liners, around 2-3 tablespoons per cup (I only needed 2). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clear. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.



Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature 
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp of lemon extract or essence

Cream the cream cheese and butter together in an electric mixer until well combined. Add in the extracts. Once combined, slowly add in powdered sugar to achieve the consistency you desire (spreadable but not too thick or runny).

Assembly

around 1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserves
25-30 fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Create a hole in the center of the cupcake. I made mine by putting a thick chopstick in the center and turning it in circles to make the hole a little wider. Fill a ziploc bag with raspberry jam and cut a small hole at the bottom. Insert the cut end of the bag in the cupcake hole and fill the cupcake until you feel the cupcake fill out or you can see that is filled to to top of the hole.

Fit a piping bag with a 3M tip and fill with frosting. Pipe swirls or roses and top with a fresh raspberry. Enjoy!

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