Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

This summer is full of wedding festivities. And I’m not only talking about the planning that’s been going on for my own big day, but the other events leading up to the many fall weddings going on this year too. We’re going to 4 weddings this fall so there are plenty of showers and bachelorette parties keeping me busy the rest of the summer. My friend Alyssa has also been busy planning the parties celebrating her bride-to-be sister and asked me to make a big batch of cupcakes for the event. Since the party was outside last weekend, I wanted to make something light that wouldn’t weigh everyone down on a hot day. And since pink was the main color of the party, I went with a lemon cake filled with raspberry curd and topped with dyed cream cheese frosting. The perfect combination of a tart and sweet dessert for a summer shower!

I absolutely loved how these cupcakes turned out. The method of making the lemon cupcake batter is a bit more labor intensive than I’m used to, but using whipped egg whites resulted in an amazingly light cake that was well worth it. And the raspberry curd was out of this world. I had never tried raspberry curd before, but it was all that I hoped it would be – creamy, tart, and totally addicting. Topped with my go-to cream cheese frosting spiked with a bit of raspberry curd, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better summertime cupcake. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly love my chocolate peanut butter combinations, but in the summer I definitely prefer fruity concoctions like this one.

I highly recommend this cupcake recipe and I will definitely use it in the future when I’m looking for a light crumb recipe. There’s nothing worse than a dense vanilla cupcake reminiscent of cornbread, and this recipe will ensure you end up far from that result. The recipe is easily adaptable, but I truly loved this combination and look forward to making it again!

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Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home

Yield: 24 cupcakes


for the raspberry curd filling:
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1, 12-oz package frozen raspberry, thawed (or 1 pint ripe)
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice

for the lemon cupcakes:
2-1/3 cups cake flour
2-3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp lemon zest
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk

for the raspberry cream cheese frosting:
18 oz cream cheese, cold
9 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp raspberry curd (recipe above)
6-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Food coloring, as desired


for the raspberry curd filling:
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Stir and mash the berries frequently at frist, then constantly at the end until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes).
- Pour the mixture through a mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing down on the mixture with a wooden spoon to squeeze as much liquid as possible through.
- Cool to room temperature, then stir in the lemon juice.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2-3 days. The curd will thicken as it cools.

for the lemon cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Then add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat just until stiff peaks form. Transfer egg whites to a separate bowl.
- In the cleaned bowl of the electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until well incorporated.
- Beat in 1/4 cup of the milk until just blending. Then reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just blended.
- Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula. Once incorporated, add the rest of the egg whites and gently fold until well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

for the raspberry cream cheese frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cold cream cheese and room temperature butter until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and raspberry curd and beat well.
- Add the powdered sugar slowly and then beat mixture on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until well mixed and homogeneous. Add food coloring if desired and beat until mixed.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag fit with a large star tip and store in the fridge until ready to use.

for the cupcake assembly:
- Use a paring knife to cut out a small cone from the top of each cupcake (with the point of the cone towards the bottom of the cupcake).
- Fill cavity with raspberry curd, and cut the top part of the cone that was removed to cover the filling.
- Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the top of each cupcake and top with a raspberry if desired.