The Sweetest Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
You know you're a geeky baker when you're excited about purchasing a kitchen sieve. I was most excited about making raspberry puree because trying to remove the seeds any other way turned out to be a big huge FAIL.
You may also be thinking that this recipe isn't really appropriate for this time of year. For most of you it's winter. Time for spice cakes and hot cocoa, but in California it's been in the 60's or even low 70's. The other day I was sweating in my faux fur vest! Totally not cool.
For us Californians it seems natural to whip up these sweet little cakes. Raspberry lemon is one of my favorite flavor combinations. After mint chocolate. So I had a new sieve and I was ready to get to work on the lightest, most delicious raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.
For the Lemon Cake:
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1¼ cups (8 oz.) sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 7 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup raspberry puree
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Mix for about 1 minute on low speed to infuse the sugar with the lemon scent. The sugar should have the appearance of wet sand. Add in the butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the sour cream, milk, lemon juice and extracts. Whisk to blend. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners filling each about ¾-full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.
To make the puree, combine the raspberries, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Once the berries and their juices begin to bubble, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and let boil until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. This is where I get to use my new sieve - YAY! Strain to remove the raspberry seeds.
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