Happy Spring!! These cupcakes are delightful any time of the year, but I especially like them in the spring with their pop of fresh lemony flavor and burst of raspberry inside. They would be quite a hit at any bridal shower or baby shower, which tend to pop up on everyone’s calendars in the springtime!
Lemon Raspberry Mini Cupcakes
Yield: 4 dozen mini cupcakes
Total time: 30 minutes active; 60 minutes total
For the cupcakes:
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1½ cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ cup skim milk
juice and zest of one lemon
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
For the frosting:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. seedless raspberry jam
zest of half a lemon
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
Tools required: pastry bag with decorating tips (I use #3 and #17 for these cupcakes)
1) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a mini muffin pan by spraying with non-stick spray or by lining the wells with mini cupcake papers.
2) To make the cupcake batter, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In several additions, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Whisk in the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest, breaking apart any clumps as they form. Fill each mini cupcake well about ¾ of the way full. Bake at 350ºF for 13 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed. Allow to cool completely before filling and frosting.
3) Place 1 cup of the jam into a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip (a small, round opening, such as #3 works best for this). Insert the decorating tip into a cupcake, about ½ of an inch deep. Slowly squeeze to inject the cake with jam. You will see the cake begin to expand. Stop squeezing before the cake bursts! (It’s alright to experiment with one to get the feel for it. You’ll have plenty of extras, and besides, you’ll need at least one mess up to taste test!) Repeat with all cupcakes until each has been filled with jam.
4) To make the frosting, beat the butter in a stand mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, 3 tbsp. jam, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, beating slowly to incorporate the ingredients together. Drizzle in the Chambord and stir until evenly distributed. Pipe onto each cupcake using a pastry bag and decorating tip of your choice (I like #17).