Fridays are extra crazy where I’ve been working lately. One of my co-workers suggested one of us bring in treats every week in order to help mitigate the pain. Brilliant gal!
Being, well, me, I got all excited and volunteered to bring in the first happy-makers. I decided on cupcakes early on, as I’d teased my work friends with these bad boys but forgot them at home so instead they went to my guy’s office. All the way home, I dreamed up possible combinations. Chocolate with peanut butter buttercream and a little hunk of Reeses on top … salted caramel (with caramel filling, natch) … ooh! Or a dreamy raspberry, lemon and vanilla combo inspired by the flavors in this amazing cheesecake from, yes, The Cheesecake Factory (trust me, it’s delicious).
And so, lemon-raspberry it was. I decided on a delicious, moist lemon-buttermilk cupcake filled with good raspberry jam, topped with a simply amazing vanilla bean buttercream. Then I plopped the top with a fresh raspberry to hint at what will be found inside.
The gals at work took one look and said I should open up a cupcake shop. Did I mention they’re brilliant? 😉
Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about one large lemon or three small lemon's worth)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup raspberry jam
- 24 fresh raspberries (for topping)
Vanilla bean buttercream frosting:
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks, room temperature)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (aka confectioner's sugar)
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line 24 standard muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- With an electric mixer with paddle attachment or stand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl down the sides as necessary.
- Beat in the lemon zest and the vanilla.
- Mix the lemon juice and the buttermilk together.
- Add the buttermilk/lemon mixture and the flour mixture to the batter in thirds. Pour 1/3 the flour mixture, then 1/3 the buttermilk mixture, beating until just combined, then repeat.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. It usually works out to right around 1/4 cup of filling per cup.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. With a stand mixer with whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
- With a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean length-wise, then scrape the seeds out with the tip of the knife. Add to the butter, and mix until incorporated.
- Add powdered sugar and salt, and beat on low until the powdered sugar is incorporated, about one minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for another 30 seconds or so.
- Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream, and mix on medium for about 30 seconds until incorporated.
- Increase the speed to medium high, and beat for about four minutes, scraping down as needed, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Now add the raspberry to the cupcakes. Using a cupcake corer, melon baller or teaspoon, remove a bit out of the top of the cake.
- Add about a teaspoon and a half of raspberry jam.
- Fill a pastry bag (or plastic zipper bag which is what I do in lieu of a pastry bag) with the buttercream and the tip of your choice, and frost!
- Plop the top with one fresh raspberry. Enjoy!
- They keep well at room temperature for a couple of days.