I’ve been trying really hard to stay away from baking and posting about cupcakes. This is a blog about baking in general, not just cupcakes! Plus, everyone in the food world says that the cupcake trend is out…which makes me kinda sad. What’s so wrong about a single serving of cake and frosting in a cute little package? Didn’t anyone ever tell Bon Appetit that good things come in small packages? (I may be a little overly defensive on this issue given my 5′ 3″ stature) But I digress…
Despite trying really hard not to make more cupcakes, inspiration hit me Saturday morning as I left the hospital after an 18 hour shift, with the bright sun blinding my eyes. Although it may not be exactly warm out (seriously, 50 degrees in May?), it has at least been sunny which always puts me in the mood for lighter, refreshing flavors….such as lemon and raspberry. These cupcakes start with a moist, lemon cake which are then filled with a tangy lemon curd and finally topped with a fresh raspberry buttercream frosting, reminiscent of a raspberry sorbet. The result is a the perfect blend of sweet and tart in the form of a cupcake- perfect for a bridal/baby shower, Mother’s Day brunch or a crazy night on vascular surgery.
Recipe for Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling (makes 24 cupcakes)
Lemon Curd (from Joanne Chang in Fine Cooking)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
In a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan, heat the lemon juice and butter over medium-high heat until just under a boil. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk and then slowly whisk in the sugar until combined. Gradually whisk the hot lemon juice mixture into the sugar and eggs.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently, until the curd thickens and coats the spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. Draw your finger along the back of the spoon; when the curd is done, it should hold the trail.
Remove the curd from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the surface of the curd, and chill for 1 to 2 hours before using. Can be made 5 days ahead of time, keep refrigerated.
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup sour cream (can also substitute greek yogurt)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcakes pans with 24 cupcake liners.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl and set aside
In mixer with a whip attachment, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2 minutes scraping bowl as needed. On low speed mix in oil, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest until blended. Mix in sour cream. Gradually add in flour mixture until incorporated and batter is smooth. Spoon into prepared cups and bake 18-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan. Cool completely before frosting.
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
12 oz raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
Heat raspberries in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are broken down. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Return puree to the saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced by about 1/2 (5-10 minutes), you should have 1/2 cup of raspberry puree. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour and then chill in refrigerator 1-2 hours until cool and thick. Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.
In a standmixer with a whip attachment, whip the butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar until combined. Add the raspberry mixture and mix to combine. Gradually add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients. Add the cream and whip for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Cut small cones out of the top of each cupcake. Spoon about 1 tsp of lemon curd in each. Spread or pipe raspberry frosting onto cupcakes. If not served immediately, store in the refrigerator. Cupcakes should be taken out 1-2 hours before serving to allow to come to room temperature.