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« Pita Bread | Main | Banana Cinnamon Pancakes »

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

The first signs of spring are arriving—slowly, ever so slowly, but surely. Living in the Upper Midwest, you might guess it to be the middle of winter if you took a peek outside my living room window. With twelve foot snow piles dotted around the buildings and snow drifts so tall it is difficult to see around intersections when driving a car, it certainly does not feel like the first day of spring has already come and gone. Just a few days ago, Mother Nature dropped the temperatures into negative digits once more; I have become so accustomed to the cold that I don't even wrap a scarf around my neck or reach for a hat before walking out the door.

It is hard for me to imagine that April is right around the corner.

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

There is a ray of hope in all this snow, however, and it comes in the form of sunshine. Growing ever stronger, the rays are bright and warm in the sky, melting the snow and brightening the early morning hours even when the air is cold. When the light begins to fade at eight o'clock in the evening, I can scarcely believe my eyes (eight o'clock!). These small signs assure me that spring is near, even if it feels so far away right now.

When I was perusing the shelves of my local supermarket last weekend, I noticed that raspberries were on sale. While I know winter berries are not as vibrant in color or in flavor, I could not help but add a couple pints into my cart. After surviving on citrus fruits and apples since the advent of fall, I needed a little sweetness in my life in the form of a red, ripe berry.

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Inspired by one of my favorite cupcake recipes, I swapped out the blueberries for red raspberries and a hint of lemon. A simple cream cheese frosting ties the flavors together. As with most of the sweets I bake in my kitchen, I feel they should be shared with others who may find a bit of happiness in a big bite. I took them to a gathering of friends and watched them disappear over the course of the evening. As I saw people reach for seconds (and thirds), I felt certain you would fall in love with them just as effortlessly.

In many ways, I feel as if this cupcake represents the transition between two places, between winter and spring. While the seasonal lemon is bright and fresh, ripe raspberries will be here sooner than I dare to believe—the merging of two seasons.

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes are vibrant, fresh, and perfect for the arrival of spring. A vanilla cupcake batter is infused with lemon zest, lemon juice, and few handfuls of red raspberries. The sweetness of the cupcake is countered by the tart fruits and the bold tang of the cream cheese frosting. Decorated with a few fresh raspberries, these simple cupcakes become a sophisticated dessert destined to be shared.

One Year Ago: Arborio Rice Pudding
Two Years Ago: Orange Scones

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Yields about 18 cupcakes

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
3/4 cup (169 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (76 grams) sour cream (or plain, non-fat yogurt)
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk and lemon juice, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth. Gently stir in the raspberries.

Fill baking cups about 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups (500 grams) powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Before serving, pipe or spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes and decorate with a few fresh raspberries, if desired. If cupcakes will sit out more than a day, keep refrigerated in an airtight container to help preserve them. Serve at room temperature.

Reader Comments (46)

Gorgeous! I wanted to bite into one of these right away! Well done : )
03.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana
Lovely! These cupcakes are so pretty! I love raspberry and lemon together...both tart and a little floral, and such a great combo.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentersara
Really? My friends from Berlin told me that there are no signs of Spring, but maybe they were not looking around. Everyone misses Spring so much. With this cupcakes you can call it over there :)
Yum! I wish I got raspberries where I live :(
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSahar
Your photos are absolutely stunning. Those look delicious. I was thinking of making something with lemon today! Might just have to try these.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterClotilde
These are absolutely gorgeous! I'm a huge raspberry fan so I love these that much more.
perfection in a cupcake
You make the most picture perfect cupcakes - beautiful.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
These are STUNNING. I love all the flavors going on here!
Oh.. how beautiful are these!! something so dainty about them too.. you are waiting for Spring.. we are already at Summer's doorstep.. and with the Indian summer.. its no fun!!
Thanks for bringing a little spring into my corner of the world! Such beautiful cupcakes!
Gorgeous photos! These look delicious!
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTori
These look amazing! Lemon and raspberry will be so refreshing together. Great post!
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadeline
Stunning photos and the cupcakes look delicious!!
Yummy for sure ! J'adore ta présentation vraiment appétissant.
Ça donne tout de suite le goût d'en cuisiner avec la recette
que tu nous offre. Merci et bonne soirée, xx
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNadia
This is my daughter's favourite flavour combination. Now to make them GF for her, and I'll be all set! Thanks for the lovely recipe.
These are beautiful :) I love raspberries and lemon together, but haven't tried them with cream cheese frosting!
Can I just say, I've made almost everything you've posted the past few weeks, and every time, it turns out happy. Thank you for sharing happiness in a cupcake this time. These confections might just make my Easter menu.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
I'm not usually into cupcakes but these sound amazing! And I might just get away with making them since my Hubbie prefers fruity desserts. :)
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawnielle
I want to dig into each cupcakes! So yum :)
Such a spring time cupcake! so bright and fresh. I love the piping on them.
These look more than yummy! I love your use of non-traditional cupcake papers. Would you share your source for these? Thanks!
03.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
Thanks for the recipe! Raspberry is one of my favorite dessert flavors-- I just love the combination of sweet and tangy. Icing on the (cup)cake: they look positively delightful as well!
03.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy
Great presentation! even though I never have raspberry before hopefully one day I can have a chance to try it...
I made these yesterday and they were sooooo tasty. They even won over a cupcake non-believer. Thank you for sharing the recipe and let me add to the chorus of praise for your food photography. You make beautiful images of your delightful food creations.
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet
Thank you for posting the recipe in grams. I will be sure to try it soon! :) Snowy greetings from Croatia! :)
04.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTea (Croatia)
I made these on Sunday for my mom's birthday but I had to use blueberries because I could not find raspberries. Everyone loved them. I am not a big sweets fan but I loved the cake batter recipe. I will def make these again because I got so many compliments and I will also use the cake batter for other things
04.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanette coski
I'm new to your blog but I've fallen head over heels - every photo, every recipe!
04.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSnaxilicious
these look so perfect! i love that there are rasberries in the cake itself
04.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBessie
These cupcakes were absolutely delicious! I just made them and the flavor combinations were perfect for the spring weather we had today. I just recently started reading this blog, I can't wait to try some of your other recipes!
04.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSoibhan
These look delicious! And I really want to try them out today! I am in Australia and using our metric measuring cups - will they still turn out okay? Should I weigh it out instead?
04.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMisha
Misha-- I would weigh it out just to be safe. American and metric measuring cups can differ quite a bit and weighing out the ingredients would ensure that the final product turns out right.
04.12.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I made these yesterday to bring to a dinner party and they were a hit - a great combination of tart and sweet!
04.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Hi for some reason when I try to make the cream cheese frosting, as soon as I add the sugar, the frosting turns super watery and no matter how much sugar I add, it doesn't help? In fact I think it seems to be getting even more watery? Please help!

The cupcakes turned out deliciously though! :)
04.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterYouka
hi,kristin, i'm from china, loooove your blog, and have tried some recipe, it's turn out to be all great!
but now i have some problem with the decoration, i just love your cupcake topping, the beautiful dome shape, i have tried some way, but didn't seem work out :(
so how could i get that smooth and cute looks? did you use piping or spreading to assemble? could you give me any tips?
pls help me! thank you,thank you,thank you!
04.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDemi
Hi Demi-- I pipped on the frosting using a large round tip. This created the dome shape you see above. When you pipe it on the cupcakes, hold the tip in one location and it will create a dome shape around it. I hope that helps!
04.26.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Hi Kristin! Does this recipe work with strawberries too? I'm so excited to try all your recipes. :) I love your blog btw!
06.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
I would just like to say that you are a crazy genius for putting this combination of flavors together in a cupcake! I adore raspberry…and am pretty partial to that lemon cream too. I had featured u in the post of Top 7 Beauteous But Extremely Easy Cake Recipes on AllFreshRecipes, looking forward to ur refreshing recipes!
07.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi there!!!

I just wanted to share that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED these cupcakes!!! I made them as directed, although added lemon extract to the cream cheese frosting and just a hint of yellow food dye, and decorated the top with raspberries and mint leaves for a neighborhood party. Everyone LOVED them and they were the only dessert there that was completely gone by the end of the night!! They are a new staple at my house and I plan on making them again tomorrow for a meetup group! Thank you thank you thank you for this delicious and gorgeous cupcake recipe! :-D
08.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEliza
Hey Kristin,

I have a cupcake blog called My Year of Cupcakes. I featured your Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes on day 21. Here's the link in case you wanna take a look.
Thanks for the recipe!!
08.22.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
I have been a long time follower of your blog - I LOVE IT! Photography is beautiful, and this recipe makes me know why I've loved it so long. Genius!
Hi I have one question ,can I use strawberry instead of raspberry ??? thanks
08.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfadwa
Fadwa-- Of course! Let me know if you give it a try. :)
09.1.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I'd like to know where to get these cupcake liners? I've looked in all my local bake and pastry supply stores and cannot find them. Must I go online?
09.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterkris solovey
I just made these (literally - they are still warm out of the oven) as a Valentine's Day present for my guy. Every single step made my apartment smell so good that I couldn't even wait until they were completely cool to try one. These are AMAZING. Giggling now because I know he's going to love them so much once he tries them after work. Thanks for sharing this recipe (and your stunning photos!) Will be following this site much more closely now! :)
02.15.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Moss
Hi!!! I just discovered your blog and I loved it ... I will try more than one of your recipes. Thanks for publishing
02.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAuxai

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