Man that picture is a ray of beautiful sunshine, isn't it? These moist fresh raspberry cupcakes are the light on these dreary rainy days! Frosted with a smooth and silky lemon Swiss meringue buttercream and garnished with lemon zest and a raspberry. One bite and I was hooked. You all will be too, so do yourself a HUGE favor and make them!
I took a cake recipe I had and made them into cupcakes. Swiss meringue has always been one of my favorite, but adding the lemon flavors to it, really gave it that kick it needed. I had enough to pass around the neighborhood and was glad to not eat them all myself. This is the perfect cupcake to make in spring or even for mother's day, so bake away!
Fresh Raspberry cupcakes
This recipe was adapted from a vanilla cupcake recipe I had but I added the raspberries. It is super creamy in texture, but the real game changer to these cupcakes was the raspberries and lemon zest. Putting only about 1 tablespoon of zest within the cupcake batter really gave it the citrus punch in the rear that it needed!
Tips and tricks for raspberry cupcakes
- Cake flour works best as it makes your cake texture more fluffy. However, I only had all-purpose flour on hand. It works well if that is all you have and during these quarantine times, its sometimes all we can get! Sifting it helps separate the clumps and mixes into the other ingredients easier.
- Only use roughly chopped raspberries! You will then have more chunks throughout your cupcake.
- Batter will be thick. Use a large cookie scoop to place in prepared liners. Only fill ⅔ full as they rise a lot during baking.
How to make Lemon swiss meringue buttercream
So I have made this on several occasions and the greatest thing about it is that it is the easiest to make. Please review steps below.
1. In a double boiler (or small sauce pan over large saucepan) whisk sugar and egg whites together. Do not let the bottom of the small sauce pan touch the simmering water in the large saucepan. Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thin. You can test when it is ready with your finger or an instant read thermometer. If using your finger, dip your finger gently in the mixture (will be hot) and rub your fingers together. You shouldn't feel any sugar granules. The temperature on a thermometer should only read 160 degrees.
2. Transfer the warm mixture to a bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled (approximately 10 minutes).
3. Add the butter and lemon extract: Switch the stand mixer to the paddle attachment. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Wait for the butter to fully mix in before adding the next. After the butter has been added, beat in the lemon extract, lemon zest and pinch of salt. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Tips and Tricks for Swiss Meringue buttercream
- Meringue won't reach stiff peaks: This is process that I had to learn to perfect over the years and I have my moments when i don't get it just right. SO don't give up. The meringue will never reach stiff peaks if you have any sort of egg yolk in the mixture or on the tools you are using. It is super important to always clean out your tools with lemon juice or vinegar (I prefer this). If you practice the step above and you still don't have stiff peaks, just give the meringue a cooling rest. Do so for about 20 minutes and try again.
- Buttercream is curdled/too thick: This was the problem I had with this current recipe and it happens a lot, so don't fret. If it is too thick or curdled, just keep on beating because it will eventually come together. If it only gets thicker and chunkier place the mixing bowl back over the 2 inches of simmering water. Without stirring it, let it simmer for 1-2 minutes allowing the edges of the meringue to warm up and become more liquid (center will still be firm). Remove from heat and beat meringue on low for about 30-45 seconds. Increase speed to medium high and beat for an additional two minutes. The result will be a more creamy Swiss meringue frosting than you started with!
- Buttercream is too thin and soup-like: The frosting will be more thin if your butter or meringue was too warm. Place the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool down and then return to the mixer on medium high until mixture is thickened. Putting it in the fridge any longer will solidify the butter. If butter does become solidified, there are two ways to fix it. One, set bowl out until it reaches room temperature (72 F) and then beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy again. Or two, put bowl over simmering water and repeat the step mentioned above in #2.
Once you have perfected the SMBC pipe your cooled cupcakes, grate lemon zest over the frosting and top with a fresh raspberry!
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Fresh Raspberry cupcakes
- Oster hand mixer
- Kitchen aid Stand mixer with whisk and paddle attachment
- Home Decor
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 standard cupcake tins with liners
- Piping bag with Star tip
- 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 1¼ cup butter milk room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raspberries chopped
Lemon Swiss meringue buttercream
- 5 egg whites
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract
- lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two standard cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with the hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Combine the vanilla extract and buttermilk in a measuring cup. WIth the mixer on a low speed, add the dry ingredients alternating with the wet ingredients. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped raspberries.
- Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ full with batter (I use a large cookie scoop). Bake until a knife comes out clean or the tops are golden brown. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Lemon Swiss buttercream frosting
- Place your egg whites and sugar into a small pot and whisk until combined. Cube butter and set aside.
- Place small pot over large pot (making your own double boiler, do not have small pot touch water) and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to touch. Approximately 3 minutes or 160°F on candy thermometer.
- Pour mixture into bowl of a stand mixer and with the whisk attachment beat on medium high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (approximately about 5-10 minutes).
- Switch to the paddle attachment and slowly add in your cubed butter until smooth.
- Add in your lemon extract, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
Assembling the cupcake
- Once cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe your frosting on. Add a raspberry on top along with more lemon zest to give it an extra kick! Serve and Enjoy!
Fun fact of the day!
A donkey will sink in quicksand, but a mule won't. Ponder than one? Why?
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