Lemon & Raspberry Bundt Cake

This cake was a few different things before it finally came to be a Lemon & Raspberry Bundt Cake. First I thought of making a raspberry crumb cake, then I thought of omitting the crumb part and making a raspberry cake with a cream cheese icing drizzle, this is where the lemon came in and I thought of a lemon raspberry cake, then it was a loaf cake and ultimately it became a Bundt cake. While initially I was thinking of sticking with the cream cheese icing drizzle I decided to pass on it so the cake wouldn’t end up being super-sweet. Did you get all that? Long story short… I ended up making a delicious lemon tinged cake that was filled with perfectly sweet raspberries.

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To make the batter I began by creaming together butter and sugar until it was light and fluffy. Following that I added six eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition and finally I added in vanilla extract. I put that aside for a moment and in a medium sized bowl I whisked together flour, baking soda and salt. With my mixer set to a lower speed I then added in the flour mixture in three parts alternating with lemon Greek Yogurt.

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And finally I folded in the juice and zest of one lemon and fresh raspberries which I dredged in flour – dredging the berries in flour prevents them from falling to the bottom of the batter while baking.

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I then poured the batter into a Bundt pan which I sprayed with baking spray and baked it in a 325 F preheated oven.

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After about 50 minutes the cake was ready to come out of the oven.

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I let it rest in the pan for about 20 minutes and then inverted it onto a wire rack so it could cool completely.

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Once cooled, I couldn’t wait to slice into the cake and enjoy a slice, and I wasn’t disappointed, it was absolutely delish. Just the right amount of lemon flavor and the berries were definitely a nice complement to the citrus flavor. And just as important… It was perfectly moist!

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Lemon & Raspberry Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup lemon Greek yogurt*

zest and juice from one lemon

2 cups raspberries, dredged in 2 tablespoons of flour

*I used 2 5.3-ounce containers of Chobani Greek Lemon Yogurt. You can also substitute with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Prep the Bundt pan by spraying it with baking spray or coating it with butter and then dusting it with flour.

2. Using a mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add in the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the yogurt. Mix until just combined.

5. Fold in the raspberries, lemon zest and juice and then transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for approximately 50 – 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

6. Place the cake on a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before inverting and letting it cool completely.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

When it comes to pancakes I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I’ll take plain old regular pancakes or buttermilk ones over any flavor (i.e. banana, pumpkin, corn, etc…) or additions (i.e. chocolate chips) – although blueberry pancakes are quite delish! A few years ago though I decided to try Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at a wonderful breakfast spot in Brooklyn – Tom’s Diner – and was instantly hooked. I don’t know what it is about this particular flavor that makes them so delicious – the hint of lemon, the swirl of ricotta cheese, or the combination of both – but they are definitely one pancake everyone should try. And while there are recipes for pancakes made from scratch I opted to make these pancakes using store-bought pancake mix… short-cuts aren’t always a bad thing. And with Easter just around the corner these would be perfect addition or main dish for your Easter breakfast or brunch.

To begin I whisked together pancake mix, milk and lemon oil (I didn’t have any lemons on hand to zest.) Some things to note, I used Aunt Jemima Complete Pancake Mix and while it calls for water to be used with the mix I always opt to use milk for richer tasting and fluffier pancakes. Also, the equivalent of lemon oil to lemon zest is 1/4 teaspoon vs. 1 tablespoon.

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I then folded in the ricotta cheese; folding in the ricotta helps to maintain the texture of the cheese and allows the ricotta to swirl into the batter.

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I’ll admit I’m not the best pancake maker. Usually the first one I pour into the pan is my “test” one that gets thrown out. I just haven’t mastered getting the pan to the right heat. This time around I almost nailed it.

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After topping my short-stack with syrup…

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It was time to enjoy them!

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes*

Makes 5 4-inch pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup pancake mix (I used Aunt Jemima complete)

3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)

1 tablespoon lemon zest (or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil)

1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

Directions:

1. Whisk together the pancake mix, milk, and lemon oil (or zest) then gently fold in the ricotta cheese.

2. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup (I used an ice cream scoop) of the batter onto a lightly buttered pan or griddle heated over medium-heat.

3. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and then flip and cook for another minute or two until golden.

*This recipe can easily be doubled.

Lemon Doughnuts

Who doesn’t love a delicious doughnut? It’s one of the top breakfast items that most people reach for in the morning. Me personally I need protein to get me going in the a.m. so I reserve doughnuts as sweet treats for any time of the day. When I first saw this recipe it was written for mini Bundt cakes, but since I don’t own such a pan I decided to turn the batter into doughnuts instead, and it was definitely a delicious tweak!

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I began by beating the butter on medium-high speed until it was creamy.

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I then added in sugar and continued beating until the mixture was light and fluffy.

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I added in 3 lightly beaten eggs gradually, beating the mixture well after each addition.

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And finally, the lemon oil. If you cannot find lemon oil you can also substitute fresh lemon zest.

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To complete the batter I set the mixer to low speed and gradually added in flour that I sifted with baking powder and salt.

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Next I filled my prepared doughnut pans – I sprayed them with cooking spray – and baked the doughnuts in a 325 F oven for 15 minutes. I still haven’t mastered filling in the doughnut crevices so I did overfill them quite a bit, luckily it doesn’t affect the flavor.

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These doughnuts were absolutely delicious. The lemon flavor is just the right amount and the doughnuts are not overly-sweet. These were definitely a winner that I will be making again… Possibly as cupcakes next time!

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Lemon Doughnuts – Adapted from here

Makes 12 doughnuts

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

13 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon lemon oil (or 1 tablespoon of lemon zest)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray doughnut pans with baking spray.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a large bowl beat the butter on medium speed until it’s smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon oil.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, blending well after each addition.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared doughnut pans and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

While berries can pretty much be found year-round at most supermarkets, there’s nothing like getting them during the summer when they are at their peak. I have definitely made the most of them this summer incorporating them into quite a few desserts – as the pièce de résistance on a lemon & pastry cream cake, as a topping to 4th of July themed cupcakes and most recently in raspberry cupcakes. And when I saw that I had a pint of blueberries sitting in my refrigerator a little longer than I would have liked, I decided it was time to use them before losing them. I opted on making a recipe that I love using for blueberries – and one that I have blogged about before – a Blueberry Crumb Cake. Although, this time around I made two tweaks to the recipe….

I dredged the blueberries in flour before folding them into the batter so they wouldn’t all sink to the bottom…

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And I used the batter to make muffins instead of a cake,

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Which I still topped with streusel before baking.

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Hence, Blueberry Crumb Muffins.

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And if you are wondering if the flour covered blueberries worked, just take a look. You can see hints of blueberries at the top of the muffin near the crumb topping as opposed to seeing all of the blueberries at the bottom.

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Blueberry Crumb Muffins – adapted from here

Makes 8 Muffins

Streusel:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Muffins:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2/3 cup sour cream

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh blueberries, dredged in enough flour to coat them

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 8 muffins cups with paper liners.

For the streusel:

Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the muffins:

In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completed mixed.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups – I used an ice cream scoop – and crumble the streusel over the batter.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

 

 

 

Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th on Friday and that the rest of your holiday weekend was good. As for me, the 4th was a bit of a washout due to rain but the rest of the weekend was beautiful which meant I was able to do some yard work. The rain wasn’t all that bad though, it gave me the perfect excuse to stay in and bake some patriotic themed cupcakes. I settled on making Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I should note that the recipe for the Lemon Buttermilk was originally for a loaf cake, but, I decided to turn it into cupcakes and add some frosting.  
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I began by whisking together the dry ingredients -flour, baking powder and salt – in one bowl and the wet ingredients – oil, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest and juice – in another.
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After whisking those ingredients together by hand I opted to use my hand mixer to whisk all of the ingredients together.
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I then used an ice cream scoop – I find it’s always the perfect size for scooping cupcake batter – to fill patriotic themed cupcake liners.
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I then baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for 20 minutes – rotating the tins halfway through. After letting the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pan I removed them and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
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I then whipped up a batch of Cream Cheese Frosting and used a large open star tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
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And since these were patriotic themed cupcakes I added some red and blue with stars and stripes sprinkles, blueberries and strawberries and blueberries and raspberries.
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Final verdict… Lemon & Cream Cheese are a winning combination!
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Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes – adapted from here

Makes 14 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canola oil

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest and juice. Add to the dry ingredients.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating the tins halfway through.

5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins on a wire rack for a few minutes and then remove them and let them cool completely on the wire rack.

6. Frost and enjoy!

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

8oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups Confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer

2. With the mixer on low speed add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth and creamy

3. Beat in the vanilla extract

Lemon, Berries & Cream… Oh My!

Back in the fall I made a cake that I coined the Quintessential Fall Birthday Cake– an Apple Walnut Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (YUM!) – and recently I made a cake that could quite possibly be the Quintessential Summer Birthday Cake. A 4-tier lemon cake layered with pastry cream and topped with fresh berries (Delish!)
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Since the pastry cream needed to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before using it I began this cake by cooking up 2 batches of it. I gathered up my ingredients (egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk and vanilla extract) and whisked together the eggs yolks in one bowl and in another cooked the sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk until the mixture thickened and was bubbling. I then poured about a third of the milk mixture in with the eggs to temper them. Once the eggs were tempered I pour them back into the remaining milk mixture on the stove and whisked the mixture constantly until the cream came together. I removed the cream from the heat and added in the vanilla extract.
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Following that I strained the cream through a sieve and then placed a piece of parchment paper right on top of it prior to refrigerating it. I had never made pastry cream before and was concerned this wouldn’t come out well, especially with tempering the eggs, but, it came out perfectly and I probably could have easily eaten the whole bowl it was so good.
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While the pastry cream was chilling I began to work on the Lemon Cake – a 1-2-3-4 Lemon Cake. A 1-2-3-4 Cake is an old-fashioned cake that gets its name from the list of ingredients – one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour and four eggs. First up I sifted together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. I actually sifted the flour twice as I first sifted it to get the 3 cups I needed and then sifted it again along with the other ingredients.
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In the bowl of my stand mixer I beat butter until it was softened and then gradually added in sugar until it was pale and fluffy.
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And then the eggs.
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Next up I added in the flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk.
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And finally I beat in vanilla extract and lemon zest.
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I divided the batter evenly between two 8-inch pans – which I prepped with baking spray and parchment paper – and baked it for about 45 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven, rotating halfway through.
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After letting the cakes cool 15 minutes in the pans I then removed them and let them cool completely on wire racks.
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In preparation to assemble the cake I split the two cooled cakes into four with a cake leveler and then whisked together the chilled pastry cream.
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After assembling the cake – I spread about a cup of pastry cream between each layer – I chilled it in the refrigerator for about an hour so the pastry cream could set and so I wouldn’t end up with a cake that had layers sliding all over the place.
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While it chilled I rinsed and dried the berries I would be using – strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
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To make sure the berries would stay put on top of the cake I spread a layer of pastry cream on the top tier and then placed the berries on top of it.
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This cake was delicious… The three flavors worked so well together and I can definitely see myself making it again before the cold weather begins to creep in in a few months.
 
Makes about 3 cups
Ingredients:
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Whisk egg yolks until smooth in a large bowl. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium. Stirring constantly, gradually ass milk in a slow, steady stream, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour one third of the milk mixture into egg yolks. Pour mixture into remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil and is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
3. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days.)
 
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons (I used one lemon so the cake wouldn’t be too “lemony”)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter two 8-by-2 inch round cake pans; line with parchment rounds, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. (I used two 8-by-3 inch pans and used baking spray instead of butter and flour.) Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of bowl once or twice. Gradually add eggs; beat until incorporated after each addition, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice.
3. Slowly add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk; beat until just combined. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.
4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake, rotating halfway though, until a cake tester comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I recently went to Georgetown Cupcake – if you haven’t tried them and you get the opportunity to do so definitely do it, even if you have to wait on a ridiculously long line – to get some cupcakes and while I was there I picked up one of their menus. While they have staple cupcakes they make every day they also have a daily (and monthly) rotating schedule of specialty flavors that they offer as well. One of those specialty flavors is a Lemon Berry cupcake – a lemon and raspberry cupcake with a raspberry frosting topped with a candied lemon – which gave me the idea for a basic lemon cupcake with a raspberry whipped cream frosting which then turned into a raspberry cream cheese frosting. I could have sworn I had a recipe for lemon cupcakes among my recipe stash, but, I couldn’t find one so I turned to Allrecipes to do so. I like using recipes from their website since you can scale them down to whatever serving size you need. After reading through a few recipes I settled on one submitted by Megan C. that was initially scaled for twenty-four cupcakes and I scaled down to twelve. The directions also have a recipe for a Blackberry Buttercream which sounds pretty good as well.

I started by assembling all of my ingredients for the cupcakes: sugar, butter, an egg, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, milk and a lemon.

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Using a Microplane I grated half of the lemon to get the zest and then squeezed it to get the juice.

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To make the batter I started off by creaming together the sugar and butter and then adding in the egg.

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Once the egg was mixed in well I added in the vanilla extract.

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Next up the flour.

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Then the milk, lemon zest and juice.

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Now it was time to spoon the batter into my prepared cupcake tin. While I did scale the recipe down for twelve cupcakes the batter definitely didn’t look like it was for twelve decent sized cupcakes so while I normally use my ice cream scoop to spoon the batter into the cupcake tins I opted to use my cookie scoop instead so I could be sure to have enough batter for twelve. As you can see the liners were barely halfway filled.

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After baking for 20 minutes in a 350 degrees F preheated oven they were done. As I suspected, the cupcakes by no means baked-up to fill the entire liner. Oh well, at least I know for next time that if I am going to make twelve I should scale the recipe to make eighteen cupcakes.

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While the cupcakes cooled I got to making the frosting.

As I mentioned before, I was initially planning on making a raspberry whipped cream frosting but decided to make a cream cheese frosting instead since I figured it would hold up better and be a little richer with the lemon cupcake. I actually didn’t follow a specific recipe for it since I’ve made cream cheese frosting quite a few times before and it’s fairly simple. I opted to cut back on the confectioners’ sugar so it wouldn’t be too sweet with the addition of the raspberry jam.

I started by creaming together one stick of unsalted butter and an 8oz. block of cream cheese with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

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I then added in 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar.

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And finally 1/4 cup of seedless raspberry jam. It came out to be a nice shade of pink actually.

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Once the cupcakes were completely cooled I piped the frosting onto each of the cupcakes using a large star tip.

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Final verdict… They were quite yummy, especially the frosting. I plan on using it again for chocolate or vanilla cupcakes.

Lemon Cupcakes

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup low-fat milk

1/2 lemon, juice and zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners

3. Cream sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

4. Beat in flour and baking powder until thoroughly combined; beat in milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to make a smooth batter.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until cupcake edges are slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Begin by creaming the cream cheese and butter together and then add in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add in the confectioners’ sugar, once the sugar is incorporated add in the raspberry jam and continue mixing on medium speed.