I am not a big fan of lemon desserts. Or fruit in desserts. But for my going away at work (way, way back in April), my lovely lovely boss decided we’d make these lemon-raspberry cupcakes (and also some super chocolatey cookies). And, as it turned out, they are adorable. And tasty! So hooey to me, and everyone like me, who is a lemon and/or fruit dessert detractor.
I think I am still partial to a more robust cupcake — red velvet, I’m looking at you — but there is certainly a place and time for these sweethearts. Tea time, in particular, I’d say. And, if you use neon food coloring like we did, then anytime really. Because, as the photo above demonstrates, neon food coloring makes everything way more awesome.
Plus, they have buried treasure…
…By which I mean: When I was a kid, I had the Klutz book Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual (anyone?). One of the recipes was for “buried treasure” muffins — which had jam centers, just like these. Consider these the ever-so-slightly grown up (and hipsterfied) version of those, but just as easy and klutz and kid-proof.
Buried Treasure Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes
Adapted from Bon Appetit
– 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
– 3 cups powdered sugar, divided
– 4 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
– 2 large eggs
– 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
– 1/4 cup buttermilk
– 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
– 12 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam
– Fresh raspberries (for garnish)
– Imperative/Optional (depending on if your point of view is awesome/lame): neon food coloring!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Using electric mixer, beat butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 3 teaspoons lemon peel in large bowl until blended, then beat until fluffy and pale yellow. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in half of flour. Add buttermilk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat to blend. Beat in remaining flour.
3. Drop 1 rounded tablespoonful batter into each muffin liner. Spoon 1 teaspoon raspberry jam over. Cover with remaining batter, dividing equally.
4. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted halfway into centers comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on rack.
5. Meanwhile, make icing. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in small bowl. Add neon food coloring to achieve desired hue. Spoon half of icing over 6 cupcakes. Let stand until icing sets, about 30 minutes. Garnish with raspberries.