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Lemonade Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Frosting

The boys and I recently discovered the Whimsical Cake Studio in Edmonton, Alberta – a divine little shop with a myriad of cupcake flavors, including a lemon cake with raspberry frosting. This struck me as a particularly interesting and summery little cake – reminiscent of lemonade, in fact – and a great use of fresh raspberries. There are always some that are a bit squishy that wind up destined for smoothies – pureeing them and beating them into buttercream is pretty fantastic, too. I imagine a fresh raspberry buttercream would be quite divine on chocolate cupcakes – that’s next on my to-do list.

Beating the lemon zest with the butter and sugar releases more lemon flavor; to boost it even further, add the zest of two lemons.

Lemonade Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

adapted from a lemon cupcake recipe at AllRecipes

1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
grated zest and juice of a lemon
1 cup milk, divided

Preheat oven to 375 F and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture a third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first 2 additions of flour. Beat until just combined.

Fill the prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes, until springy to the touch. Tip the cupcakes in their tins to help them cool. Let cool completely before frosting. If you like sprinkle with colored sugar. Makes 2 dozen.

Fresh Raspberry Frosting

1 cup fresh raspberries (or thawed from frozen)
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the raspberries until smooth. If you like, press the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and half the sugar until smooth. Add the raspberry puree, then more sugar until you have a fluffy, spreadable consistency. Add a splash of water, too (a tablespoon or two) if it needs it.

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