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Lemonade Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Frosting

By JulieVR |

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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About JulieVR

julievr

JulieVR

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of five best-selling cookbooks, food editor of Parents Canada magazine, a CBC Radio columnist and a freelance writer. Her award-winning blog, Dinner with Julie documents life in her home kitchen in Canada with her husband and 7-year-old son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Julie's latest posts →

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47 thoughts on “Lemonade Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Frosting

  1. laurasrecipes says:

    Oh these are so pretty and sound great! I love lemon anything!!!

  2. Beth says:

    I LOVE the cake, but I had the hardest time making the frosting. It took me three tries to get something thick enough to pipe onto the cupcakes. Any advice? It seemed like after I put in the raspberry puree, the frosting just became a liquid, sugary mess. Help!

  3. Erica B. says:

    Love this! Summer in a cupcake! :)

  4. Stephanie McCarthy says:

    These were a hit at home and the office…this will be my new go-to dessert!

  5. jen says:

    looks amazing. Any plans to make a dairy/egg free recipe for this? I would love that!

  6. melinda g says:

    Yes, yes please. Those look fabulous.

  7. Sue says:

    @Beth, try adding the puree a little at a time. Or, just make of the buttercream and same amount of puree…you will just get more of a creamy buttery taste without losing the puree altogether.

  8. Kari says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Just made these for my daughter’s birthday and they turned out fabulous! Raspberry lemonade is her favorite and she was so excited to have it in a cupcake!!

  9. melissa says:

    I made these tonight for my kids to bring to daycare tomorrow and OH MY THESE ARE GREAT!! I’m so happy I found this on pinterest, GREAT recipe!

  10. erica says:

    note to those using frozen raspberries: if you thaw them first, pick the raspberries out of the bag instead of pouring a cup of liquid and berries into a cup measure. it tasted amazing but with so much liquid it didn’t have a consistency that i could pipe. i added extra sugar and we ate them quickly so they wouldn’t fall apart!

  11. Rachael says:

    Used organic lemons and raspberries for an all-organic recipe! Delicious! So springy and tasty. The lemons and raspberries complement each other perfectly (though I was nervous that the frosting would be too flavorful when I tried the icing by itself). Very delicious!

  12. Mary says:

    I made these last night and they are DELICIOUS! My icing didn’t turn out like the photo though… it’s almost like the butter and sugar wouldn’t mix with the puree (I used strawberries bc there weren’t any fresh raspberries at the store). Has anyone else had this issue? Did I not mix it long enough? Any tips would be helpful and appreciated.

    Thank you!

  13. Mary says:

    @ Jen…Just substitute the milk for rice milk or coconut milk. Use Earth Balance butter that is soy/dairy free…and 1 tablespoon of applesauce per egg. That is what I do to make allergy-free cupcakes. They are a huge hit. Though I haven’t tried this recipe yet!
    For the people that are trying to get the icing thicker, maybe try equal parts butter/vegetable shortening…then add lots of confectioners sugar..until you get the consistency you like.

  14. Anna Brown says:

    I made the cupcakes from a cake mix. The frosting was VERY good! I did have a problem, I had to add 5 c. of sugar?!? and it still wasn’t thick, it still ran some, I even put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to help harden. now I did melt one stick of the butter, hoping to thin the berries enough to strain out the seeds: No it didn’t work. Could that be why it was so thin? Thanks

  15. Cathy D says:

    @Anna Brown, I believe your problem with the frosting was because you melted the butter. The butter is supposed to stay solid, but be soft. If it’s too soft, putting it in the fridge for a few minutes would help firm it up a bit, however, if you melted it, it would technically have to re-solidify to be the right consistency. For piping, I usually like to do half butter and half Crisco because butter melts so easily with your hand on the bag, making the frosting too soft to hold a shape.

    It’s also important that you don’t add any further liquid (like raspberry juice) to the mix, but if you do, just add more powdered sugar by the tablespoon, until it stiffens.

    This is a lovely recipe! Thanks @julievr for adding it. I’ll have to check out the Whimsical Cake Studio in person, as I live in Edmonton too!

  16. Cecelia says:

    I made these today. I halved the recipe (glad I did) the cupcake itself was okay. Dense, and heavy. The frosting was the worse. I again halved the recipe. I used pureed strawberries instead or raspberries. I used an additional 3/4 cup powdered sugar to the recipe, it was still runny. The butter was room temp and still had stiffness to it so that wasn’t the issue. The frosting was way too sweet, and had to be tossed. I would not recommend this recipe, nor will I attempt to make it again.

  17. octavia says:

    can this recipe be a simple yellow cupcake?

  18. Rachael says:

    Wish I had read comments before: I had the same experience as other makers of this recipe, the cake is great with a nice soft texture but the frosting was a disaster. The butter and puree did not mix leaving the frosting tasting ok but looking really horrid and gross. I put powered sugar over it to cover it up, but a shame to have them turn out poorly after so much effort!

  19. Melissa says:

    Well, my icing was a big fail. But I think the cupcakes turned out alright :)

  20. Cassandra Seagraves says:

    These are marvelous cupcakes! AND the frosting, to die for! Having read some of these comments, I was unsure of how the frosting was going to turn out. For me, it turned out perfectly. I just recommend adding the remaining powdered sugar slowly until it thickens. I didn’t even need the whole 3 cups.

  21. Talia says:

    I made these today for Easter and despite my inexperience they tasted great. I realized as I was making the frosting that I had only put 1 stick of butter in the cake instead of 2 but it still tasted great. I also realized that I had only set out 1stick of butter for the frosting so I had to microwave another to soften it. A little did melt and that is why I think my frosting had a mottled appearance. I also used frozen defrosted raspberries which made the frosting too wet and darker than the picture. I had to add about another cup of sugar to make it firm enough to pipe then put them in the fridge for an hour or two to set. They were a big hit and tasted great despite the issues I had. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Carrie says:

    I’m not thrilled with theses cupcakes at all. I would have been better off buying a lemon box cake. The cake it very heavy and very little lemon flavor. The frosting was ok, but I think it would have been better with some cream cheese. I had to add 1 more cup of powdered sugar to any sort of consistency in the frosting. I used 1 cup of fresh berries. Also, cupcakes look NOTHING like the picture.
    I really like these flavors together – next time I’ll use a boxed lemon cake and traditional cream cheese frosting with raspberries added.
    Like the idea of this recipe, but not the actual recipe.

  23. MBP says:

    these are great! baking them as we speak, had a small bite out of one that is finished! delicious even without the frosting! :)

  24. HD says:

    These were delicious. I followed the recipe as is. Next time I would make only half of what the frosting recipe calls for. It made way too much and I wish I would’ve saved more of the fresh raspberries for snacking. Thinking I’ll use the leftover frosting on an angel food cake.

  25. SassyHooper says:

    First attempt at the recipe and it turned out perfect! I did not have any trouble with the frosting but I noticed my butter was getting a bit too warm prior to making–so I just stuck it back in the fridge until a bit more stiff. PERFECT! I love anything lemon so I used the zest and juice from two lemons and still think that I could have used more! Great recipe–thank you so much for sharing! Pintrest rocks!!

  26. Ally says:

    Just put these in the oven! Can’t wait! We’re changin’ em up a little and doing a cream cheese frosting since we have no raspberries! I can’t wait! The batter looked awesome when I was done with it! Nom Nom!

  27. Kelcey says:

    My kids (2.5 and 4 yrs old) and I made these this morning. They are so good! I upped the lemon flavour with a little lemon oil flavouring, and used a touch of vanilla in the icing. I also added a bit more puree, so I had to increase the amount of icing sugar to about 5c. But I had enough to pile the frosting on the cupcake. Also, my daughter has an obsession with food colouring, so we added a generous dollop of Duff’s colour gel in an electric blue. It gave the frosting a bluey-purple colour that she loved. Lol.

  28. Abby says:

    The cupcakes are baking now and I’m so excited to try them! The batter was delicious! The frosting was a little sweet and sugary for our taste so we added cream cheese to taste and it’s much creamier and less sugary. Great recipe.

  29. Grace says:

    could you substitute strawberries for the raspberries??

  30. Cyndie says:

    One of the comments was asking for egg substitute. I use Ener-G egg replacers for everything, my daughter is allergic to eggs. they work great in everything. I am going to make this tomorrow. Cant wait, neither can she!!!!

  31. Kimber says:

    To make sure your frosting is nice and thick, make sure you start with cold butter. and be sure your kitchen isn’t hot. I have a small kitchen and always have to make the cupcakes the night before and then the frosting the next morning for the best results. When you add the fruit puree little by little, it should cream up nicely but not become a runny mess.

  32. Blakeley says:

    Today was attempt #2 at these awesome cupcakes. The frosting separated on the first attempt but they still tasted great. This time around I added the raspberries a little at a time and the frosting is fantastic! I can’t wait to do these again!!

  33. Anna Catterson says:

    Made these tonight – they were great!! The frosting did separate a little, but just keep mixing – and mixing, it will come together. Delicious and light on the palette for summer! YUM!

  34. Sarah says:

    I’m not sure how I got here, but I saw the cupcake and had to investigate! I have to agree that chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream might be a touch more nirvana-ish. The only way to sort it out is a cupcake death match. I make both and eat as many as I can without going into a diabetic coma.
    I get annnoyed when people comment on a recipe they haven’t tried, but this time there were so many comments that couldn’t go unaddressed. Buttercream is simple to make and easy to mess up. It’s also the tastiest. If you learn to make one dessert thing from scratch, go with buttercream. Cake can be hit or miss from scratch. When it comes to kids and husbands that hail from the Midwest, a box might be preferred over scratch no matter how good. Frosting makes cupcakes. If you don’t have a decent buttercream (in taste and structure) adding more liquid and weight won’t help. It’s kind of common sense. The buttercream above is pretty much standard, without the raspberries. I add vanilla or whatever extract works with the cake and a pinch of salt. I use milk or whipping cream, a tablespoon at a time. That said, it HAS to work, unless you do it wrong. Some “rules” to keep in mind: Butter is the main ingredient, you’ll end up with yuck if you use old or cheap butter. Start subbing in shortening/margarine, then it’s less like buttercream and more like grocery store “bakery” frosting. It needs to be soft, but a little firmer than what you’re aiming for. If you go too far you can’t take it back. Ever put melted butter in the fridge? It doesn’t resemble what you started with, does it? Once the butter is whipped add powdered sugar slowly, tasting as you go until its a touch sweeter than you want. It should be stiff at this point. Add the extract, then milk until it’s what you want. If you’re adding stuff, back off on the sugar and milk until you’ve seen what it does. Add it slowly, it can only hold so much. If you’re using a “wet” ingredient, make sure it’s as thick as possible. Something soggy will thin it out. I use a coffee filter and then a fine strainer. I push it through with a spatula. Save the liquid. You’ll find some use for it. You could use it in the frosting instead of milk/water. Or add vodka for a divine cocktail. Watch the food coloring. If you use the McCormick squeeze bottles you watched grandma use, you’ll get a wierd, spotty grease/separation effect before you get a strong color. Try gels or powder. Finally, use it right away. Putting it in the fridge will make it hard and lumpy if you re whip it. If it’s hot and/or humid, I’ll stick it in the fridge periodically for a short time to hold the consistency. It pipes nicely if your hands don’t warm it too much. Unless I end up with tons of berries we can’t eat fast enough, I find it’s cheaper and easier to use a seedless jam. A touch of lemon juice (fresh) or balsamic vinegar does wonders for the flavor.
    As long as you keep some basic “rules” in mind, this will make a beautiful frosting. You also control the sugar by adding it last, so it doesn’t end up too sweet.
    As far as the cake itself, I’m pretty sure I’ve tried it. I love Allrecipes. I have a popular recipe that was featured on the homepage as “Recipe of the Day”! You won’t get a homemade cake to look and taste like a box mix. Most of the complaints come from people who probably haven’t had a lot of cakes made from scratch. They’re usually a bit denser and sometimes dryer by nature. I rarely have cake mix unless I’m making a dump or upside down cake. You just can’t get those right without a box. I spent years finding the “perfect” chocolate, white and yellow cake recipes. It was totally worth it. My chocolate cake is the bomb. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people’s eyes roll back in their heads in delight or heard “Oh my god!”. Honestly, it’s just as easy to measure six or eight ingredients as it is to open the box, bag and follow the directions. It takes time to find a recipe you love. But once you do and pay attention to your oven’s temperature, your altitude, the type of pan you use and how long you’re supposed to cook it, you’ll never go back to cake mixes again.

  35. Diane says:

    Made these this afternoon and had the same problem as many: separated frosting. Found the answer was about a tablespoon of milk and MORE SUGAR. In fact, more sifted sugar. It took about a whole bag but the frosting smoothed out and is AMAZING with the cupcakes! I also added just a touch of vanilla to help smooth the frosting, too (a habit of my mother’s). Over all, just keep going, they are TOTALLY worth it!!

  36. Amanda says:

    Mine didn’t turn out yellow…. but STILL delicious. thanks for the recipe!

  37. Randi says:

    I made these Cupcakes today and they turned out awesome. It was my first time making anything from scratch. Everyone seems to have problems with the frosting but I did what it said and mine turned out perfectly. Maybe you are adding too much raspberrys? I measured one cup BEFORE it was puréed and used room temperature butter and exactly 3 cups icing sugar and mine piped out perfectly onto my cupcakes.

  38. Dawn says:

    Made the frosting, no problems at all!! You just have to mix that frosting til it starts to fluff up, or come off the sides and fluff into the middle on a kitchen aide. Also, if you have problems using all butter substitute half the butter for shortening. Works like a dream everytime. Also, instead of water use milk or heavy whipping cream. I used a tad of the whipping cream an the frosting was delicious!!!!

  39. Renee says:

    For all the people having issues with the frosting.

    First make sure you are using REAL butter. No substitutes.

    Sec

  40. Renee says:

    For all the people having issues with the frosting.

    First make sure you are using REAL butter. No substitutes.

    Second If your using frozen raspberries like I did, put them in a strainer so that as they thaw out the extra juice doesn’t stay with them. Also, I smushed mine in the strainer a little so that some extra juice would come out.

    I also only used 1/2 cup of butter and used 4 cups of sugar. But basically followed the same steps. 2 cups sugar and butter, whip together, slowly add raspberries and then slowly add the rest of the sugar. It worked great for me that way. Hope it helps!

  41. Michelle says:

    I made these cupcakes today (and a modified frosting recipe which I already had on hand) and they were lovely! I was a bit concerned at first because my batter was quite thick and fluffy which I’m totally not used to at all. But the cake turned out tender, moist, and springy. I added a bit more lemon zest for kick. As for the frosting I mashed my raspberries and cooked them with a little sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch so they form a gel. I added that to the butter (and I admit, a few ounces of cream cheese) and powdered sugar and it really helps the frosting hold its shape a bit more without over-sweetening it. Just a tip. Plus you can make extra and use the gel as a raspberry filling which is what I do for a dark chocolate cake recipe. Anyhow, hats off on a lovely and delicate lemon cake recipe!

  42. michelle says:

    As a side note I forgot to mention above, I have a MUCH easier time with flavored butter cream by mixing the flavor ( i.e. raspberry puree) into my soft butter and THEN adding the confectioners sugar. I didn’t actually try it the way described, that seems difficult to blend….

  43. Victoria says:

    Frosting: Complete FAIL. It was very runny, however, it did still taste good! Not sure what went wrong.

  44. Tara Rhodes says:

    Made these tonight and they did not turn out well for me at all. I taste as I go and when I tasted the batter before I put them in the cupcake liners, all I tasted was flour. I knew then that I somehow messed up somewhere because if the batter doesn’t taste good, then there is no hope for the cupcake. And when I did pull them out, they were dense and tasted like a sweet cornbread. They had no flavor at all. I made the frosting according to recipe, but failed to realize that I needed to use real butter until after I saw the reviews. All in all it was not successful, probably due to mistakes on my part. Oh well you live and you learn :)

  45. Kathy says:

    My 14 year old daughter just made these all by herself. I have to say they were awesome. I think the cake does need more lemon flavor but I thought the frosting was absolutely wonderful. So full of flavor and a pretty bright pink color! We will definitely make these again!

  46. timber says:

    hey i love all your recipes and stuff. making a printer friendly version of these would be so helpful. thanks!

  47. Emily says:

    Love these cupcakes so much! I did not have any raspberries and used strawberries instead and it was the perfect combo! thank you for the recipe.

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