raspberry lemonade cupcakes

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Recently, I made some lemon cupcakes complete with raspberry buttercream icing. When you decide to work with your buttercream, there is always the possibility of it going horribly awry. I knew I wanted to work with raspberries, I didn’t want to use any artificial colours, and that I couldn’t live with any seed material in my frosting. As much as it would offer a sense of authenticity, it would completely destroy the smooth consistency of my recently mastered buttercream icing.
Fast forward past a few days of Internet research and discussions at home and I ended up making myself a raspberry reduction from frozen raspberries and adding it to my buttercream atop lemon cupcakes.
While I think the buttercream could of had a touch more raspberry in it for both flavour and colour, I would still consider this round successful. The Raspberry Lemonade cupcakes were all well-received and thoroughly enjoyed. The surprisingly refreshing raspberry flavor matched well with the lemon cupcake. Granted, I would like to repeat this whole recipe. As I said, I would have liked to have been left with more raspberry reduction and I used all purpose flour in my cupcakes. The gluten content wasn’t quite correct. Wile delicious, it was a heavier cupcake than I would have liked.
I’ve decided the recipe into icing and cupcake. I would, however, recommend starting this process with the raspberry reduction. If you start the process with the reduction, you will have plenty of time for it to cool while you prepare the cupcakes and complete the first steps of the icing preparation.

Special Equipment

  • Hand mixer with whisk attachment or stand mixer with whisk attachment and paddle attachment
  • Icing bags with large star icing tip
  • Fine mesh Sieve
  • Cupcake Papers (foil preferred)

Raspberry icing

Ingredients

  • Salted Butter – 1/2 cup (115g)dsc_1186
  • Shortening – 1/2 cup (95g)
  • Icing Sugar – 4 cups (480g)
  • Milk – 2-3 tbsp (30 -45 ml)*
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Frozen Raspberries- 2 cups**
  • Lemon Juice – 3 tbsp

*I used lactose-free milk and you can use water in substitute.
**I used 1.5 cups of frozen raspberries.

Method

  1. Add lemon juice and raspberries to sauce pan. Heat while constantly stirring, breaking raspberries up. Reduce by approximately 80%.
  2. Pass raspberry reduction through a sieve to remove any seed material. Should yield approximately 1/4 cup of reduction.
  3. Cool reduction to room temperature. (Hint – if you make the reduction in advance of the cupcakes, your reduction will have plenty of time to cool)
  4. Combine butter and shortening with mixer until smooth.
  5. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, continue mixing until smooth.
  6. Add vanilla extract and measured to milk and mix until smooth.
  7. Add fully cooled raspberry reduction from steps 1 -3
  8. Add remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix. The mixture will be smooth, but heavy.
  9. Add additional milk/water by the tablespoon while mixing until desired consistency is achieved. Mix each tablespoon before adding any additional liquid.*

*I added about 3 tablespoons of milk.

Lemon cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Cake Flour – 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp
  • Baking Powder – 1 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Sour Cream (Full Fat) – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup*
  • Eggs – 2 large (room temperature)
  • Unsalted Butter – 1 stick (4 ounces) (melted)
  • Granulated Sugar – 1 cup
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • Juice of one medium lemon (aprox 2.5 tbsp)

*I used 2% lactose-free milk.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F)/ 177 (C)
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub zest into sugar until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Set aside.
  4. In a large measuring cup or batter bowl, combine sour cream, milk, and egg. Mix well. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl or stand mixer (using paddle attachment) beat sugar from step 2 with melted butter until well combined. (apron. 2 minutes) Add lemon juice and mix for another minute at medium speed.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture from step 3 to combination from step 5. Beat until just combined.
  7. Add dairy and egg mixture from step 4 to mixture from step 6. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Divide cupcake batter evenly into lined cupcake pan. Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean.
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack and ice with raspberry icing when completely cool.
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