Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes

These cupcakes were requested for a recent birthday celebration. There really is nothing like the combination of raspberries and lemon- beautiful, light and summery all in one bite!

Have you seen the list of ingredients on your cake box? Take a look and then consider homemade cupcakes. They may cost a few dollars more to make ones with real butter, but do you really want to eat something that costs one or two dollars for 24 servings and is full of fillers and chemicals?

I can't fathom serving my family or other people's children something from a box that is full of those nasties. This is exceedingly easy and can be whipped up in the same amount of time a boxed mix takes. I think you usually get what you pay for- in this case, a little more time and effort results in some amazingly delicious returns!

Lemon- Raspberry Cupcakes
Makes 30-32
Based on a 1-2-3-4 cake, adding some lemon and a crown of delicious, naturally-tinted raspberry icing. Half the recipe for about one and a half dozen cupcakes.

Whisk together in a large bowl:
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar

Add to creamed mixture:
 4 eggs
zest of 1-2 lemons
2 tbsp lemon juice

Add flour to creamed mixture and beat well. Add:
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup soured milk (mixed with 1 tbsp vinegar)

Scoop into baking cups or liners until approximately 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes, or until tester comes out clean, for large cupcakes.

Raspberry Icing
For this recipe, it is all a matter of taste, a 1:1 ratio of butter to icing sugar results in a buttery icing that isn't overly sweet. Adding more sugar makes it a bit sweeter if that is what you fancy. The tastiest icing is made with raspberries cooked with a touch of sugar, strained and added to the icing. Use raspberry jam in a pinch. You can make this icing with any flavour you'd like- use vanilla, lemon juice and zest or whatever your heart desires.

Beat together until light and fluffy:
1 lb butter, room temperature
1 - 1 1/2 lbs icing sugar

1. Cook approximately 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries with a few tablespoons of sugar for a few minutes until raspberries completely break down and strain to remove seeds. Let cool in fridge for a few minutes before adding. Add until desired colour and taste.

1. Add approximately 1/2- 3/4 cup heated and strained raspberry jam, to taste.