Raspberry and lemon are one of my favorite flavor pairings, whether it be in a tall glass of cold raspberry lemonade or in a fabulous dessert.  I’ve been wanting to create a lemon raspberry cupcake all summer long.  My aim was to make a cupcake with just the right balance so neither flavor stole the show.  The sweet-tart raspberry filling is the perfect complement to the tender lemon cake.  The cupcake is topped with a silky smooth Swiss meringue buttercream.  Though you could certainly make the frosting with one flavor or the other, I divided it in half and created a swirl of half raspberry, half lemon buttercream.  Pretty little cakes are finished off with candied lemon slices and fresh raspberries.  I imagine these would be welcome at just about any event, whether it be a backyard barbecue or a summer bridal shower.  Remember, though the cake, filling and frosting may seem involved, you can tackle the process in steps over a couple of days rather than doing it all at once.  It’s worth it!

Note: This recipe was developed as part of my ongoing contribution to the Go Bold with Butter blog.  Head over to see my posts as well as more great recipes from the other awesome bloggers involved with the project!


For the cupcakes:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups (8 oz.) sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon, preferably organic
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
Juice of 1 large lemon

For the filling:
16 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the frosting: 
3 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp. fresh raspberry puree*
Zest of 1 lemon
Candied lemon slices, for garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest.  Mix for about 1 minute on low speed to infuse the sugar with the lemon scent.  The sugar should have the appearance of wet sand.  Add in the butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the sour cream, milk and lemon juice.  Whisk to blend.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.

  • 02

    Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners filling each about ¾-full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.

  • 03

    To make the filling, combine the raspberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Once the berries and their juices begin to bubble, stir in the cornstarch mixture.  Bring to a boil and let boil until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.  If desired, strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the raspberry seeds (optional).  Once the filling is cool, use the cone method to fill the cupcakes with about 2 teaspoons of filling each.

  • 04

    To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.   Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (don’t worry, it will come together!  This can sometimes take a very long time.)

  • 05

    Divide the finished frosting into two separate bowls.  To one of the bowls, add the fresh raspberry puree and mix to incorporate.  To the other, mix in the lemon zest.  Fit a pastry bag with a large decorative tip (I used a large, unlabeled closed star tip.)  Fill one side of the pastry bag with the raspberry frosting, and then fill in the other side with the lemon frosting (this does not need to be exact – just enough so that both colors are included.)  Pipe a test streak until you see both colors coming out of the tip.  Frost cupcakes as desired, refilling the pastry bag in the same manner as needed.  Garnish the finished cupcakes with candied lemon slices and/or fresh raspberries, if desired.

  • 06

    *To make raspberry puree, simply add fresh or frozen raspberries to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Strain to remove the seeds.  From 6 ounces of fresh berries you will get about ½ cup of puree.

  • Laura

    Love all the pretty pink going on! And, candied lemon slices? Yowza. I think I would enjoy them on their own!

  • These look AMAZING! Love lemon raspberry combo..especially in an adult lemonade. ;)

  • Kate

    Oh Annie. I’m cancelling all of my weekend plans. These have to be made immediately.

  • Julia

    Great idea! I love pairing raspberry and lemon too. Can’t wait to try this new recipe!

    I am a little disappointed in your advertisements- I certainly hope you don’t have control over those as I’m sure you just want us to see your pretty food and not political propaganda.

  • Darlene

    SO weird I was just googling lemon rasberry yesterday. My jaw just dropped when I saw this post! I want to try to make it into a cake! Good idea or bad idea?! Can’t do cupcakes again. Time for a cake.

  • Kelsey

    Annie, these are lovely. I hope they’ll be in the calendar!

  • I love those cupcake wrappers and the flavor combo! Beautiful!

  • Coop

    I am definitely making these this weekend! Best cupcake friday yet! =)

  • Amanda

    Can I just use raspberry jam for filling and frosting?

  • Annie, these are absolutely beautiful!

  • Annie, these are absolutely beautiful!

  • annieseats

    You can, but it won’t taste as good.

  • Iglika

    wow, great combination!

  • Annie @ Annie’s Cooking Lab

    Those look delicious!

  • I am LOVING cupcake Fridays. :) Every weekend is a super delicious treat! Does the raspberry filling soak into the cake a lot?

  • Leah

    I agree!

  • Kim

    Beautiful! Do you strain your filling?

  • Jennifer Drummond

    There so cute!!! I just love them!!

  • Alicia

    Ugh, if only this had posted yesterday! I just tried a recipe for raspberry lemon cupcakes and I think I would have liked this one better. The others were good and everyone seemed to enjoy them…I guess I’ll just have to try these :)

  • I have been making your cupcakes for years and always love them! I have an interesting question though. Usually, I use my 3 row muffin pan to make them in. These always turn out great. However, the other half of the batter sits out until I am read (around 20ish min). The 2nd batch is fine….but sometimes turn out just a little different texture. Do you remix the remaining part or put it in the fridge? Just curious (anyone can answer). :)

    Happy Baking!

  • annieseats

    I often bake a second string but I’ve never noticed any difference in texture. I leave mine out. I don’t think there is that much of a difference 20 minutes later.

  • I always use two pans. Put both in oven at same time. Recently bought the cupcake pans from Williams-Sonoma and they are great. Pretty heavy and a little bigger than my old pans so batter (from store bought mix) does not make 24 cupcakes when using these pans.

  • annieseats

    I use two pans from Williams Sonoma as well, but in some cases you may have left over batter depending on the recipe.

  • Lynna

    Brilliant recipe! :) I love this combination as well!

  • Janelle

    I’m so disappointed. This recipe was going perfectly for me until i added 3 tbsp of raspberry to the frosting. It curdled, so i tried beating it again. After about 30 minutes on and off (i have a handheld mixer) i decided it wasn’t going to come together, put it in a piping bag with the lemon frosting and piped it on a test cupcake. Disaster – the lemon frosting was too thick, the raspberry too runny so all that came out was the raspberry until the lemon clogged the nozzle and it tasted awful. i ended up throwing the whole lot out :( I now have 17 cupcakes waiting to be iced and i’m out of ingredients with the shops shut today.
    On the upside the cakes and raspberry filling are delicious.
    Any idea where i went so wrong?

  • LUcia

    Nice!! I will try to do them :)

  • annieseats

    I usually do, yes.

  • KasiW

    I love the baking cups! Where did you get them?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    It does sound like the raspberry puree broke the frosting, but it should come back together quite easily. I’m not sure what else might have helped. Sorry you had such difficulties!

  • annieseats

    Not a lot, but a little I guess. Hard to describe :)

  • Riley

    These are so cute, not to mention I could eat one of those cupcake liners they are so adorable!

  • Cathi

    This recipe would be much better if written with an amount for lemon juice, instead of “juice of one lemon” That can vary by several tablespoons! I just made my second batch of these today. The first looked cooked, and a toothpick came out clean. Most were jiggly in the middle and bottom. The second batch is browned on top, but the cupcakes are cooked through. I think my lemons were too juicy, or rather, more juicy than necessary for this recipe. An exact amount could have eliminated this problem!

  • annieseats

    I am certain that a variation of a few tablespoons of lemon juice would not have a major affect on the overall consistency of the batter and the final cake. Sounds like more of an issue with uneven heat in the oven or baking time. Sorry to hear you had trouble!

  • Carrie

    Where is your darling cake stand from?

  • annieseats

    It’s a Mosser milk glass cake stand and you can find them at various places around the web.

  • joan

    Divine! I changed up the recipe a bit: I used a yellow cake mix ( I’ve yet to find a scratch yellow cake recipe that comes out as moist as a box mix), to which I added a little lemon zest. After baking, I put a whole fresh raspberry inside the hollowed out cupcake, and then filled the rest of the hole with lemon curd. I added some more curd to 1/2 of the buttercream, and then raspberry puree to the rest. I know, it’s not the same, but thanks for the inspiration…delicieux!

  • Think raspberry jam could stand in for the raspberry filling?

  • annieseats

    It could, but I don’t like jam as filling. The taste is not nearly as fresh or bright and I find it is easily overpowered. Just a personal preference of mine.

  • lehar

    Annie do you have a recipie for the candied lemon? I saw them in jars at the grocery store but of of them has ‘high fructose corn syrup’ written on the ingridient list.

  • annieseats
  • miss

    the idea for these is great. i personally just use the frosting, but the icing always comes out wayyyy too soupy

  • annieseats

    You aren’t beating it long enough. As described in the instructions, you must whip it until it changes state and thickens.

  • Roberta

    I just made these cupcakes yesterday and so far so good! However, I did not have time to frost last night so I put the two bowls of buttercream in the refrigerator. Now I am patiently waiting for them to come to room temperature so that I can scoop it into piping bags; this is a resilient frosting. Looking forward to see how everyone enjoys these cupcakes. My first time making a Swiss meringue buttercream and it was a blast! Thank you for the inspiration! Last thing, where did you cake those baking cups?

  • Judy

    This recipe is sooo good! My co-worker came in with these yesterday and they were phenomenal! Just the right amount of sweetness; not overly sweet like most cupcakes and frosting.

  • Victoria

    Another great recipe!

    I would halve the filling (I had way too much) and double the frosting, there wasn’t enough for all 24 cupcakes. But otherwise, phenomenal! Thanks :)

  • Winny the Elephant

    Hi Annie,

    I have an emergency question, I hope you see this in time!

    In your FAQ you do say that you often make and frost cupcakes ahead of time but I’m wondering if you can fill these with the raspberry filling ahead of time? I’ve just made these cupcakes and I need them for tomorrow, I’m wondering if the filling will seep into the cupcakes too much?


  • annieseats

    I make filled cupcakes in advance frequently. Enjoy!

  • Winny the Elephant

    I had to make up a second batch of icing too!

  • Sarah

    Hi Annie – As always I’m browsing your website for a fabulous cake recipe for a family birthday. Do you think one batch of this frosting will cover a (3) tier 8-inch layer cake, or should I plan to double it?

    Thank you!

  • annieseats

    Honestly, I am horrible at estimating how much frosting I will need to cover a cake. My guess is if you are using it for only the frosting and not also a filling, you’ll be okay but if you want filling I would increase by 50-100%. Could be totally wrong though – I feel like I’m always making extra batches of frosting in these situations!

  • Lucía Serrano

    Hi Annie! I really wanted to try this recipe, but raspberries are really hard to get where I live, so I tried it with strawberries instead. It was amazing! I particularly liked how soft and airy the cake is. I’m not very fond of this kind of frosting, but the filling was dreamy. I love your recipes, thanks a lot!