Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes: A springtime treat with a sweet surprise inside!

If you’re looking for a last minute addition to your Easter Sunday menu, we have the perfect cupcakes to foot the bill. I first discovered these cupcakes when they were the cover picture of the April ‘08 issue of Bon Appétit magazine. My sister and I made them together for our family’s Easter dinner and they were a hit. My grandfather ate four before my grandmother finally told him, “Enough with the cupcakes!” (He found them before we actually ate dinner, mind you).

Even though it takes a little elbow grease to get these going, it’s worth every minute of the work once you take your first bite. To make the recipe even easier, use standard boxed vanilla cake mix- just add some lemon zest to the batter and keep the dollop of raspberry jam, and you’ll save yourself time without sacrificing flavor.

Prep: 30 minutes / Total: 1 hour 20 minutes (includes cooling time)

Makes 12-15


¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, divided

4 ½ teaspons finely grated lemon peel, divided

2 large eggs

1 ½ cups self-rising flour

¼ cup buttermilk

4 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam

Fresh raspberries (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Using electric mixer, beat buttter, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, and 3 teaspoons lemon peel in large bowl until blended, then beat until fluffy and pale yellow. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in half of the flour. Add buttermilk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat to blend. Beat in remaining flour.

Drop 1 rounded tablespoonful batter into each muffin liner. Spoon 1 teaspoon raspberry jam over. Cover with remaining batter, dividing equally.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted halfway into centers comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on rack.

Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon peel in a small bowl (Note: Icing will be more of a glaze). Spoon half of icing over 6 cupcakes. Whisk 1 tablespoon raspberry jam into remaining icing. Spoon over remaining cupcakes. Let stand until icing sets, about 30 minutes. Garnish with raspberries. Enjoy!

Melissa Yurasits: Grew up on the Jersey Shore and returned to the Garden State after four years of living in Boston for college. Works in publicity/promotions by day but at night loves checking out new restaurants or cooking up new recipes with her boyfriend in their Jersey City apartment. Can’t name a favorite food, except for anything and everything cooked by her Dad, who doesn’t believe in recipes (but it turns out amazing everytime!).