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Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

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close up shot of Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes topped with a raspberry and a slice of lemon
These lemon raspberry cupcakes are a delightful flavor combination of lovely bright citrus and juicy bursts of fresh raspberries for the perfect summer dessert.
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Table of Contents
  1. Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Sweet and citrusy, these lemon raspberry cupcakes celebrate all the fresh flavors of the summer months. The moist cupcakes are flavored with tangy lemon, have bursts of juicy red raspberries, and are topped with a delightfully bright and lemony cream cheese frosting.

close up shot of Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with a bite taken out of it topped with a raspberry and a slice of lemon

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes Ingredients

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cupcakes

  • 15.25-ounce box of white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines brand)
  • 3.4-ounce box instant lemon-flavored pudding mix (I used Jell-o brand)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (plus additional for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6-7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Garnish

  • Fresh raspberries and small lemon slices

PRO TIP:

Try to find small fresh raspberries to use in this recipe. They get distributed into the cupcake batter more evenly. If your raspberries are on the larger size, you may need to carefully cut them in half, making sure not to make them mushy. 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PUDDING: If you cannot find the lemon-flavored instant pudding, you can substitute it with vanilla or white chocolate and add 1-1½ teaspoons of lemon extract to your cupcake batter.

CAKE MIX: For even more lemon freshness, you can substitute the white cake mix with lemon cake in this recipe.

MILK: You can substitute 2% milk for whole milk in the cupcake recipe.

How to Make This Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

I like to make my cream cheese frosting first so it can chill for as long as possible before decorating my cupcakes. If you plan on making your cream cheese frosting more than 2 hours in advance, be sure to store it in the refrigerator, and you may need to allow it to soften slightly at room temperature before piping it onto your lemon raspberry cupcakes.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.

STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl, add the contents of the white cake mix, instant lemon pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil, whole milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

PRO TIP:

I substituted the 1 cup of water listed on the cake mix directions for 1 cup of whole milk. You can just make your box mix according to the recipe, but substituting the whole milk for the water creates a richer and more tender cupcake.

STEP THREE: Whisk the ingredients for 2 minutes or until smooth, and no lumps remain. Do not overmix your batter.

ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: In a small bowl, add the fresh raspberries and all-purpose flour. Toss to thoroughly coat the raspberries with flour. 

PRO TIP:

Tossing the berries in the flour will help keep the raspberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter when baked.

flour and raspberries tossed in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Gently stir the raspberries into the cupcake batter until well distributed. Don’t overmix!

raspberries placed into the batter in a bowl

STEP SIX: Evenly distribute the cupcake batter into the 24 paper-lined muffin tins. They should be ⅔ to ¾ full.

STEP SEVEN: Bake cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cupcakes at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

baked Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes in a cupcake baking tray

STEP EIGHT: Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan, on the counter, for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

STEP NINE: While your cupcakes are baking, you can make your cream cheese frosting by adding cream cheese and unsalted butter to a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed using an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth and fluffy.

cream cheese and butter blended in a bowl

STEP TEN: Add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the cream cheese and beat to combine.

powdered sugar added to the cream cheese mixture and blended together in a bowl

STEP ELEVEN: Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and heavy cream to the cream cheese mixture. Beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. If your frosting is too thin, you can add additional powdered sugar. You will want to start with ½ cup and adjust from there to get a consistency that will be easily piped onto the cupcake, but that will also hold its shape.

STEP TWELVE: You will transfer your cream cheese frosting to an extra-large piping bag or zip-top bag with the corner snipped off that has been fitted with a large piping tip. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours while your cupcakes are baking and cooling. This will allow the frosting to firm up, making it easier to pipe onto the cupcakes.

PRO TIP:

For my piping tips, I like to use the Wilton large star tips, such as the 6B or 8B ones.

using a pipe bag place icing on top of the cupcake

STEP THIRTEEN: Transfer your cooled cupcakes to a serving platter and pipe the cream cheese frosting onto the top of each cupcake. Garnish with a single fresh raspberry and a small slice of fresh lemon if desired.

How To Serve

Make these pretty fluffy lemon cupcakes the stars of a bridal shower or baby shower this summer. Add an ice-cold iced tea, pink drink, or pineapple lemonade to keep you cool and wash down this scrumptious confection.

For a tropical twist, add our coconut cupcakes to your menu, while our brownie cupcakes are the ultimate indulgent treat.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: These raspberry lemon cupcakes are best served on the same day as they are made for the best results. You can make them up to one day ahead but do not frost the cupcakes until you are ready to serve them. You can store cupcakes in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You will want to keep in mind that the longer they sit, the softer the cupcake will get due to the moisture from adding the raspberries to the batter.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge and frost them just before serving.

close up shot of Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes topped with a raspberry and a slice of lemon

The lemon flavor from the tangy frosting is a burst of sunshine and the pops of delicate fresh berries add a delightful surprise in every bite. These lemon and raspberry cupcakes are the perfect treat to enjoy all summer long.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I have to store these cupcakes in the fridge? 

If these lemon and raspberry cupcakes are frosted, because they have cream cheese frosting, it is best to keep them in the fridge. If they are unfrosted, they can stay on the counter in an airtight container.

Can I use store-bought icing for this cupcake recipe?

If you would rather skip making the frosting yourself, you can use store-bought frosting. Either lemon or vanilla frosting with a little bit of lemon extract would be perfect.

Can I change up the flavor of the cake mix?

If you prefer yellow or lemon cake mix, those flavors would also be delicious in these cupcakes.

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close up shot of Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes topped with a raspberry and a slice of lemon

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

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These lemon raspberry cupcakes are a delightful flavor combination of lovely bright citrus and juicy bursts of fresh raspberries for the perfect summer dessert.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • 15.25 ounces white cake mix, I used Duncan Hines brand
  • 3.4 ounces instant lemon-flavored pudding mix, I used Jell-o brand
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 to 7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Garnish

  • Fresh raspberries and small slices of lemon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper cups. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the contents of the super moist white cake mix, instant lemon pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil, whole milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  • Whisk the ingredients for 2 minutes or until smooth, and no lumps remain. Do not overmix your batter.
  • In a small bowl, add the fresh raspberries and all-purpose flour. Toss to thoroughly coat the raspberries with flour. This will help keep the raspberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter when baked.
  • Gently stir the raspberries into the cupcake batter until well distributed. Don’t overmix!
  • Evenly distribute the cupcake batter into the 24 paper-lined muffin tins. They should be ⅔ to ¾ full.
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan, on the counter, for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • While your cupcakes are baking, you can make your cream cheese frosting by adding cream cheese and unsalted butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the cream cheese and beat to combine.
  • Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and heavy cream to the cream cheese mixture. Beat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Note: If your frosting is too thin, you can add additional powdered sugar. You will want to start with ½ cup and adjust from there to get a consistency that will be easily piped onto the cupcake, but that will also hold its shape.
  • You will transfer your cream cheese frosting to an extra-large piping bag, or zip-top bag with the corner snipped off that has been fitted with a large piping tip. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours while your cupcakes are baking and cooling. This will allow the frosting to firm up, making it easier to pipe onto the cupcakes.
  • Transfer your cooled cupcakes to a serving platter and pipe the cream cheese frosting onto each cupcake. Garnish with a single fresh raspberry and a small slice of fresh lemon if desired.

Notes

  • I like to make my cream cheese frosting first so it can chill for as long as possible before decorating my cupcakes. If you plan on making your cream cheese frosting more than 2 hours in advance, be sure to store it in the refrigerator, and you may need to allow it to soften slightly at room temperature before piping it onto your lemon raspberry cupcakes.
  • I substituted the 1 cup of water listed on the cake mix directions for 1 cup of whole milk. You can just make your box mix according to the recipe, but substituting the whole milk for the water creates a richer and more tender cupcake.
  • Tossing the berries in the flour will help keep the raspberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter when baked.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cupcakes at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  • For my piping tips, I like to use the Wilton large star tips, such as the 6B or 8B ones.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 7789kcal | Carbohydrates: 1230g | Protein: 78g | Fat: 298g | Saturated Fat: 175g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 78g | Trans Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1323mg | Sodium: 5376mg | Potassium: 1807mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 1001g | Vitamin A: 10621IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 1875mg | Iron: 14mg
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