Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

I was inspired by the fake-out spring weather we got over a week ago. Now that we have gone back to winter in May I wanted to bring out the flavors that remind me of warmer weather! What better way to do that than with citrus? I knew I wanted to make lemon cupcakes with a pudding cake recipe and some lemony cream cheese frosting. Now what else can I add to compliment it? Strawberries? Yea! Then a co-worker suggested raspberries! Even better. (I originally made this recipe and filled the cupcakes with seedless raspberry preserves which was good, but making my own raspberry filling was tastier, the preserves were too jammy for me).

Lemon Pudding Cupcakes:
(adapted from http://www.carlyiscooking.blogspot.com)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 package of instant vanilla pudding (only the powder)
3/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. room temperature butter
3/4 c. sugar
the zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Spearately mix milk and vanilla, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest then the eggs one-at-a-time.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

A great tip got from the http://www.carlyiscooking.blogspot.com website was to use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter – great tip! Perfect size cupcakes.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
(from http://www.xplicitsweetness.blogspot.com)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T butter, softened
1 fresh lemon, juiced
5 c powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in 2-3 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Blend in the lemon juice. Add the remaining powdered sugar according to your own consistency preference.

The filling…
12oz. fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 T lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Over low heat, cook the filling until boiling.

Using a cupcake filling tip on a decorating bag, fill the bag with filling then inject the cupcakes with the filling. (or use this method)

To decorate the cupcakes I used a cake decorating tip and placed a raspberry on top.

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