Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

When I think of cupcakes, I think of a cool fall night in Eastern Idaho, where I went to college. My husband and I would go out after he got home from work on Friday night and share a big chocolate cupcake from a local cupcake shop huddled in our jackets and gloves. These lemon cupcakes with raspberry buttercream on the other hand are packed with such bright flavors, I am not taken back to cold Eastern Idaho when I eat them. I am reminded of warm summer day with my kids, sharing a treat on a blanket in the shade.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
I first made these cupcakes for a fundraiser held to help a cute family adopt an 11 year old girl from China. I had a go big or go home attitude when I set out to make these. I knew there was going to a lot of treats at the fundraiser and I didn’t want these cupcakes to go home with the leftovers. (They were gone within an hour. Take that, bake sale!) These cupcakes are so fluffy and luscious. They have easily become my go to cupcakes whenever I am in the cupcake mood.

The best part of these cupcakes? The perfect amount of lemon. It’s not overpowering, but holds it’s own against the sweet. To make these perfect, I brush warm the cupcakes with a lemon syrup. It soaks in and keeps the cupcakes so moist. The raspberry buttercream is perfect too, and doesn’t overpower the lemon. Its like the perfect raspberry lemonade, in cupcake form!

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


    For the Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 3 TBSP buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    Simple Syrup
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP sugar
    Raspberry Buttercream
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves or jam, seedless
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar
  • Raspberries for garnish (optional)


    For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Add all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together until all ingredients are combine.
  3. In a food processor, add sugar and lemon zest. Pulse until crumbly, about 1 minute.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer add butter and sugar mixture and whip together until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl if necessary. Mix in the egg, and then egg whites, one at a time. Add vanilla with last egg white.
  5. In a small bowl mix together buttermilk and lemon juice.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to the butter/egg/sugar mixture. Mix until just combine.
  7. Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture to the butter/egg/sugar mixture. Mix until just combine.
  8. Repeat the process with the flour and buttermilk mixture one more time and finish by mixing in last 1/3 of flour mixture.
  9. Divide batter between 12 muffin tins lined with a paper cupcake liner. They should be filled just a little over half way. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will appear very light. Do not let them get golden brown. They will be over done. Allow to cool several minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
    Simple Syrup
  1. While the cupcakes are baking, whisk together sugar and lemon juice. Brush over warm cupcakes. I like to poke a few holes in my cupcake before I brush the syrup over them to let the extra moisture and flavor sink in.
    Raspberry Buttercream
  1. In a bowl, add butter and raspberry jam. Cream together until light and fluffy, about a minute.
  2. Gradually add powered sugar, about 1 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. Be sure the scrape the sides of your bowl, if necessary.
  3. Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with raspberries.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy


Lemon Cupcakes With Raspberry Buttercream Info


  1. Stephanie says:

    The instructions reference egg whites but they’re not listed under ingredients. How many egg whites do I need?

    • KateCurtis says:

      AH! Thank you for pointing that out to me! You’ll need 2 egg whites. I’ve updated the recipe too.

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