Lemon Cupcakes 1

I’m so excited about this month’s Improv Challenge, hosted by the wonderful Kristan over at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  Haven’t heard about the Improv Challenge?  Each month, participants are assigned two ingredients to pair together to create a fun, new recipe.  I was so relieved to find that this month’s ingredients included lemon and sour cream—after gorging myself on chocolate for the last month, I needed to bake something a little lighter.

The lemon cream cupcakes on their own are actually light enough to serve as a breakfast muffin–they’d pair nicely with some fresh fruit or a mug of steaming hot coffee.

Of course, I had to add frosting to these, because that’s just what I do.  I have a sugar addiction, what can I say?

This frosting is a total departure from my stand-by buttercream.  But holy cannoli guys, this stuff is amazing.  I almost ran out of frosting for the tops of my cupcakes because I’d “sampled” so much in between piping my cakes.  The pink color comes only from the fresh raspberries – you can’t beat that with artificial coloring.

Doodle declared these “out of this world” and I have to say–I agree.

Looking at these colors makes me ready for spring–what about you?


Lemon Cupcakes 2

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (or vanilla, if that's what you have on-hand)
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces sour cream
For the frosting:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 - 4½ cups powdered sugar
  • 5 ounces raspberries
  • seeds from one vanilla bean
For the cupcakes:
  1. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon zest and lemon extract.
  2. Combine your dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Your batter will be thick!
  3. Fill muffin tins with approximately ¼ cup of batter, and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 miinutes before removing cakes to wire rack.
For the frosting:
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add half of the raspberries and mix until combined. Add remaining powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating until well incorporated.
  2. Add vanilla seeds and the rest of your raspberries. Beat well, until frosting is creamy. Depending on your preferred consistency, add additional powdered sugar if necessary.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes before piping onto your cupcakes.
Makes 30 cupcakes

cupcakes adapted from Taste of Home 2011

frosting from Good Life Eats

Be sure to check out the rest of this month’s participants!