Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Every year it seems I lose a little bit of that excitement that comes along with a birthday. I used to be the biggest, brightest most in-yo-face girl about my birthday but as I continue to move closer to the big 3-0 there's just something that lingers over me saying, "you'd better get this life going girl". And oh how I wish I could answer back, "I'm really trying... but how. Like, seriously... I'll take any answers on what's supposed to happen next". But that's for another post.

This year to try and bring a little of the fun back to the birthday; I thought there was nothing better than a cupcake.



A simple little fluffy nugget of sweet joy with a simple frosting and a tart red plump raspberry on top.



So here's to 2014 and 28 years young on Saturday. If anyone's listening my wish this year would definitely be something shiny for my left hand. You know, if candles have a real say in these things.



--//--

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes from Pastry Affair

Yields about 18 cupcakes

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
3/4 cup (169 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (76 grams) sour cream (or plain, non-fat yogurt)
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk and lemon juice, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth. Gently stir in the raspberries.
Fill baking cups about 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups (500 grams) powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Before serving, pipe or spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes and decorate with a few fresh raspberries, if desired. If cupcakes will sit out more than a day, keep refrigerated in an airtight container to help preserve them. Serve at room temperature.


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