Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

I made these beauties in an attempt to branch out of my chocolate/strawberry rut. Well, is it really a rut if you really like it? Anyway, a light lemony cake gets a sweet but tart raspberry filling. Topping the cake is that infamous Swiss meringue buttercream- raspberry this time! Delicious, beautiful, and a perfect summery treat.
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
1¾ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
Juice of 1 large lemon

For the filling:
16 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the frosting:
3 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp. fresh raspberry puree
Zest of ½ lemon

Directions:
To start, make the filling so it has plenty of time to cool. Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan.
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While this mixture is cookin’, whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Once the berries and sugar are bubbling, pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes, thickening the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in a squirt of lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
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Next, zee cupcakes! First preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare cupcake tins. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, whisking to blend. Now measure the sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer and add lemon zest.
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Mix on low speed to combine the zest and sugar until it smells lemon-y and wonderful and kinda looks like wet sand. Next, add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the sour cream, milk and lemon juice, again whisking to combine. Finally, with the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Do this in 3 additions, mixing just until incorporated each addition. Fill each liner with batter til about ¾-full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cool completely, then cut a piece out of the middle of each cupcake using method of your choice.
*I’ve decided to stop photo’ing the basic cupcake baking process. You’ve seen it a few times; no need to be redundant!*

Now that you’ve got cored cupcakes and cooled filling, go ahead and fill those babies. I used about 2-3 tsp of filling for each cupcake.
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Lastly, let’s make this pain-in-the-butt-but-oh-so-tasty frosting. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit and the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled (and trust me, it probably will), continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again. Again, this can take as little as a couple of minutes to nearly 20, but it’s so rewarding when it comes together. And by rewarding I mean melt-in-your-mouth frosting that is lighter than air and absolutely delicious. Fold in the raspberry purée and lemon zest with a rubber spatula. Frost your filled cupcakes and admire your handiwork!
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Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

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