With summer in full-swing, there’s no shortage of tasty berries to be found. My raspberry bushes are just finishing up their first crop of berries for the season (I should get one more batch in September, yay!) and I wanted to bake something with them. I love the way cream cheese and the sweet/tart flavor of raspberries pair together, so I made these raspberry cupcakes with a raspberry cream cheese buttercream to share with you all.
The raspberries are folded and baked into the batter, making for juicy bursts of fresh raspberries in each bite. The buttercream requires freeze-dried raspberries, which are each to order online. I recommend getting them whole and tossing them in a blender to pulse them into a fine powder. This powder is like raspberry concentrate and adds a punch of flavor to whatever you toss it into, which in our case is some tasty cream cheese buttercream. You can make the frosting without the raspberry powder, too, and just have a simple cream cheese icing, but I really love the extra oomph of raspberry taste that comes through with the duo cake-icing combo. Raspberry cupcakes FTW!
If you’ve noticed the difference in hue of the raspberries in these photos, that’s because I grow a couple different kinds of raspberry bushes in the garden. One is a more traditional standard red raspberry, and the other is a beautifully hued salmon-colored berry known as ‘fall gold’ raspberry. They taste completely identical, but just have slightly different colors. I noticed that my fall golds tend to be a bit more on the peachy-salmon side than the gold-yellow one, and I wonder if it’s something to due with the acidity of the soil in the garden? I know it affects the color of hydrangeas, but maybe it also affects fruit colors, too? I need to do some more investigating on this one.
As for what’s next, I have some figs that are nearly ripe on the branches of my fig tree, and am SO incredibly excited because this is the first year they’ve actually produced figs. I’ve been watering + nurturing them for almost 3 years, so getting the first reward in the form of the literal fruits of my labor is pretty invigorating. Needless to say, there will definitely be a fig-centric dish coming to the blog later this summer 🙂
Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream
This delicious vanilla batter contains juicy bursts of fresh raspberries baked into each cupcake. It's topped with a silky raspberry and cream cheese buttercream, which gets its natural pink hue and fruity flavor from freeze dried raspberries. It's hard to find freeze dried raspberry powder, so I recommend getting them whole and then toss them in a blender or food processor and blender them into a fine powder. You'll love them in the buttercream and they'll open up a whole new world of frosting flavor for you!
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 9 tablespoons butter softened
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk room temperature
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries
Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 ounces freeze dried raspberries blended into a fine powder using a blender or food processor
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two standard muffin pans with cupcake liners and set them aside.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter at medium low speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
- With the mixer going at low speed, alternate between adding the milk and the flour mixture in three increments until *just* combined. Turn off the mixer and fold the raspberries into the batter.
- Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter and place the muffin pans in the oven. Bake until very lightly golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out without any batter on it (some fresh raspberry goop is fine).
- Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow the cupcakes to cool completely on the wire rack.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar and the powdered freeze dried raspberries, mixing until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Ice the cupcakes either by hand or using a pastry bag (I decorated these using a star tip with a .63" opening). Serve immediately. Will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.