Lemoncello. Oh, how I love you. You’re tart and delicious and are perfect in my cupcakes. I’ve been looking all around Germany for Lemoncello liqour, but have failed to find any. Yes, I know I could make my own (thank you to many readers who suggested it to me!), but I just don’t have the patience to wait until it’s ready. I wanted to bake with this delicious liquor ASAP!
While in Italy, I finally found a lemon liquor called Lemoncino and of course brought home a big huge bottle of it. I haven’t even been home for a week and I’ve already come up with the most delicious use for this liqour… cupcakes. Yup, of course… a Lemoncino cupcake paired with a raspberry buttercream. Those two things sound delicious enough by themselves… but you know me, I can’t go simple. I go big. Always.
I made candied lemon zest to go on top. Yeah, I did it. Candied. Lemon. Zest. (You can see how I made the zest HERE.) And with that lemon zest is a fresh red, ripe, local German raspberry. I had my Dad try these cupcakes last night…. he didn’t even make it out of the kitchen before the cupcake was in his belly. Four bites and it was gone! I’m thinking he liked it.
I think this is my new favorite summer cupcake. It really is a perfect combination of sweet and tart with the lemon and raspberry!
- 1 cup flour + 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 large egg whites
- Zest of one lemon
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Lemoncino liquor (Lemoncello works too or any lemon liquor you have)
- 1/2 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening (you could use butter instead, but the shortening adds stability)
- 1lb powdered sugar
- Raspberry syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt at least three times. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup that pours, measure out the milk. Add the egg whites and whisk together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, press the sugar into the zest of the lemon until it's fluffy and full of flavor. Add the butter and mix together on high until smooth.
- Add the Lemoncino to the butter and sugar and continue to mix on high until it lightens in color, about 4 minutes. You really want these ingredients to cream together well.
- Add the flour and the milk alternating, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Mix 20 seconds on medium speed. Do not overmix!
- Divide batter between 12 cupcake cups filling them about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- NOTE: While these are baking would be a perfect time to make the raspberry syrup for your buttercream!
- In a small pot, combine the berries, sugar and lemon.
- Heat until simmering, breaking up the berries with a wooden spoon.
- Simmer for about 7 minutes until the syrup thickens.
- Pour through a strainer to remove the seeds.
- Set aside remaining syrup to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and butter.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
- Add all the raspberry syrup you made earlier to the butter and sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add 2-3 Tbsp of heavy cream until you get your desired consistency.
- Beat on high for 3-4 minutes or until the buttercream has lightened in color and is fluffy and smooth.
- Using a large round tip, pipe circles of buttercream on top of each cupcake.
- Top with candied lemon zest (recipe can be found HERE) and a fresh raspberry.