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Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

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The berries are coming on strong in the garden, and I just got a shopping bag full of giant Meyer lemons from my in-laws, so I’ll be bringing raspberry lemonade cupcakes to my step-mom’s garden party this evening!  Summer is in full swing, and what could be more delightful than a berry-sweet, and lemony-tart bite of cake with raspberry lemonade buttercream?  Apparently, not much, because these little cupcakes were gobbled up before I could take any good pictures!

Pink lemonade cupcakes have been pretty popular the past few summers, and I find most people use a boxed white cake mix and add frozen lemonade concentrate to flavor it.  My preference is to bake from scratch, so there’s been a fair amount of experimenting happening around here.  I’ve tried lots of variations of cake recipes, mostly white cake with a berry puree and lemon juice added, so this time I started with a lemon cake recipe.  I really like the simplicity of Melissa’s recipe at The Alchemist, so I used her’s as a starting point.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Fresh lemons and good quality raspberries are pretty much essential, and even though I have a great, big berry hedge, I had to still use frozen berries because my kids eat them all so fast!  I like the frozen organic berries from Trader Joe’s.  I’ve mentioned my in-law’s extraordinarily prolific Meyer lemon tree before, and I was once again blessed with a great big bag of orange-sized lemons.

lemon and zest

I used the zest and juice of one of these beauties, which was about 1 heaping Tbs of zest and 1/2 cup of juice.

raspberry lemonade cupcake recipe

1/2 cup of frozen berries, plus about 2 Tbs of water was just enough for the batter.  Puree in the blender, then strain the seeds.  Reserve 1 Tbs of the berry puree for the frosting.

Melting butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then remove from heat.

pink lemonade swirl

Stir in the lemon juice and raspberry puree, then whisk in the sugar until dissolved.  Continue whisking as you add the eggs, zest and yogurt.  Set aside to continue cooling.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.

raspberry lemonade cupcake batter

Whisk together gently until just combined, over mixing can make the cake tough.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350F for about 18  minutes for mini cupcakes and 22 minutes for regular cupcakes, testing for doneness with a toothpick.

The frosting is easy, simply cream 2 sticks of softened butter with 2-3 cups of powered sugar.  When light and fluffy, drizzle in about 1 Tbs of raspberry puree.  Be careful here, too much and the frosting will break!

Pink Raspberry Lemonade Cupcake

I wish I had more pictures of how beautiful these cupcakes were, but you know how it is when you are trying to bake, perfectly pipe frosting, and run out the door with 2 little kids, and still be late to a party?  Ya, that happened, again.  This was actually a leftover cupcake with a tiny bit of raspberry buttercream, I ate it myself the next day while the dog licked his chops!  Maybe I’ll try again…

We’re in between heat waves, so now is a great time to fire up the oven and give these raspberry lemonade cupcakes a try, truly the quintessential summer cake.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
To make the raspberry puree, use ½ cup frozen or fresh berries, and 2 Tbs of water, in the blender. Blend until smooth, then run through a sieve to remove the seeds. Reserve 1 Tbs of the puree for the buttercream frosting.
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup raspberry puree (no seeds!)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking soda.
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs raspberry puree
  1. Preheat the oven 350F
  2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in the lemon juice, raspberry puree and sugar. Dissolve sugar completely
  4. Whisk in the eggs, zest and yogurt. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking soda.
  6. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake for about 18 minted for mini's and 22 minutes for regular cupcakes, checking for doneness with a toothpick.
  8. For the buttercream, cream the softened butter with the powdered sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the raspberry puree.


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