Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

What a week! I just started school again–just a couple of pre-req psychology courses for the master’s program I’m applying to. It’s been a while since I’ve been in college and although it hasn’t changed, sure have changed. The topics that seemed so boring and irrelevant to my life are now interesting and relatable. Before, I could easily get by without reading and do fairly well in the class and now I find myself wanting to read the material (despite the thought that some professors seem to think that theirs is the only class you’re taking) and really understand it. On top of all of that, there are new distractions for me that weren’t there before: Facebook, Reddit, the fact that I have a laptop to take to class and be online while class is going on. Hmm…maybe there’s a theme from my last post…

I also get quite excited to tell Matt that we’re going to school together. His preschool is the next block over from my department. I think he’s also excited to know that his mom goes to school just like him. Hopefully I can be an inspiration to him.

So in between reading, studying, and getting back into the swing of college life, I thought some vanilla cupcakes with raspberry frosting would be a nice way to end the first week of school.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

For the cupcakes:
This is the same cupcake recipe that I used for the Snowman cupcakes, but here’s the recipe for your convenience.

2 c. sugar
3 1/2 c. flour
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3/4 c. butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c. whole milk
3 t. pure vanilla extract (I don’t normally use pure, but when vanilla is the star, I tend to use pure)
4 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer until mixture looks sandy/has course crumbles.  Combine the milk and vanilla and add to mixture, mixing at a low speed for 30 seconds.  Then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl.  With the mixer running at low speed, add one egg at a time making sure to incorporate each egg entirely before adding another.  Repeat until each egg is added.  Make sure to scrape the bowl as you go along.  Pour into prepared muffin tin (again, I use my large cookie scoop for this job) and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting:

1 c. (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
16 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries (a little more or less won’t matter)
1 t. lemon juice
4-5 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 T. whole milk, room temperature (optional)
course sugar (optional)
fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)

Put the raspberries in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring with a spoon until they break down into a sauce. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to take out the seeds and then put the seedless sauce back in the pot and simmer until it reduces to about 1/3 cup of liquid. Let it cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, cream butter for about 30 seconds with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add room temperature raspberry sauce, lemon juice, 4 cups of powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and scrape down sides. Taste frosting to see if it’s at desired sweetness. If it needs more sugar, add about 1/3 cup and mix well. To reach desired texture, you can either add more sugar or milk to get it to the thickness you want. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with the course sugar and raspberries.

Frosting recipe adapted from Making Life Delicious

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