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Lemon Baby Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

mini Lemon cupcakes topped with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

We have quite alot to celebrate here today. At the the tippy-top of the list is the birthday of our youngest, Tessa.

She is sweetness.

She is sparkle.

She is pure joy.

And today she turns six.

a girl with two horse figurines

Until Tessa grows into the job of her dreams of being a real cowgirl, she is making do with miniature stables and dozens and dozens of toy horses. I don’t know how she does it, but all the horses have their own special name and she never forgets a one.

a mini cupcake with a pink candle

Tessa loves any kind of lemon desserts. And she adores raspberries, especially when they’re fresh picked from our yard. She is the one that will stick it out with me in the raspberry patch until the very last berry is picked. Her company is bubbly and chattery, rich with humming and singing, and best of all…full of big squeezing lingering hugs. This girl’s warm presence can turn any cloudy day into sunshine.

So these sunshiny Lemon Baby Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream is what we came up with to celebrate her special day. They are perfectly Tessa.

a lemon cupcake sliced in half

The little cakes are super moist and bright with lemon flavor, and when bitten into, reveal a hidden fresh raspberry inside. Tessa thinks that’s just the neatest thing! Topped with a swirl of fresh raspberry buttercream (with no artificial color or raspberry flavor!), these are one sweet little treat.

top view of raspberry frosted cupcakes

The other event we’re celebrating today is the blogiversary of a farmgirl’s dabbles. Three years, my friends! That’s alotta butter and flour! Be sure to stay tuned later this week for an awesome giveaway to keep the celebrating going! 

Mini Lemon cupcakes topped with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Lemon Baby Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 20 minutes
total time: 50 minutes
The little cakes are super moist and bright with lemon flavor, and when bitten into, reveal a hidden fresh raspberry inside.
5 Stars (1 Review)


  • 3.5 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2.25 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2.5 c. sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 5 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T. finely grated lemon peel
  • lemon yellow food coloring if desired, to enhance the yellow color
  • 1.5 c. buttermilk
  • about 50 fresh raspberries

for the fresh raspberry buttercream


for the lemon baby cakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • A couple notes: I prefer to use flexible silicone mini muffin pans with no paper liners for this recipe, but you can also prepare metal mini muffin pans with paper liners. Also, I found that there are different sized mini muffin pans out there, so your yield and baking time may vary a bit. The silicone pans I used yield a little bigger mini cupcake than others, which I also happen to like.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then the lemon juice, lemon peel, and food coloring. Batter may look curdled, but that's just fine. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, in 3 additions. Place about 1 tablespoon of batter into bottom of each cupcake hole. Place 1 fresh raspberry on top of the batter, in the center. Cover raspberry with more batter, about 3/4 full.
  • Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean. This took about 20 minutes for me, but it will depend on the size of your tins, so pay close attention to your baking time. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely before adding frosting.

for the fresh raspberry buttercream:

  • Cook the raspberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until the raspberries are broken down into a sauce. Set a fine mesh strainer lined with 2 layers of cheese cloth and set over a bowl. Pour the raspberry sauce over the cheese cloth to remove the seeds. Gather up the ends of the cheese cloth and press out all the raspberry juice with the back of a spatula. You should be able to get at least a half cup of juice from this amount of berries, but I can usually press out almost 3/4 of a cup.
  • Pour the raspberry juice back in the pot. Simmer until the juice reduces to a 1/4 cup. It will be a very rich red and concentrated sauce. Set aside to cool completely.
  • With a mixer, cream the butter with a paddle attachment on medium high speed about 2 minutes, until lightened in color and a bit fluffy.
  • Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, the 1/4 cup of cooled raspberry sauce, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Mix until smooth. Add another 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If you want the frosting less stiff, add some milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. I did not add any milk to mine, and thought it was perfect for piping.

to assemble the lemon baby cakes with fresh raspberry buttercream:

  • Fit a pastry bag with a medium star tip (I used a Wilton #21) and pipe the frosting onto your baby cakes.


Adapted from the fabulous Lime Baby Cakes and Fudgy Spring Brownie Bites.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 169kcal Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 2g Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 83mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

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77 comments on “Lemon Baby Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream”

  1. I was wondering about how long you reduce the raspberry juice to make it thicker like a syrup? I had mine on the stove for quite some time and I got the deep red color but it was still thin. It made the frosting turn out with a weird texture.

    1. It does take awhile, Erin. I make sure that I squeeze every bit of raspberry juice out of the berries, aiming for that 3/4 cup of juice that’s listed in the recipe. Then after I can see that the juice has reduced considerably, I just pour the raspberry liquid into a liquid measure 1 to 2 times until I get the desired 1/4 cup of reduced juice. It should be super dark red and a bit thickened. I’ve made this frosting many times and it always turns out great – I hope you’ll give it another try!

  2. Just made these and will be making them again soon. The frosting is probably the best i have ever had. Its so flavorful and not sickly sweet like many icings. Then you add it to the lemon cakes and the combo its amazing. :)