Secret Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
3 1/2 c. cake flour
2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 c. sugar
2/3 c. milk
2 1/2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 pints raspberries (fresh or frozen)
3 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. sugar
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 c. powdered sugar (sifted)
2-4 tbsp. cream (if necessary)
Poppy seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two muffin pans by lightly greasing with oil (butter), spraying with non-stick spray, or lining with cupcake liners.
Sift together the flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, salt, and Clabber Girl Baking Soda. Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stop and scrape the bowl and beaters as necessary to ensure even mixing. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds.
Divide the batter evenly in the greased or lined cups. Using your fingers or a spoon, gently push 3 or 4 raspberries into the center of the batter. Smooth the batter over the berries to cover before baking.
Bake for about 22 - 25 minutes, depending on the size of the cupcakes. The cupcakes should spring back when pressed gently with your finger.
Lemon Lovers Glaze (Optional): After cooling for about 10 minutes, gently poke a fork over the surface of each cupcake and brush with the glaze then cool completely.
Frosting: Using a stand mixer or hand held beater, whip the softened cream cheese until smooth, add the powdered sugar, lemon extract, and blend until smooth and creamy. If the frosting is too stiff, add a few tbsp. of cream to make it more spreadable. To garnish, sprinkle with poppy seeds and-or lemon zest.
The secret to these cupcakes-- raspberries baked inside! Both the cake and frosting are tart, sweet and lemony. The burst of color and tartness from the raspberry is welcome and delicious. But if I named them Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes, there wouldn't be any surprise.