These lemon and raspberry cakes are little packages of pure summery joy. A simple vanilla sponge cupcake is filled with lemon curd and topped with dreamy mascarpone and raspberry cream to create a delicious and easy dessert.
Although incredibly simple, these cakes have a more grown-up vibe than a traditional buttercream cupcake, and they’re much less sickly too! The bright and zingy lemon curd centre cuts the cake’s sweetness and the blends beautifully with the fruity mascarpone topping.
To get the best out of the recipe, you should use homemade lemon curd. One that makes your cheeks pucker and tastes of nothing but the freshest lemons.
I decorated my cakes with a dried lemon slice and a fresh raspberry. Crunchy shards of meringue would also make a great topping. You could also finish them off with a flurry of icing sugar, or freeze-dried raspberry pieces for a fruity crunch.
Little Lemon and Raspberry Cakes
These simple cakes have a bright and zingy lemon curd centre that cuts the cake's sweetness and blends beautifully with the fruity mascarpone topping.
- 125g Soft Unsalted Butter
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 125g Beaten Eggs - room temperature (Roughly 2-3 eggs)
- 125g Sifted Self Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 500g Mascarpone
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract or 1/2 Vanilla Pod Seeds
- 100g Icing Sugar- Sifted
- 100g Fresh Raspberries - gently mashed
- Homemade Lemon Curd. Here is a recipe (Enough to fill each cupcake, around 180g)
Preheat the oven to 140°C/285°F and line a 12 hole baking tray with cupcake cases.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the softened butter with the caster sugar and the vanilla until it is very pale and fluffy. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times during this process to make sure all the butter is mixed properly. (The softer and paler the butter and sugar at this stage the softer your finished cake will be.)
With the mixer running at medium/high speed, add the eggs bit-by-bit, waiting until each addition is incorporated before you add more egg. To avoid splitting at this stage, ensure the eggs are beaten together properly before you start and that they are not cold from the fridge. If the mixture starts to separate and 1 tbsp of the flour and continue with the recipe.
Scrape down the bowl's sides and mix briefly to ensure all the egg is mixed with the butter and sugar.
Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl. Scrape the mixture off the paddle attachment back into the bowl. Add the sifted flour and lemon zest and gently fold it into the butter, sugar and egg mixture until it is just combined. (Be very gentle at this stage as you do not want to activate the flour's gluten structure. Over mixing the cake batter will result in a tight crumb.)
For ease, put the cake mixture in a piping bag and fill each cupcake case until it is 2/3 full. (You may have a little mixture left over- make another few cupcakes with this instead of topping up the others or they will overflow in the oven.)
Place the cupcake tray in the centre of the oven and bake for around 15/20 minutes. Keep an eye on them and turn the tray halfway through if one side is cooking faster than the other.
When the cupcakes are done, they will spring back gently when pressed and should be lightly browned. Leave them on a wire rack to cool.
Carefully cut a 1-inch diameter circle out of each cake and scoop out a little cake to make room for the lemon curd filling. Keep the tops next to each cupcake.
Fill a piping bag with the lemon curd and pipe some into each cake and then replace the tops.
Gently mix the mascarpone with the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla until it is smooth. Only mix until it is smooth as too much mixing will cause the mascarpone to become grainy.
With a spatula, gently fold in the mashed raspberries and use immediately.
Pipe a swirl of the mascarpone topping onto each cake or use a spatula.
Decorate the cakes as desired and enjoy!
- If for some reason you do not eat all of the cakes in one sitting (which always happens in our house) they will need to be stored in the fridge, in a sealed container to prevent the mascarpone from absorbing fridge smells. They will keep for 2/3 days like this, although they are best when eaten fresh.