Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake

People, I have a confession to make.  Being a responsible grown-up is way harder than it looks!  I know this is old news to you amazing folks that have been pulling it off flawlessly for years, but for a newbie to the Grown Up World, I’m still a bit in shock.  Between working a full-time, crazy stressful job, grocery shopping, planning and making relatively nutritious meals, exercising, laundry, ironing and keeping an apartment in semi-presentable shape, how do you find time to do anything else (ahem, keeping up with a blog)?  This specific blog post has been interrupted by at least three of the above mentioned items on five separate occasions.

lemon raspberry cupcakes

And I don’t even have kids!  I don’t know how all you Mommies out there do it.  Consider me amazed.  Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not complaining … merely explaining my too-long-to-mention absence from your email inbox and feed readers.  Let me make it up to you, please?  Will these adorable summery cupcakes do?  These lemon bottomed cupcakes topped with creamy raspberry cheesecake are the summer version of the popular Black Bottom Cupcakes.  Tangy, light and with a perfectly moist crumb these pink and yellow lovelies are a party in your mouth.


I’m not generally a lemon cake fan.  If given the choice between Lemon Chiffon Pie and Death by Chocolate Cake, I think my position is pretty clear.  That being said, this lemon cake is truly revolutionary.  It has the perfect crumb that you usually can only get with a chemically-engineered box mix and is tangy enough to convert even the most dedicated chocolate lover.  It would be wonderful in a layer cake with buttercream frosting or a bundt cake with a light glaze.  Bookmark this recipe for all your lemon loving needs, trust me.

cupcake batter

While these may look terribly impressive, they are incredibly simple to make.  Yes, there are two separate batters, but that is the most complicated part.  Basically fill the muffin tins about half way up with lemon cake and then top with a heaping tablespoon of the raspberry cheesecake filling.  Then bake.  The cake becomes moist and light while the cheesecake topping remains creamy.  It’s essentially a cupcake with a built-in frosting.  Without the mess of frosting, these beauties would be a perfect addition to a summer picnic or cook-out.  Plus they are fast enough for even the busiest of us Grown Ups to whip up in no time.

baked cupcakes


Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream

For the Cheesecake Topping:
8 oz (1 block) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 to 1/4 cup raspberry preserves


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two muffin pans or line with paper liners. Set prepared pan aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
- Beat in the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next one. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- Once all eggs and yolks are combined, add the vanilla and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
- Add the lemon juice. Mix on low speed to combine.
- With the mixer still on low, mix in the dry ingredients in three separate additions. Between each addition of dry ingredients, add half of the sour cream. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stir until fully combined.
- Set lemon cake batter aside and prepare raspberry cheesecake topping.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar. Beat until fully combined. Add salt, vanilla and sour cream. Beat until combined. Wipe down sides of the bowl. Add raspberry preserves and stir to combine.
- Fill each prepared muffin tin 1/2 way with lemon cake batter. Top the lemon cake batter with a heaping tablespoon of raspberry cheesecake topping. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through to ensure even baking.
- Remove cupcakes to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

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18 Responses to “Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake”

  1. 1
    Joanne — May 22, 2010 8:03 pm

    Being a grownup is definitely rough! Unfortunately I’ve chosen blogging over just about everything else…maybe that’s why my apartment looks like a hurricane hit it…hmmm. These cupcakes look fantastic! You are right – so perfect for summer.

  2. 2

    Wow this is such a great idea!!! and the flavour combination is superb! Pretty !! :)

  3. 3
    CaSaundra — May 23, 2010 8:38 am

    Two more years until I enter the “real” big world after college–then I am sure I
    will be feeling the same way! At least you have these glorious cupcakes to cheer
    you up!

  4. 4
    mary — May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

    I am going to try this recipe…sound delicious and attractive without all the decorating mess

  5. 5
    Courtney — May 23, 2010 7:14 pm

    I just made these cupcakes tonight, by far the best cupcakes I have ever made! Absolutely delicious and would highly recommend to anyone! They were also super gorgeous!

    • kate replied: — May 23rd, 2010 7:31 pm

      Courtney — So glad you liked them! They are truly addicting, right?

  6. 6

    what a perfect summer recipe! I need an excuse to make these!!

  7. 7
    Julie — July 3, 2010 3:00 am

    Help! I have made these twice – and both times I end up with big holes in the middle of the cupcakes where the raspberry cheesecake falls to the floor. I tried pre-cooking the lemon batter the second time and they looked great when I took them out, but they still fell as they cooled. :( What am I doing wrong???

    • kate replied: — July 5th, 2010 12:44 pm

      Julie — Fear not, I suspect that you aren’t doing anything wrong! Part of the beauty of the traditional black bottom cupcake is that the cheesecake filling does sink down, almost making a hole in the middle of the cupcake. Take a look at Deb’s version of the original. Frankly, I was surprised that my filling stayed on the top when I made these (if you look at some of the pictures you can see where it started to sink down and they sunk down even more as they cooled). I suspect that part of it had to do with the texture of the lemon cake (it’s dense) and the cheesecake was very light and airy. My suggestion would be to make sure your cheesecake filling has been beaten very well (until it is light and airy). But just remember, they taste just as good with a little sunken middle, right?

  8. 8
    Sophia — September 7, 2010 5:16 pm

    I made these cupcakes today. Amazing! I made a double batch with whole wheat flour. I also used portioned scoops to put the batter into the pan, I found that after your put the batter into the pan, gently slam the pan on the counter to settle the batter evenly. Next I used an exact 1/2 tablespoon scoop of the cheesecake topping and made sure to place it directly in the center of the batter, slightly making an indent for the batter with the scoop as I drop it in. And yes it is a perfect summer recipe!!!

  9. 9
    Marisa — October 8, 2010 7:36 pm

    Hello! I made these and they did come out de-lish but the same thing that happened to Julie happened to me! Also i filled them a bit too much because they over flowed. What size cupcakes are you making? Because i made 32 and like i said they were over filled!

    Still a good recipe and will try it again with the new suggestions! :)

  10. 10
    Rebecca — November 12, 2010 9:02 am

    To those of you with baking woes, do you live at high altitude? This summer I was living above 8000 feet and found my cakes fizzling before my eyes or overflowing their tins. If you do, then this might explain some of the troubles. There are several websites with tips on how to get those cakes to stay upright, and explain the science of ‘why.’

    Can’t wait to try these cupcakes!

  11. 11
    Just Cake Girl — December 28, 2010 10:43 pm

    Very, very cute and i’m sure very, very yummy :) )

  12. Pingback: Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry Curd « Crustabakes

  13. 12
    jennifer — June 21, 2011 2:46 pm

    Could I make this lemon cake mix?? I’m looking for a quick and dirty way to make these for the weekend!

    • kate replied: — June 23rd, 2011 7:02 pm

      Jennifer — I certainly don’t see why not! Cake mixes are always pretty reliable and stand up well to adaptation. Let us know how it turns out!

  14. 13
    Lauren — February 5, 2012 6:06 pm

    Have you ever tried substituting this with All Purpose Flour?

    I am wondering how that would turn out

  15. Pingback: Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake

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