Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry and White Raspberry Cupcakes

 A few weeks ago my friend at school, Courtney, celebrated her birthday. A birthday that started a new decade, so kinda a big deal, right? And she's just an awesome person so we threw a small party after school to surprise her. And I made cupcakes, obvs. When I asked her what kind of flavors she wanted, she started telling me about these white cupcakes with raspberry filling and raspberry frosting she had at a shower (baby or bridal...I can't remember). So I searched for a white cake recipe.

In searching for this recipe, I chatted quite a bit with my friend Amy who also bakes crazy delicious treats. And she also just celebrated a birthday. She's the amazing kind of person who makes homemade, from scratch cupcakes for all her coworkers. She clearly needed delicious homemade cupcakes and a small party to celebrate her birthday.  She was interested in the cupcakes I made for Courtney but wanted a chocolate cake. Easy. I used The Cupcake Projects Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe which I've shared previously.

So I now bring to you: the moistest white cake filled with fresh raspberry purée and topped with the creamiest raspberry cream cheese frosting and the richest chocolate cake filled with fresh raspberry purée and the creamiest raspberry buttercream. Ta-da!

The filling and frosting will make enough for 18 cupcakes. Which is perfect for the chocolate cupcake recipe, but the white cake yields between 26-36, depending on how you fill your liners.

Also, the white cake utilizes a box mix. Say what?!? I know. I'm not normally that kind of gal. But the reviews for this recipe were outstanding, and even though you are using a box mix, you're not actually making a box cake. So much more goes into it that I think we can let the semi-home made part slide, right?  Right.  But if you really want to do it all yourself, try this recipe for a white cake mix from Chickens in the Road. I haven't tried it this way, but probably just make sure you have 18.25 ounces of mix when your done.

And most importantly, I think the secret for the awesome cupcakes is sour cream. They both have it. Full fat is probably the way to go, but I already had reduced fat sour cream in the fridge and I think it worked out just fine. And, IMHO,  it never hurts to save on some calories as long as flavor isn't sacrificed.

Reminder: one batch of filling and frosting will be enough for 1 batch (around 18 cupcakes) of either (not both) recipes.

Get the chocolate cupcake recipe here.

First, make the filling. It needs to set up over night, so do it at least 1 day ahead of time.

Raspberry Filling

2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed (with 1/4 cup sugar if they are not already sweetened)
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups water/liquid*
3-4 tablespoons of corn starch (if you plan on blending the berries up, I suggest leaning towards 3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. After berries are thawed, *measure out the berry juice into a measuring cup. Add water up to the 1 1/4 cup line.

2. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar and corn starch. Stir in liquid and the lemon juice and heat over medium high heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Immediately remove from heat.

3. Add berries to the thickened sauce and stir together well to combine. You can stop here and use this to fill your cupcakes...

4. ...or you can purée the mixture in a blender, food processor, or using an immersion blender (my blade of choice) and strain the mixture through a small to medium mesh sieve to help remove some of the seeds (straining will greatly reduce the number of seeds but some will still sneak in).

5. Store in an air tight container in the fridge at least overnight. The purée will thicken even more as it cools.

Note: the first time I made this filling, I used 3 tablespoons of corn starch but felt that it didn't set up enough to fill cupcakes. This maybe had to do with using the immersion blender, which I think may have broken up some of the thickening bonds from the pectin in the fruit. The second time I made it, I used 4 tablespoons of corn starch and blended only until just puréed and I liked the consistency a lot better.

Next, make the cupcakes. Below, I'm sharing the white cake recipe I used for Courtney's cupcakes. You can find the chocolate recipe I used here.

White Cupcakes (yields around 24-36...I got 26)

1  box white cake mix (16.25-18.25 ounces, depending on what your store carries. The original recipe calls for 18.25oz but I could only find 16.25oz so it's what I used and it turned out fine)
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners. You'll need between 24-36 liners.

2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk to combine the cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt.

3. Add the remaining ingredients (water, oil, vanilla, sour cream, and egg whites). Start mixing on low until all the dry ingredients are wet, then increase speed to medium and mix for about 2 minutes - until everything is well combined.

4. Fill cupcake liners to about 2/3 full ( for me this was 26 cupcakes) and bake for 15 minutes (rotating after 10 if you need to). Check for done-ness with a toothpick - it should come out clean or only with a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Bake at 1 minute increments until done if needed.

5. Let cool for a minute or two in the pan, then immediately transfer to a baking rack to cool.

6. Once cool, fill the cupcakes (reserve 1/4 to 1/2 cup filling for the frosting). Core each cupcake, saving the tops. Add about 2 teaspoons of filling to each cake (don't fill to the very top, but close to it).  Slice off the bottoms of the saved tops, and re-top the cupcakes.  Either eat the cupcake middles or toss them out or turn them into cake balls with any extra frosting.

Finally make the frosting and frost the cupcakes.

 Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting


Cream cheese, 8 ounces, at room temperature
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1/4 to 1/2 cup raspberry filling from the above recipe
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, more or less


 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the block of cream cheese. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time until they are completely creamed together.

2. Add 1/4 cup of raspberry filling, cream to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix.

3. Add one cup of powdered sugar, mix to combine. Add second cup of powdered sugar and mix to combine.

4. Give it a taste test, add more raspberry purée to taste. Add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency. Thin the frosting with milk (1 tablespoon at a time) if you want a thinner texture.

5. Mix in high until light and fluffy.

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. You can make pretty swirls using the Wilton 1M tip or dainty ruffles using the 104 tip. Then sink your teeth into the most delectable cupcakes your taste buds have ever encountered.

 Filling recipe slightly adapted from Tidy Mom
Cake recipe from Recipe Girl


  1. I am going to make these this weekend for a birthday dinner.

  2. After reading the recipe, I was wondering about the frozen unsweetened raspberries. Your recipe says to add 1/4 cup sugar with the unsweetened raspberries and then 1/3 cup sugar to create the thickened sauce part. So, I guess I am wondering if you could just use 1/2 to 5/8 cup sugar total and eliminate the 1/4 cup. Or do you need the 1/4 cup sugar to draw out the juices for the liquid portion?