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Lemoncino - Raspberry Cupcakes

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A few years back I found a lemon liquor called Lemoncino; it’s tart and delicious and are perfect in these cupcakes. Yes, a Lemoncino cupcake paired with a raspberry buttercream frosting. Those two things sound delicious enough by themselves… but you know me, I can’t go simple. I think this is my new favorite summer cupcake. It really is a perfect combination of sweet and tart with the lemon and raspberry! I also made candied lemon zest to go on top.

What You Need:

(Makes: 12 cupcakes)

For the Cupcakes:

1 cup of flour

2 tablespoon of corn starch

1 & 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2/3 cup of buttermilk

2 large egg whites

Zest of one lemon

3/4 cup of sugar

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup of Lemoncino liquor (Lemoncello works too or any lemon liquor you have)

For the Raspberry Syrup:

1/2 cup of frozen or fresh raspberries

2 tablespoon of sugar

Juice of one lemon

For the Frosting:

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature

4 tablespoons of vegetable shortening (you could use butter instead, but the shortening adds stability)

1lb of powdered sugar

Raspberry syrup

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream

*Garnish: candied lemon zest, optional

12 Fresh Raspberries, optional

What to Do:

STEP 1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan with 12 liners.

STEP 2) In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt at least three times. Set aside.

STEP 3) In a measuring cup that pours, measure out the buttermilk. Add the egg whites to the measuring cup and whisk together. Set aside.

STEP 4) In the bowl of a stand mixer, press the sugar into the zest of the lemon until it's fluffy and full of flavor. Add the butter and mix together on high until smooth. Add the Lemoncino to the butter and sugar and continue to mix on high until it lightens in color, about 4 minutes. You really want these ingredients to cream together well.

STEP 5) Add the flour and the buttermilk to the mixer alternating, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Mix 20 seconds on medium speed. Do not over mix!

STEP 6) Divide the batter between 12 cupcake cups filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 17 to19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

STEP 7) Make the Raspberry Syrup: in a small pot, combine the berries, sugar and lemon. Heat mixture until it’s simmering, breaking up the berries with a wooden spoon. Simmer for about 7 minutes until the syrup thickens.

STEP 8) Pour the syrup through a strainer to remove the seeds. Set aside remaining syrup to cool.

STEP 9) Make the Raspberry Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and butter. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth. Add all the raspberry syrup you made earlier to the butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream until you get your desired consistency. Beat on high for 3 to 4 minutes or until the buttercream has lightened in color and is fluffy and smooth.

STEP 10) Assemble the Cupcakes: Using a large round tip, pipe circles of buttercream on top of each cupcake. Top with candied lemon zest, if using and a fresh raspberry.

STEP 11) Enjoy!

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