Raspberry-filled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
zest of 1 medium lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, combining well before adding the next egg. Beat in the vanilla paste or extract and lemon zest.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in half the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour. Mix just until combined.

Scoop the batter evenly between each of the muffin cups. Bake for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on a wire rack completely.

Raspberry Filling
Ingredients:
2 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:
Using a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries. Press the puree through a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Pour the puree into a medium saucepan and combine with the sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Let cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, cut a small cone, about an inch in diameter and depth in the top of the cupcake. Slice off all but the top 1/4 inch of the cone. Spoon a bit of the filling into the center of the cupcake and top with the remaining cupcake disc. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
20 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon raspberry liqueur or 1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
red or pink gel food coloring, if desired

Directions:
Beat together the butter and confectioners sugar until smooth. Add in the salt, raspberry liqueur or extract, heavy cream and food coloring. Beat until well-combined.

Spread or pipe the frosting onto cupcakes.
 
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