As a little girl, I stuck raspberries on the tips of my fingers and popped them into my mouth, one by one. They looked like a cross between bumpy red fingernail polish and Mom’s sewing thimble, although I carefully hid from her while eating my fruit fingers to avoid a lecture on not playing with my food. But she must have smiled at my stained fingernails!
When Safeway advertised a two-for-one on raspberries last week, I grew nostalgic as I picked up a couple cartons. Despite avoiding the strong temptation to stick some on my fingers, I still noticed that a chocolate chip fit perfectly into the hole. And the chocolate-stuffed raspberry nestled beautifully into a mini cupcake tin filled with lemon cake batter. And cream cheese tasted delicious with each individual component, so it was natural to use it as a frosting.
Berry-Surprised Mini Lemon Cupcakes
makes 2 dozen
If you have trouble peeling the cupcake away from the liner, place the unfrosted cupcakes inside of a Tupperware container. After a few hours, the paper will come off much easier!
½ c. cake flour (or ½ c. all-purpose flour + ⅛ tsp cornstarch)
⅓ c. granulated sugar
⅔ tsp lemon zest (about half a lemon)
dash of salt
¼ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
¼ c. milk
1 egg white
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp oil
1 tsp butter, melted and cooled
1-2 tsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
24 chocolate chips
cream cheese frosting
3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 – 1½ c. powdered sugar
- To prepare the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350° and line 24 mini muffin cups with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour through baking soda (first 6 ingredients). In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, milk, and vanilla. Mix in the oil and butter. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet, and finish by mixing in the lemon juice. Add 2 tsp of batter to each muffin cup. (Note: I had no batter left, so don’t take too many taste tests!)
- Place a chocolate chip, tip-side down, into each raspberry. Gently press one filled raspberry into the center of the batter-filled muffin cup. Bake the cupcakes for 20-23 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake part (not the chocolate or raspberry!) comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 min before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the frosting, combine the cream cheese and vanilla. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. If it ever gets too thick, add a little milk to thin it out. Pipe or spread on top of the cooled cupcakes.
Disclaimer: Upon discovering the cupcakes cooling on the counter, my friend gobbled up all but three, generously leaving those for me to frost for photographs. Unless you hide yours, the same thing may happen to you!