These Raspberry Lemon Poke Cupcakes are moist lemon cupcakes infused with sweet raspberry gelatin and topped with decadent raspberry buttercream. They are the perfect dessert for Spring and Summer.
I get excited at the idea of anything raspberry-lemon. It’s a flavor combination that just won’t quit! The sharp, tangy taste of the lemon perfectly contrasts with the sweet, fruity flavor of raspberries.
Whether these bright flavors are served in a cocktail, swirled into ice cream, or baked into a fabulous dessert, they are a match made in heaven!
Today, I’m serving up the latest result of my obsession with this duo: Raspberry Lemon Poke Cupcakes. Tender lemon cupcakes moistened with nostalgic (and delicious) raspberry gelatin and topped with smooth raspberry buttercream? What’s not to love?!
What is a Poke Cake?
That, my friends, is a good question. Poke cakes are just cakes that have had several holes poked into them, and some form of sweetened liquid poured in. Often, the liquid is a gelatin-based sauce. The drizzle seeps into the holes and saturates the interior of the cake. The result is a tender cake with a sweet, moistened center.
How to Make Lemon Cupcakes
- PREP THE BATTER- Before starting, I’d recommend measuring, sifting, and organizing your ingredients. Preheat the oven, and prepare the muffin tins while at it! From there, it’s mostly just adding and mixing until a batter forms. Don’t overmix!
- FILL THE LINERS- Use a cookie scoop or a large spoon to fill each liner, stopping at ¾ of the way full. Depending on your tin, you’ll get about 24-30 cupcakes. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean. I’d start checking at the 15-minute mark.
- BAKE + COOL- After they’ve been removed from the oven, allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin itself for 5-10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
How to Make Poke Cake with Raspberry Gelatin
This is the easiest part of the recipe! All you have to do is whisk together the dry raspberry gelatin mix with a cup of boiling water. Allow that mixture to cool while you whip up the buttercream.
TIP: I’d only poke about 3-4 holes per cupcake. I used a tablespoon of liquid per cupcake, but you can adjust that measurement to your liking. Start with a teaspoon, cut one open, and decide if you’d like to add more or less.
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
I highly recommend using a stand mixer or hand mixer for this part. The butter and sugar need to beat at a consistent medium speed for a few minutes to achieve that light, creamy texture.
For the best result, make sure to use room temperature butter. If it’s cold, it won’t combine with the sugar, but a thick frosting won’t form if it’s too warm.
Taste the frosting as you go, adding more raspberry puree, vanilla, or sugar to suit your taste. If not frosting right away, cover and refrigerate the buttercream until you’re ready.
Cupcake Baking Tips and Tricks
- Measure the Flour Correctly! The most common mistake made in cupcake baking is adding too much flour. Use the spoon and level method for consistent, exact results. Fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- Use Good Vanilla. You can use cheap flour, sour cream, milk, and even butter but you just have to use good vanilla for this recipe. Good quality vanilla is fresher, more aromatic and flavorful.
- Completely Cool Before Frosting. If you try to frost your cupcakes while they’re still warm, the frosting will melt, and you’ll have a soupy-sticky mess. Allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before smothering them with frosting.
- Decorating cupcakes is easy! Kick it old school, spread the frosting by hand, or use a piping bag fitted with a frosting tip. Alternatively, a zip-top bag with one of the corner tips cut will work.
How to Store Cupcakes
Let’s not waste good raspberry lemon poke cupcakes y’all! Store your leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Past that they’ll begin to dry out and lose their yumminess.
I love to use my Sweet Creations by GoodCook cupcake carrier. Easy to use, super secure, and features a reversible base for simple serving, this is seriously the Cadillac of carriers. If you don’t already have one in your kitchen, I recommend getting on that ASAP.
Can you Freeze Cupcakes with Frosting?
Unfrosted lemon poke cupcakes can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Frosted cupcakes can also be frozen, but it will depend on the frosting and toppings used. Whipped cream, cookie pieces, and sugar sprinkles are just a few examples of things that won’t freeze well.
To freeze Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes, place them into an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours. Wrap each cupcake in two layers of plastic wrap and place them back in the container or in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for 4-6 weeks. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
My favorite cupcake recipes
I love baking cupcakes! There’s just something really nostalgic and super fun about it. If you agree, try out a few more of Grandbaby Cakes’ best cupcake recipes:
- Carrot Cupcakes
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Best Lemon Cupcakes
- Lemon Cupcakes with Mojito Frosting
- Vanilla Cupcakes
Raspberry Lemon Poke Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Poke Liquid
- 1 package of raspberry gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
For the Raspberry Buttercream
- 7 cups confectioner's powdered sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 tbsp raspberry puree add 1 cup of raspberries to a heavy duty blender or food processor to puree then sieve to remove seeds
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- raspberries for garnish
For the Lemon Cupcakes
- Start by preheating your oven to 325°F then place paper liners in 2 12-cup muffin pans.
- In your mixer bowl, add oil and butter and beat for 2 minutes on high speed. Slowly add in sugar and beat on high speed for an additional 4-5 minutes until very pale yellow and fluffy. Next, add eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.
- Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed, and slowly add flour into batter in two increments then add baking powder, salt and baking soda. Be careful not to over beat.
- Lastly, add sour cream, milk, lemon zest, lemon and vanilla extracts, scrape down sides and mix until just combined and turn off the mixer.
- Evenly pour batter into prepared muffin pan liners filling three-quarters of the way full. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 17 to 19 minutes or until completely set in the center. Let cool completely.
For the Raspberry Poke Liquid
- In a small bowl, combine the raspberry gelatin mix and boiling water. Whisk until combined. Let cool while you make the buttercream.
- Poke about 3-4 holes in each cupcake using a toothpick. Carefully pour a tablespoon of the liquid over the top of each cupcake.
- Allow the liquid to seep in. Proceed with frosting.
For the Raspberry Buttercream
- Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Add the confectioners' sugar and butter and mix on low speed, increasing the speed to medium-high once the sugar is fully incorporated. Continue to mix until light and fluffy.
- Add the raspberry puree, vanilla extract, and salt and beat until the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Once the cupcakes have been cooled completely and topped with the poke liquid, frost them with buttercream.
- Garnish with raspberries and serve.