Makes 22-24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour **
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. Add the vanilla to the milk in a liquid measuring cup. Add one third of the dry ingredients followed by one third of the milk, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add the last third of the dry ingredients followed by the last third of the milk, mixing slowly until well incorporated.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled completely make a hole in the center of the cupcake for the raspberry filling. You can cut a hole with a small paring knife, but my favorite way to do this is with an apple corer. Make sure not to go the whole way through the cupcake. You can replace the 'cap' back on the cupcake if you want. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Your cupcakes are now ready to fill!
** These cupcakes can be made Gluten Free by using 2 1/2 cups high-quality Gluten Free Flour Mix. I use Gluuteny Basic Flour Mix from Gluuteny.
8 oz frozen raspberries, thawed
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Drain the thawed raspberries, reserving the liquid in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough water to equal 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix well. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Stir the raspberries into the cooled mixture. (Depending on the texture you want you can smash the berries or leave them whole. You can also strain through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds if desired.) Transfer to the refrigerator to chill. It will thicken as it chills.
** I like to make the filling the night before so it's ready when I am.
When the cupcakes are ready to fill remove the 'cap' of the cupcake. Using a small spoon, fill each cupcake with some raspberry filling. Replace the 'cap' if desired.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I prefer European butter)
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3-4 tsp very hot water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the salt to the confectioner's sugar. On low speed, gradually add 1/2 of the powdered sugar mixture to the butter. Slowly add the milk and vanilla extract. Add the remaining confectioner's sugar and beat until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer on medium-high speed and beat until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Sift the cocoa powder over the frosting and beat on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Gradually add the hot water (to activate the cocoa flavor) being careful not to add so much that the frosting becomes too wet. Continue beating the frosting for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Swirl frosting onto cupcake and enjoy!