When I was ready to pop with baby #2, my Dr took me off work and put me on disability because I had contractions every time I stood up. This meant I had several weeks at home with nothing to do. At an earlier point in my pregnancy I made a raspberry cake mix upon my daughter’s request. She was 5 and everything had to be pink or purple. For some strange reason, at that late date in my pregnancy I desperately craved that raspberry cake mix. I think I made it several times. Christmas hit and I wanted to send something in to the people I worked with at the courthouse. I made raspberry cake mix in the shape of stars (I guess I had little star shaped pans I used) and wrapped them in colored cellophane (no frosting) and Mr. MarthaAndMe delivered them. Looking back now I’m pretty appalled that a) I thought store bought raspberry cake mix was good, b) I thought it was good all by itself with no frosting and c) I actually sent it in to people I worked with. I plead pregnancy insanity.
All of that came rushing back to me when I saw the raspberry cupcakes in February Living. These are REAL raspberry cupcakes though- made with real raspberries. Teen Martha is a raspberry fan, so I knew she would enjoy these. I am not such a big raspberry fan. I find the berries too tart and can’t stand all the little seeds, but I do like raspberry flavor.
To make these cupcakes, you puree one carton of raspberries and coarsely chop another. The recipe does call for red food coloring. I debated about this. I really hate food dyes since I don’t want those chemicals going into my body. However, since I planned to give most of these away, I did go ahead and add a little of it.
Martha said these cupcakes would make 2 dozen. I had tons of batter left over. I ended up using some of it in a mini loaf pan and the rest I just dumped. I think you could get almost 3 dozen from this.
The cupcakes did turn out sort of pink. The batter tasted fantastic, but as with many of Martha’s cupcakes, I found the baked cupcake didn’t taste as amazing, although it was still very good. And definitely much better than raspberry cake mix!
Then there was the frosting. I am just about ready to skip all of Martha’s frostings from now on. I don’t know if I just am incapable of making them or what. If you read my recent debacle with the coconut cupcakes, you know I’m already at the breaking point. This one just about put me over the top. The recipe is for a pink buttercream frosting. First you cook egg whites and sugar and salt in a double boiler. You’re supposed to get it to 160 degrees. Mine got to 158 degrees and then immediately fell to 150. I had the heat on high, the water was boiling and I was whisking, but I could not get that temp back up no matter what I did. I gave up on that and went to the mixer stage. You’re supposed to beat this for about 11 minutes to get stiff peaks. I cut this recipe in half and so had a hard time with the mixer since all the egg white stuff just flew to the sides of the bowl and I had to constantly scrape. I let this go for about 14 minutes and then I threw in the towel. No stiff peaks to be seen. I added the butter and some food coloring and it turned out ok.
I frosted the cupcakes and sprinkled with pink sugar. I think they looked pretty. They were pretty good, but I’m not wild with love for them. This is definitely a cute thing to make for Valentine’s Day, so I recommend it for that. And you can feel somewhat righteous since there is actual fruit in the cupcakes!
They look great! I’m with you on Martha’s frostings. I hate cooked frostings because they never turn out. I love Cook’s Illustrated’s easy vanilla buttercream. No cooking. Just butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and cream. It’s the way they whip it that gives it a light airy texture. Works every time.
I need to try that for sure. I’ve got a bday cake to make this week and will try it.
Wow, never even heard of a raspberry cake mix, but shudder to think of what “ingredients” (to use the word loosely) such a thing might contain. But REAL raspberry cake, yum!