Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream | Sweet Peas & Saffron

Light and airy lemon angel food cupcakes are topped with a seriously delicious fresh raspberry buttercream.

It’s spring!  It’s really, really spring!

Proof: tulips coming up in my garden.  Strawberries are not priced at $18/pint.  There was corn on the cob at the grocery store.  Corn on the cob!

Can you tell I’m excited?  I don’t know about you, but this has been the longest, coldest most bitterly awful winter ever.  I am so done with cold weather and snow {do you hear that, Mother Nature?}

So I am mentally and culinarily {that’s totally a word, right?} moving on from all things cold and winter.

And I’m celebrating with angel food cupcakes.

Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream | Sweet Peas & Saffron

I was initially intimidated by angel food cake.  I have some vague recollection of making one when I was 12 or so.  I think it was for my cat’s birthday.  Oh gosh, did I just admit that?

Well.  That angel food cake wasn’t such a success…it somehow deflated and turned from a fluffy, light cake to a dense, chewy thing.  Poor Boots.

I thought it was worth another try though…because when angel food cake goes right, it goes so right!

Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream | Sweet Peas & Saffron

Ohmygosh these cupcakes went so right…{well, after a few recipe revisions to remedy a sticky, eggy cupcake and then a wonderfully tasting but broken buttercream.  Le sigh}.

The recipe I have for you here today is spring in the form of a cupcake.  The light, sweet, fluffy angel food cupcakes have a lemon zing from the lemon zest I added.  And the raspberry buttercream frosting…gah.  So good.  Tangy, tart and sweet.  Pretty pink perfection.

These angel food cupcakes are somewhat mini {even though they are baked in a standard muffin pan}.  I recommend slathering on the frosting.  As you can see below I have a high frosting:cupcake ratio.  Has anyone ever complained about too much frosting on their cupcake?  Not me 😉

angel food cupcake wm

Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream | Sweet Peas & Saffron

Tips for making perfect angel food cupcakes:

  • use room temperature egg whites
  • make sure your bowl is spic and span, with no water droplets
  • beat the eggs until they are frothy and form soft peaks (that stay up, then ‘melt’ back into the eggs) before adding your salt & cream of tartar  *this is where I was going wrong back in 2012; I was adding the salt too soon.
  • when adding your sugar, add 1-2 tbsp per minute, and stop beating when you can’t feel any sugar granules when rubbing the meringue between your fingers.
  • be gentle when adding vanilla, lemon zest and flour/sugar mixture!  Fold it in with a spatula and go slow.

 More summery treats for us!

3.5 from 2 reviews
Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes
  • 5 egg whites (from medium eggs; at room temperature)
  • pinch salt (large pinch)
  • ¾ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar (67g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cake flour (56g, *fluffed, spooned & leveled*)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (loosely packed)
Raspberry Buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (226g; at room temperature)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (360g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries (at room temperature)
Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, ½ cup sugar and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites on medium high for around 2 minutes, until they are frothy and have loose peaks (will stand for a second and then sink back into the eggs).
  4. Add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar, continue to beat on medium-high for 3-5 more minutes until stiff peaks form (won't sink back into eggs).
  5. At this point, continue beating on medium speed and gradually add the ⅓ cup portion of granulated sugar *by the tablespoon* over a period of 3-5 more minutes. Stop and scrape the sugar/eggs down from the bowl every few minutes.
  6. Once sugar has dissolved completely (check by running meringue between your fingers, if no grains remain, you are done), fold in the vanilla extract followed by the flour/sugar/lemon zest mixture (best to do this in several batches, and *be gentle*)
  7. Spoon mixture into muffin pan lined with muffin papers. The batter will stick out of the top of the muffin papers but it won't overflow while baking. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes, until tops become golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Raspberry Buttercream
  1. Using a mesh strainer and a spoon, mash raspberries against strainer until only seeds remain, collecting raspberry juice below in a bowl. Discard solids and set raspberry juice aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the butter on medium high until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar, starting on low and increasing speed to medium once sugar begins to become incorporated. Beat for 2 or so minutes until all sugar and butter are well combined.
  3. Beat in vanilla and raspberry juice. *your buttercream may look broken but it needs to be beaten for several minutes to completely incorporate the raspberries*
  4. Beat on medium-high for one minute; scrape sides of bowl with spatula and repeat for 5 or more minutes until the color of buttercream is uniformly pink and smooth.
  5. Using an icing bag fitted with the tip of your choice (mine was the wilton 1M), frost your cupcakes!

Angel Food Cupcakes Recipe adapted from food.com

Raspberry Buttercream Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

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