Raspberry lamington cupcakes

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Lamingtons are one of my favourite treats – I don’t why, but there’s something about a sponge cake coated in jelly and coconut that makes me unbelievably happy. Now I think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like a lamington every now and again – they’re definitely a bit of a Kiwi institution.

For some reason I was madly dreaming of lamingtons on Friday at work – in particular, raspberry ones! I was tossing up making a batch over the weekend, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it… I really wanted to make a special kind of cupcake. Surprisingly, it took me a bit of pondering before I came up with the idea of putting them together.

After deciding to do a raspberry lamington cupcake the rest came easily – fluffy, light vanilla cupcake, filled with a generous helping of raspberry jam, iced with a raspberry jelly buttercream coated in coconut, topped with a swirl of buttercream and finished with a dot of raspberry jam.

Decadent? Check. Sweet? Check. Delicious? Check, check, check!

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Despite sounding like a lot of work, these cupcakes were wonderfully quick to make and decorate.  After baking and cooling the vanilla cupcakes I cored each one, filling them with about a teaspoon of raspberry jam before replacing their tops to seal in the filling and give the cupcakes a clean finish.

Then onto the icing! While there are two variations of buttercream used in this recipe, you can start out by just mixing up one big batch and dividing it out accordingly. After whipping up a big batch of unflavoured buttercream I scooped half a cup out and set it aside for later – that buttercream was for the ‘cream’ swirls atop each cake. I then slowly added raspberry jelly crystals to the buttercream, adding about half a packet all up until the icing had a smooth raspberry flavour. After mixing in a little pink food colouring, I was ready to decorate!

I fitted a decorating bag with a #1A tip – it’s a great big open ended one – and filled it with raspberry buttercream. After piping a mound of icing atop each cupcake I gently rolled the icing in desiccated coconut until, ensuring the icing was evenly coated. Then all you need to do is fit a decorating bag with an open star tip (I used #1M), fill it with the plain buttercream (I added a little whitener to brighten it up) and pipe a wee swirl atop each coconut-covered mound. Finish with a drop of raspberry jam and voila – raspberry lamington cupcakes!

Like a good lamington, these cupcakes went down an absolute treat with everyone who had one. While there’s no denying these are a decadent treat, the flavours are perfectly balanced and the cupcakes are just large enough to leave you feeling content rather than about to fall into a sugar coma! Plus, they look pretty cute to boot – what’s not to love?

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Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Icings & Filling

  • 300g butter, softened
  • 5 – 6 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 – 6 Tbsp milk to thin
  • Packet raspberry jelly crystals
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • Pink food colouring
  • Whitener (optional)
  • Raspberry jam

Method

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add sugar and cream until light and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes)
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together plain and self-rising flour. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in three additions, alternating with milk and vanilla.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners to ¾ full. Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool cupcakes in pan for 15 minutes before placing on rack to cool.

Icing

  1. Beat butter with paddle attachment or wooden spoon until smooth.
  2. Add 3 cups of icing sugar one cup at a time. Mix until well combined and smooth.

If icing is too thin, incrementally add remaining icing sugar until reach desired consistency.
If icing is too thick, add milk by the tablespoon until reach desired consistency

  1. Scoop out ½ cup icing and set aside
  2. Slowly add raspberry jelly crystals to remaining icing, mixing well between each addition. Continue adding crystals until icing has a smooth, raspberry flavour to it (approx. ½ packet)
  3. Add a drop of pink food colouring and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Add a small amount of whitener to plain buttercream you set aside earlier. Mix until well combined.

Assembly

  1. Core each cupcake and fill with one teaspoon of raspberry jam. Replace tops of cupcakes.
  2. Fill a decorating bag fitted with a #1A tip with raspberry buttercream and pipe a mound of icing atop each cupcake. Gently roll icing in coconut until evenly coated.
  3. Fill a decorating bag fitted with a #1m tip with plain buttercream and pipe a small swirl atop each coconut covered mound. Finish with a drop of raspberry jam.

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