Raspberry Cupcakes

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My Raspberry Cupcakes are so fun and colorful — but the flavor is all berry! With just a dash of peach nectar to bring out the natural sweetness of the berries, my recipe for raspberry sauce is swirled right into a simple batter for a marvelous mix of raspberry and very raspberry. Be sure to bookmark this recipe for whenever your fruity cravings kick in!

titled Raspberry Swirl Cupcakes


Raspberry Cupcakes

There are two reasons why these cakes come out so decadent and certifiably delicious: the yogurt in the batter, and sweetened, reduced raspberries swirled all throughout! 

The buttercream frosting is just a little bit of showing off… It’s tangy, it’s rich, and it ties the whole dessert together!

I have a theory that raspberries go with basically everything. Hot chocolate, lemonade, oranges… I haven’t met a recipe with raspberries that I haven’t loved!

Are you finding yourself in a real summer baking kick? Me too! Try my lime-tastic margarita and strawberry brownie cupcakes next.

ingredients for raspberry cupcakes

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions 

  • Raspberries – Ripe raspberries are just a little soft, pleasantly plump, and a rich, deep color.

    Did you know that raspberries don’t continue to ripen after they’re picked? It’s a really fun family activity to go and pick them at a nearby farm! 
  • Peach Nectar – The purpose of the nectar is to add brightness, sweetness, and acidity. You’re free to use other fruity nectars if you want to.
  • Raspberry Yogurt – This adds moisture and more berry flavor to the raspberry cupcakes batter.

    You’re free to try other fruit-flavored yogurts: peach, blueberry, strawberry, etc. 
  • Raspberry Extract – I use a bit of extract to add berry flavoring to the buttercream! Otherwise, you can leave it out for a purely vanilla frosting. 
  • Half & Half – Both regular milk and heavy cream can be used as substitutes in the buttercream.

    Milk will make the frosting thinner and lighter, while heavy cream will make it thick and rich. 
mixing batter for raspberry cupcakes

How to Master My Recipe for Raspberry Sauce

  • You can use fresh or frozen berries.

But here’s the thing — you should thaw any frozen fruit before you try to make a sauce with it! 

Otherwise, it will release a whole ton of water as it melts in the pan. That’ll make the process take longer and can mess with the other ingredient measurements.

  • Wait for the sauce to really thicken and chill before using.

The reduction needs to simmer for at least 10 minutes to really thicken into a luscious sauce. Wait until the mixture is reduced by half to strain it.

Afterward, the sauce needs about 45 minutes in the fridge to cool, so make sure you’re giving yourself enough time if you’re making these raspberry cupcakes on a deadline!

That being said, you can easily make the sauce the day before — it keeps really well in the fridge.

  • Try it with other fruit!

My recipe for raspberry sauce is very versatile! Most any fruit can be cooked down and sugared-up to make a ridiculously delicious reduction like this one. 

So while I really recommend you go with raspberries for my raspberry cupcakes, you can use this technique again and again with seasonal produce.

cooking raspberries down

Storing Leftover Raspberry Cupcakes

Because of the buttercream frosting, raspberry cupcakes need to be refrigerated. They’re best eaten within 4 days. 

You can extend their lifespan by not frosting the cakes you don’t plan on eating within that timespan – the frosting lasts up to a week in the fridge.

The baked cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 3 months unfrosted. Thaw, frost, and enjoy later on!

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Cupcake Liners are always helpful when you’re making cupcakes at home! 
  • Electric mixer – Use a handheld or stand mixer to make the batter and buttercream.
  • Muffin Pan – Silicone is a great non-stick option, but a standard metal pan helps muffins and cupcakes to brown evenly all the way around.
  • Plastic Wrap is my secret weapon for piping multicolored icing!
adding raspberry sauce to batter in muffin pan

Raspberry Cupcakes Recipe FAQ

What is the secret to super moist cupcakes?

The secret to a moist cupcake is adding dairy to the batter. It’s as simple as that!

I use yogurt here, but you can also use mayonnaise or sour cream. I’ve had success with both!

How do you fill cupcakes?

This raspberry cupcakes recipe doesn’t include a filling, but there’s no reason why you can’t double my recipe for raspberry sauce to use inside as well!

I have a more thorough walkthrough in some of my filled cupcakes recipes, but basically, you’ll need to use a corer to remove the center of each treat and spoon in the sauce. 

Frost and decorate as normal, and you’ll have a perfect filled cupcake ready for snacking!

Why is my buttercream runny?

It’s possible that some of your ingredients were too warm. Did the butter get too melty? Was the half & half too warm? 

Try fixing your runny frosting by chilling it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes until it starts to harden. You can also thicken it by adding extra powdered sugar, but that makes it very, very sweet.

closeup of swirled icing and fresh raspberry on raspberry cupcakes

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swirled icing and fresh raspberry on raspberry cupcakes

raspberry cupcakes with swirl icing

Raspberry Cupcakes Recipe with Buttercream Frosting

Donna Elick
Raspberry Cupcakes are gorgeous and gushing with berry flavor! Try my go-to recipe for raspberry sauce with these spectacular swirl goodies!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 12


Raspberry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, plus 12 extra berries to decorate
  • 5 tablespoons peach nectar


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup raspberry yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract, optional, for flavor
  • 5 or 6 tablespoons of the reserved Raspberry Sauce
  • Freeze-dried Raspberries to decorate, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Prepare the raspberry sauce: combine sugar, raspberries and peach nectar in a small saucepan, over medium low heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often and crushing berries with a large fork. When the mixture has thickened, (reduced by half) proceed to step 3.
  • Strain the thickened raspberry mixture through a wire sieve into a small bowl, pressing the pulp with the back of a spoon. Discard solids and chill the sauce.
  • Prepare the cupcakes: Cream together the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each addition and scraping the bowl to ensure everything gets mixed in.
  • Add the yogurt and vanilla, and blend in. Then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes, until well combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, fill each cup 2/3 full.
  • Add the chilled raspberry sauce to the cupcakes by making a small well in the center of each cupcake, and adding a small amount of the sauce. Then swirl each one with a toothpick or butter knife. Reserve 5 or 6 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce for the frosting.
  • Bake for 19-24 minutes, until golden or until a toothpick comes out clean (check them at 15 minutes). Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool. Trim edges if necessary.
  • Meanwhile prepare the buttercream frosting: In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and pale (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing for a minute each time, and scraping the bowl. Add the half & half, vanilla and raspberry extract, and mix for another minute.
  • Remove half of the frosting and put it into a separate small bowl. Add the 5 or 6 tablespoons of reserved raspberry sauce to the remaining frosting in the mixer. Mix for two minutes, scraping the bowl.
  • Place a square sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, and spoon two rows of the white and pink frosting, side by side. Roll the frosting together in the plastic wrap, snip off the end of the plastic wrap to expose one end of the frosting, and place that end down into a frosting bag. Use your favorite piping tip.
  • Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes, in a round motion, forming swirling layers of frosting on the cupcakes. The frosting should come out of the piping tip half white and half pink. Top each with a fresh raspberry, and a sprinkling of freeze-dried raspberries if desired.

Donna’s Notes

Half and half is an American dairy product. It contains half cream and half milk. You can also substitute all heavy cream or all milk for this recipe. The heavy cream will make it a little thicker and richer, the milk will make it thinner and lighter.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 605cal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 192mg | Sugar: 70g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Raspberry Cupcakes -pin

Originally published July 2023

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  1. 5 stars
    Donna and Chad’s Raspberry Cupcakes are a flavor explosion! Making them was a breeze and the result was pure bliss. Highly recommend!

  2. 5 stars
    wow! Donna’s Raspberry Cupcakes were a breeze to make! I added a splash of lemon juice to the frosting for a tangy twist, and it was fantastic!

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