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lemon raspberry cupcakes

Surprises are funny, you either love 'em or you hate 'em.
Scratch that. That's not true at all.  It just sounded like a good hook for this post.
Personally, I'm in the middle.

Sometimes, I like to be in the know.  For example, I set different ringtones for different people. It takes the anxiety out of texting. I know whether to stop and reach into my bag on a crowded escalator, whether to start whistling and pretend it never went off, or whether to go into full-on panic mode. Do other people do this? Discuss.

filled with raspberry jam

Other times,  I love to be surprised -- like when I bite into one of these seemingly simple cupcakes and discover that they're filled with my favorite raspberry jam.
One thing's for sure, I love to surprise people.  On Friday, I organized a surprise birthday dinner for my friend Erin's 16th birthday.  I told her I wanted to go shopping with her at Bloomies (I bought a pair of shoes for the cause ;) -- but I had actually invited ten of our closest friends for a big surprise dinner at Maggianos. There were a few times that my plan was almost went awry -- like when she suggested we go to the mall instead of Bloomies, when I almost asked her in P.E. class what she was going to wear to her surprise dinner (god Erica...), and when the hostess almost led us to our own table for two at Maggianos.

However in the end, the surprise worked out perfectly, and the look on her face when she saw all of our friends was priceless.

Do you like surprises?
With love,
Lemon Cupcakes:
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and water. Beat for about two minutes until well combined.
Distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
juice of one lemon

Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated.
Finally, mix in vanilla and lemon juice.

To Assemble
Your favorite raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries

Once cool, core each cupcake with an apple corer or a pairing knife.  Fill with raspberry jam.  Frost with lemon cream cheese frosting and garnish with a raspberry.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.


  1. I, personally, usually like surprises. For instance, if someone surprised me with these cupcakes, I would LOVE it. Some surprises stress me out though. :P These do look amazing though! Love that they're flavored with lemon pudding mix! That's really smart. Definitely need to try these - those preserves are the best!
    -Rachel @

    1. Thank you so much Rachel! I love surprises too (sometimes!). I adapted my recipe from my chocolate sour cream cake!

  2. Hahaha I lovee your posts. No, I do not do that thing with different ring tones for different people but I totally should!! Because it makes me feel like an ass when I pull out my phone, look at a message, and don't respond. Stopping at the ring tone would make me feel much better! :)

    And I love surprises! In theory. I was really graceless when my friend threw me a surprise bday party that I sort of knew about (walked into the room whimpering "please don't jump out, please don't surprise me" hahaha). But that is so sweet about your friend's surprise bday dinner and hilarious that you almost spilled the beans! I did a similar thing for my sister and it actually went totally awry since I meant to surprise her at her apartment but she was at school and so all the friends who were meant to surprise her at her apartment instead...surprised her from a really packed car. Ha.

    ps. love the last photo of that cupcake.

    1. Haha you totally should! It has saved me from many awkward situations!

      Hahaha that's so funny about your sister's surprise party -- it's the thought that counts though right?

      And the last photo is my personal favorite, I am obsessed with sun spots!

  3. I tried these yesterday... they were fabulous!! Thanks :)

    1. I'm so glad you liked them! I would love to see how they turned out!

  4. This is great! I am a high schooler who loves to bake as well! Except most of the time I just look at cupcakes online while I am supposed to be learning Biology. I actually have time to cook now, and I would make these, except we don't have any lemon cake mix, or pudding mix.
    The suprise story was really funny because I just threw my best friend a suprise party. But, 2 days before the event she sent out a facebook message asking a bunch of people to come bowling on her birthday! And I had not invited all of them to the party! So, all the people I did invite said that they could not come so she would cancel it. It worked! But, we felt so bad. She had a great party though!

    1. Hahaha I completely sympathize with you. I am ALWAYS on Pinterest looking at cupcakes and such when I am supposed to be studying Chemistry... No way! I am glad your surprise party turned out (although that would be slightly awkward). But nonetheless, that's what high school's for right? Awkward situations that turn out ok in the end ;) Please feel free to shoot me an email anytime, I love to talk to teenage baking bloggers! Also, if you want to send me a link to your facebook profile, I can add you to a fun, teenage baking group that I started.

  5. This is so pretty! I made some raspberry jam last week, found this recipe while searching for a way to "get rid" of them :)

  6. This is so pretty! I just made some raspberry jam last week, found this recipe while trying to "Get rid" of the jam :)

    1. Thank you so much! These would be DELISH with homemade jam! I have yet to make my own jam, but hope to someday!


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