Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hey lovely friends. How’s things?

I hope you have all enjoyed your week. I know I said I would be sharing my cake road trip misadventures with you this week, but life got a bit busy so I will have to keep you in suspense a little bit longer.

In the meantime, I have the most delicious Lemon & Raspberry cupcake recipe to share with you.

I made these for a sweet lady’s 99th birthday. She is pure delight. As sharp as a tack, lives on her own and her house is spotless. She tells me she is ‘blessed every day’ and her face literally beams with joy. I know I could take a few pages out of her life book. I walked away wondering how life gets so complicated, burdened and busy that we struggle just to appreciate the simple joys of being alive. What a legend. I am already lined up to do her 100th birthday cupcake catering next year. Bring it on!

Looking back on this week I couldn’t help but shake my head in wonder at the chaos surrounding my every day (and at one point highly envied sweet Elsie living in her beautifully ordered home, alone in peace and quiet). I know I am not the only one living in marvellous mayhem, and hopefully not the only one whose nemesis threatens to unravel the natural order and disrupt world peace. I am of course speaking of school socks.

I had two weeks to wash all the school socks and I still don’t have them organised. They finally got washed this week and are in a basket waiting for me to pair up and throw towards any school age children who happen to walk past. All 139 of them. (Socks, not children, although it does often feel like I have that many).

SO, the sweet treasures went to school all week with the wrong socks on and notes written to ward off any uniform patrol officers. To top it off, I got a phone call yesterday from the school asking if ‘She who must not be named’ had a note for her incorrect socks, which of course forced me to throw myself under the bus and fess up that it was all my fault, only to pick up said child from the bus when I noticed that she had her correct socks on after all (insert eye roll). Yes my friends, earth shattering.

Aaahh dear. Speaking of perfect housewife goals, I couldn’t believe my luck this week when I found a complete set of the whole original ‘Bewitched‘ series on DVD at the op shop. Do you remember delightful Samantha and adoring Darrin in their cute 1960’s suburban home? Oh the memories of coming home from school to watch ‘Bewitched’ and ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ on the telly.  

Oh my beating heart! Watching this show again as an adult, I am relishing in the retro gorgeousness of it all and simplicity of the times. Oh, and yes, being able to clean up the kitchen with a cute wiggle of the nose does make domestic life more appealing. But it’s just all so adorable! Samantha’s dresses, her kitchen, her hairstyle! Oh take me back. 

Anyway, let’s just pretend we are all perfect housewives who want to whip up a delicious batch of tasty lemon and raspberry cupcakes to delight our hubbies when they get home from work. Aprons on ladies! 

The combination of lemon, raspberry and coconut makes for a light, aromatic cupcake that has Summer fun written all over it. A tasty lemon and coconut cupcake full of fresh raspberries and a zesty lemon curd piped into the centre, with raspberry coulis Swiss meringue buttercream piped generously on top. Super easy and full of flavour. (In this batch I didn’t put raspberries into the cupcakes,  but have written it into the recipe.)

My favourite lemon curd  recipe is from Donna Hay, but you can use store bought curd if you wish. (Although we all know that Samantha would always make her own curd.)

Lemon & Raspberry Cupcakes

A summery lemon coconut cupcake filled with zesty lemon curd and topped with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.
Servings 18 cupcakes


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups plain (or gf) flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  • 2 punnets fresh raspberries (or frozen equivalent)
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon curd

Raspberry Swiss meringue Buttercream

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 300 grams butter, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • pink food colouring (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Line two muffin trays with 18 cupcake liners
  • In a medium bowl using a hand whisk, mix together eggs, oil, sour cream, vanilla and warm water.
  • In another bowl, sift flour, bicarb soda and baking soda.
  • Rub lemon zest into sugar until fragrant. Add to flour mix.
  • Add coconut. Hand whisk until well combined.
  • Pour wet mix into dry mix and whisk together until well combined.
  • Scoop into cupcake liners until each is 2/3 full.
  • Put 4 or 5 raspberries into each cupcake. Try to avoid putting them in the middle as you will be scooping out the centre.
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 18 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool on wire rack.
  • When cupcakes are cool, use an apple corer to remove the centres of each cupcake.
  • Put lemon curd into a piping bag and squeeze into each hole.
  • Pipe cupcakes with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream. Top with a fresh raspberry and shredded coconut.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • The first thing to do is simmer the raspberries with a squeeze of lemon juice until it makes a mooshy compote, approx 15 min. Set aside to cool completely. Strain seeds through a seive until you have pure juice. Set aside.
  • Take the bowl of an electric mixer and put in egg whites and sugar. Hand whisk to combine.
  • Set bowl on top of a saucepan with an inch of water in the bottom, like a double boiler. Keep on medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. You can tell when it has dissolved by rubbing it between your fingers.
  • When sugar syrup is ready, put mixer bowl onto the mixer stand and whisk on high until stiff meringue forms, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn mixer onto low and add butter, two cubes at a time. Do this until all the butter is used.
  • Keep the mixer on low and watch until all butter is mixed through. The buttercream will look soupy, then curdled like scrambled eggs before turning into a beautiful, silky smooth buttercream. This process takes about 15 minutes, so be patient.
  • When it looks like buttercream, add vanilla and raspberry coulis. Add pink gel colouring if desired. Pipe onto cupcakes.

As I sit here finishing off my post, it is after 8:00am Saturday morning. I have been up since 2:30 at the hospital with one of my wee lambs who needed emergency medical attention. (She is ok and we are now home). Sitting next to my daughter’s bed tenderly stroking her forehead, all else fades into the background. Interrupted sleep, a messy home, even renegade school socks. When it comes down to it, perhaps life isn’t that complicated after all. Taking that leaf out of Miss Elsie’s book, yes, I too am ‘Blessed every day.’

Now excuse me, I am off to bed. 

Enjoy your weekend, and all of the treasures that you have been given. 

Until next week,

Love Anna xx



  • Kathie Tanttari

    I can’t wait to try these Anna. I love your Saturday morning musings … refreshment
    for my soul!

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