Raspberry cupcakes with surprise center

by Sarah

in Cakes, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Egg-Free, vegan

Hello there! I’m super excited about these cupcakes, because in addition to being delicious and vegan (code: healthier) they have a surprise center! I bought a cupcake corer when I started med school last Fall, but school and classes got in the way and anywho this is my first time using it (but will NOT be the last!).

Vegan raspberry cupcake with surprise jelly filling | www.savoringspoon.com
Taste-wise these cupcakes are fluffy vanilla cupcakes and the top is filled with a vanilla buttercream with a hint of cinnamon. I love the kick that cinnamon brings to any sweet dish, and might even add some to the cupcake stump next time. Every part of this cupcake is vegan friendly, and no part of it makes me eat it and think: ew this is for sure vegan. I didn’t always eat vegan desserts so I promise I have tasted *both* kinds and the vegan ones are not just healthier but often tastier because they are lighter (yes! gasp, a light cake). When you bite into the cake, the filling oozes into your mouth creating extra texture and deliciousness.

Vegan raspberry cupcake with surprise jelly filling | www.savoringspoon.com

The center of the cupcake is filled with raspberry jam. Specifically, I used Bonne Mama raspberry preserves. I got them at Safeway, but I think they exist everywhere.

Rasberry jam for vegan rasberry cupcakes | www.savoringspoon.comTo prep the cupcakes for filling, I first cutholes out of the cupcakes using the cuisipro cupcake corer. I cooled the cupcakes after baking, then put the cupcake corer  in the center, pushed down, and twisted, then pulled up. And Voila! A disk of cupcake was sucked into the cupcake corer and there was a hole in the cupcake like this:

cupcakes-without-center-650pxThe cupcake corer’s red button even lets you pop the freshly removed cupcake center right into your mouth! That is ingenious design.

Then I filled the cupcakes with the jelly using a spatula (spoon, whatever works for you).

filled-raspberry-cupcakes-650pxNow the cupcakes are totally ready to be frosted! I used the Oasis 1A tip (first time using this tip too!) to pipe out my vanilla cinnamon frosting.  I topped it off with a fresh raspberry, and glazed it with an apricot fruit glaze to make the raspberry shiny. The glaze took all about 5 minutes to make, basically boiling some apricot preserves with 1 tablespoon of water until it mixes into a liquidy glaze. I did this in a mini pyrex bowl right on top of my stove so I didn’t have to wash an extra bowl and could store it in the same bowl I heated it in.

fruit-jelly-coat-650pxFinishing off the cupcake, I sprinkled it with edible Wilton gold star sprinkles. PS I just got these gold stars in silver recently and am excited to try them on some champagne strawberry cupcakes soon!

Vegan raspberry cupcake with surprise jelly filling | www.savoringspoon.comSince the cupcakes were a gift, I put them in a four-cupcake box with a see-through center and tied it off with a ribbon. I like the see-through box because then I can see if I’m pressing the box too far and squishing the raspberry into the icing. It didn’t squish too much but with the box on,  the raspberries were touching the box top.

Vegan raspberry cupcake with surprise jelly filling | www.savoringspoon.com

Here is the youtube video I watched to tie the ribbon into a bow! Super easy to follow.


Raspberry cupcakes with surprise center
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk (or almond / rice milk)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ⅛ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure white imitation vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening*
  • ½ cup vegan margarine**
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk (or almond milk)
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Bonne Maman raspberry preserves
Fruit Glaze
  • ¼ cup peach preserves
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients separately in a wet bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well with a spatula until just combined.
  3. Use cookie dispenser to add batter to each cupcake liner. Add about 1.5 scoops per cupcake if you are using the 1.5 tablespoon dispenser.
  4. Bake until toothpick inserted to center of cupcake comes out clean (about 25 minutes).
  1. Beat shortening till smooth with electric hand mixer. Add the rest of the frosting ingredients, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on high.
Fruit glaze
  1. Heat mixture of water and peach preserves on stove on medium-high till boiling and preserves have started to blend into the water so it isn't chunky anymore. Stir. This takes a few minutes.
  1. After cupcakes are cool, use cupcake corer to cut centers out of cupcake. Fill holes with raspberry preserves. Put frosting in a 12 inch piping bag (do it in batches so the bag does not overflow) and use 1A tip to pipe swirls on cupcakes. Top with raspberry and glaze with fruit glaze. Sprinkle gold stars.
*for vegan margarine I used Earth Balance
*for non-hydrogenated vegan shortening, I used Spectrum

Recipe is for 12 cupcakes

Recipe for cupcake stumps and frosting are adapted from Chloe Coscarelli's book Chloe's Vegan Desserts, which I highly recommend for healthier baking!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dina July 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

these look delicious!


2 Sarah July 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thanks Dina!


3 Connie @ Sprig and Flours July 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

Your cupcakes are beautiful! I can’t wait to try this recipe :) thanks for sharing!


4 Sarah July 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thanks Connie! Let me know how it goes!


5 Mira October 8, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Wow these are beautiful! I never knew how the surprise center was made! Vegan, even better! Frosting is so easy! Thanks for sharing!


6 Sarah October 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Thanks Mira! The cupcake corer was very useful for the surprise center – I think you can do it with a sharp knife (carving out a circle in the cupcake stump) if you want to try that too!


7 lily November 19, 2014 at 10:47 am

Your cupcakes look delicious! I love it!


8 Sarah November 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Lily! I’m so glad you like it.


9 Sylvie M May 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Hi! Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Unfortunately Bonne Maman’s jams are not vegan.
I contacted their customer service recently (very efficient team) and they confirmed it.


10 Sarah May 10, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Hi Sylvie, thank you for letting me know! I was not aware before. You can a different brand of jam – any is good! :)


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