Trust Your Instincts

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This morning my six year old woke up and was moping around before school, claiming “my tummy hurts”. He wasn’t running a fever, he ate a good breakfast, and was feeling good enough to torment his sisters. We walked up to school, I kissed him goodbye and all was well. All was well except for the small nagging in the back of my head about his tummy hurting. His actions told me that he was feeling okay, but my instinct told me that maybe I should have listened to him.

Fast forward to 10:30am, I am just getting ready to go and pick up the middle munchkin from preschool, and the phone rings. Sure enough, it was the school nurse. “I have Jacob in my office… he just got sick in class.” Ugh… “No, he didn’t make it to the bathroom, but he seems to be okay at the moment. How soon can you pick him up?” I was up there within minutes, feeling horrible that he had to be embarrassed in class simply because I didn’t listen to my instinct and keep him home. Bring on the mom of the year award, again!

Over the past week I have been tormented by the Epicurious widget on my blog. A photo of some gorgeous Lemon-Raspberry cupcakes kept tempting me, and I knew they would be in my future soon. For some reason, the urge to bake overwhelmed me this afternoon, so I decided to give the Lemon-Raspberry cupcakes a try. I love raspberry anything… my kids, however, haven’t developed the taste for raspberries yet. They prefer things on the mainstream line… strawberries, bananas, grapes… kid fruit. As you know, I am usually a “follow the recipe” kind of gal, and I rarely get creative in the kitchen doing my own thing. Unlike some of you, I have yet to develop that great kitchen instinct. Well, today, with these cupcakes I made a minor change. Nothing major, because you know, that would be a bit of a stretch for me. I don’t want to get out of hand or anything… can’t be getting all crazy like that in the kitchen just like that!

I trusted my instinct and decided to change the raspberry to strawberry and then topped them with a banana slice. Strawberry combined with banana is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and trusting my instinct with these cupcakes resulted in a dessert that was not only tasty, but a hit with my kids (or at least the two who weren’t losing their lunch).

I may have not had my instinct mojo going this morning when I sent my son to school, but I got it back this afternoon with these yummy cupcakes! This recipe is so versatile, you can trust your own instincts and use your own fruity flavor combinations. Now, go get crazy!

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes from


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, divided
4 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
12 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam (I used strawberry)
Fresh raspberries (for garnish) (I used banana)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Using electric mixer, beat butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 3 teaspoons lemon peel in large bowl until blended, then beat until fluffy and pale yellow. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in half of flour. Add buttermilk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat to blend. Beat in remaining flour.

Drop 1 rounded tablespoonful batter into each muffin liner. Spoon 1 teaspoon raspberry jam over. Cover with remaining batter, dividing equally.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted halfway into centers comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on rack. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in small bowl. Spoon half of icing over 6 cupcakes. Whisk 1 tablespoon raspberry jam into remaining icing. Spoon over remaining cupcakes. Let stand until icing sets, about 30 minutes. Garnish with raspberries.

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  1. says

    Yikes, I hope your little ones feel better soon. I think the banana looks great and probably tastes amazing as well. Strawberry/banana is also one of my favorite combos. Yum!

  2. says

    Well, of course these cupcakes look delicious! Who could resist them?

    Poor kiddo. Hope he feels better soon. Don’t feel too bad about sending him to school. You don’t always know. I remember pretending to be sick, when I was in grade school.

    Like the new design of your blog, btw.

  3. says

    i was a master at playing hooky when i was growing up, so i just wanted to tell you not to be so hard on yourself!

    meanwhile, i’m loving the change you made–strawberries and bananas are a match made in foodie heaven. plus, and perhaps more importantly, the slice on top just looks cool. :)

  4. says

    ah yes, I remember seeing the recipe in Bon Appétit [on the cover actually], but you know what? I know I already commented on how beautiful your picture is on flickr, but I think it’s far better than the one on the cover of the magazine was! no kidding.

  5. says

    Kids are so unpredictable, they can go from feeling well, to feeling sick to feeling well again in a matter of hours! I’m sure he’ll be back to normal in no time!

    Those cupcakes look delicious, you sure got creative! :)

  6. says

    Thank you Kristen. You too have a wonderful Mother’s day sweetie! I know mothering is hard work but it’s all worth our time in the end (I hope!! ;D). Hope he is over his tummy ache now. Hugs to you!:)
    Lemon Raspberry cup cakes, delicious!!

  7. says

    Those do look like inspired cupcakes!

    I hope your boy is feeling better! Don’t be hard on yourself – I’m sure he doesn’t blame you!

  8. says

    All good moms send their kids to school thinking (read: hoping) they are faking it… And the REALLY good moms do it several times.. ha/ha

    These cupcakes look deee-lish!

  9. says

    Sorry to hear about the little one. Hope he’s back in the swing of things as I write this comment.

    Strawberry and Banana sounds like a real winner. I like that banana slice on top of the very homey cupcakes.

    I’m new to your blog. Happy to be here.

  10. says

    I have a real love/hate relationship with cupcakes, but these sound delicious. Of course, I do love raspberries so maybe that’s why they appeal to me so.

    Sorry to hear you received the dreaded call from the school nurse this morning and your 6-year-old isn’t feeling well. Like the other commenters here, don’t feel too bad about sending him to school.

    As moms, most have us have sent a child who claims to have a tummy ache but is otherwise acting well and has no fever to school, only to be called hours later to pick-up them back up, typically late morning or early afternoon. But you’re right about trusting your instinct. It’s often for the best.

    Mom to Mom Tip – Always keep a stash of disposable trash bags and/or a small plastic trash bin in your car. You never know when you may be making a sick-call/pick-up run, and often those types of calls come out-of-the-blue. More than once, carrying extra garbage bags have saved my upholstery from being upchucked on, and not to be gross or anything, but the smell is so much easier to get rid of when you can just throw the bag away when arriving home! Besides, it leaves you time to tend to the sick child rather than treating car upholstery when time is of the essence.

  11. says

    I’ve been there. My little one can’t quite articulate his feelings, but there are sometimes indications that I may not catch immediately and scold myself for not seeing it sooner. I hope your guy feels better soon.

    Those cupcakes look awesome by the way. :-0

  12. says

    They are on the cover of one of the Bon Appetit magazines I got and I have been thinking about them for quite a while now, Kristen.
    Your cupcakes look very beautiful and I love the idea of using bananas.
    I also hope your kid is feeling better!

  13. says

    Don’t beat yourself up, I think a lot of moms have been in this situation. I hope Javob feels better soon! The strawberry and banana combo is brilliant!

  14. says

    Darling cupcakes.

    Oh I am so the mom that would do that too. I always think it is nothing and will go away. But I would feel silly too. Hope he gets better.

  15. says

    The banana is much more fun than raspberries, and really more practical because raspberries roll all over. I think raspberries are over rated. They’ve got all those seeds and sometimes they’re fuzzy, but you can never go wrong with a strawberry bananna combo. Excellent change. :)

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