Tradition, Birthdays & the First Day of Spring

Tradition, Birthdays & the First Day of Spring


The first time you do something that will later become a tradition, you rarely know it. Not until it you yearn for that thing the following year, the year after that, and so on, that you realize that it has become essential.

This is the third year in a row that my youngest daughter has asked for Raspberry Cupcakes to celebrate her birthday. It seems that this fresh and tangy frosting has become a tradition and I’m feeling rather sentimental about it.

Eight years ago on this day, the first day of Spring, my smart, creative, beautiful daughter Ellie was born six weeks early. I cried so much on that day that, thinking back now, it still brings a tear to my eye. There was much fear and uncertainty that particular first day of Spring. I was angry, sad and mad at myself for not being a better mother.

Much like a new tradition, I didn’t know that her early birth would change my life so profoundly. I left a career that I loved for someone I loved more and entered the previously unknown life a a full-time Mom. That’s how I started this blog and later Livin’ The Pie Life. And now I come again to another first day of Spring.

Here is my daughter’s favorite frosting made with fresh raspberries and no food coloring.

Fresh and natural, tangy and sweet, just like Ellie.

Fresh Raspberry Frosting
Original Post

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature (if needed)
  • Chocolate Cake is the chocolate cake layers from this recipe, my FAVORITE chocolate cake

Put the raspberries in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring with a spoon until they break down into a sauce. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to take out the seeds and then put the seedless sauce back in the clean pot and slowly simmer until it reduces to a 1/4 cup of very concentrated raspberry sauce, stirring pretty often. This took about 20 minutes for me. Take your time, you don’t want the sugars to scorch as the puree gets more concentrated.

This is the source of the flavor and the color of this frosting.

Set aside to cool. When the raspberry flavoring is room temperature, cream the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer using a paddle attachment. Then add about 2 cups of powdered sugar, the raspberry sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Process until smooth. Add another 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to mix until it is spreading consistency adding room temperature milk if needed to make it less stiff.

Taste the frosting. If you like it as is, you’re done. If you want it to be sweeter, add additional powdered sugar and milk to get to the flavor you want.

Ellie with Cupcake Watermark

Isn’t life beautiful?