Bright. It’s the first thing that came to my mind when I took the inaugural bite of a Pink Lemonade cupcake I whipped up for last weekend’s bridal shower. Bright – and I ain’t talking about color. Imagine taking a perfect summer afternoon, piping pink icing on top, and sprinkling it with colored sugar. Absolutely awesome 🙂 They were the perfect compliment to the margarita cupcakes and part-inspiration behind the bright pink & green colored theme of the tapas party and shower. Nice and bright.
I used a similar wet-to-dry ratio in the pink lemonade cupcake recipe that I used in the margarita cupcake recipe with a slight modification and a shortcut – I decreased the liquid to 9 oz and used frozen pink lemonade concentrate. I knew that the delicate flavor of the pink lemonade would probably get lost in the baking process and I wanted a flavor intensity similar to the margarita cupcakes. I thought the batter looked perfect after adding 9 oz of the concentrate – any more might have been too much more.
I will say, the recipe appears at least somewhat versatile and I plan on substituting the 9-10 oz of liquid for many other flavors in the coming months. The margarita and pink lemonade cupcakes might have been the first cupcakes I’ve ever made (since I was 8 years old) but they sure won’t be the last – I’m totally hooked!
Looking for a from-scratch pink lemonade cupcake? Try these strawberry lemonade cupcakes!
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
Pink, tart cupcakes that are reminiscent of the beverage.
- For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/8 cup (9 oz) frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed*
- White cake mix (yes, the boxed stuff)
- 3 egg whites
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Non-stick spray
- For the frosting
- 3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioners sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Red food color (to color icing and sugar, optional)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)
- *To make the cupcakes:
- For a less tart cupcake (and these babies do pack a punch), try reducing the amount of pink lemonade. 3/8 cup water and 3/4 cup pink lemonade will cut the tartness.
- In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, and the pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take care not to overmix so you don't end up with dry cupcakes).
- Spray each cupcake liner with the non-stick spray and spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups between 2/3 and 3/4 full). Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers "done" in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cook 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the icing and ice the cupcakes.
- *To make the frosting:
- Add the butter, confectioners sugar, salt, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy and uniformly pink. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes.
- Optional - Add the sugar and a couple drops of the food coloring to a food processor. Process until the sugar turns pink. Spread the sugar onto a plate and let dry for 15 minutes. Sprinkle onto freshly-iced cupcakes.
Yields: ~24 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour
Your cupcakes are wonderful, Shawnda! I love pink and I love lemon – I wish I could bake them now! 😉
OH Wow! Now that cupcake says Spring. It makes me feel so much warmer looking at that beautiful cupcake when is like 20 degrees outside. Beautiful.
I think those look even better than the last ones! I love pink lemonade.
I haven’t had pink lemonade in years, but these are darling, a perfect way to celebrate the arrival of warm weather!
Thanks for this great recipe! I made them last night for my daughter-in-law’s birthday and everybody at work as enjoyed them. 🙂
These are so good! And very pretty to look at. Thanks for posting the recipe — my coworkers loved them!
So so pretty! I made pink lemonade cupcakes a few days ago, but not quite as lovely as yours. I used some weirdo Barbie sprinkles instead of homemade colored sugar, but I did use your buttercream (delicious!!!). Will have to try the margarita cupcakes…
These were so yummy that I had to give them away, or else I would have eaten every last one.
I wonder where I can buy Pink Lemonade Concentrate in Australia. The cupcakes sound yummy !
I tried this icing with vanilla cupcakes and it was dee-lish! Not like the other runny lemon icings I had tried; this one is thick and beautiful! Thanks for posting it!
Thank you for this recipe. My daughter is a huge fan of the book “Pinkalicious” and we used this recipe to recreate the pink cupcakes from the book.
Just found this while out searching for a few pink lemonade blog links to add to my post tonight. These are lovely so I am adding them!
I made this for my mother’s birthday yesterday… I changed it back into a cake. 🙂 I used just the 9 oz of lemonade concentrate, but decided to add the extra water to make 1 1/3 cups as the cake mix called for. It was a dense cake and thick batter… I wondered if more or less liquid would have produced a lighter cake? But cupcakes are probably different from layer cakes. We liked it – the lemonade flavor was there! Very cute cupcake photo too! 🙂
There is a bakery in Winston Salem, NC that comes out with Pink Lemonade Cake every spring. Three years ago I moved from NC to WA and have missed getting that cake. I have tried several recipes and nothing has come close to that bakery until I made your recipe. Thank you for giving me a sense of home when I need it.
Hi, Rachel! I am a newcomer to Winston Salem and would love to try that cake you mention. Which bakery makes it and where is it located? Your help would be SO appreciated. Also, a big thank you to you, Shawnda, for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it!
I live near Winston Salem and the bakery she is talking about is Dewey’s Bakery. They also sell these in Hanes Mall near one of the entrances.
The cupcakes worked out great for me. Only thing that I changed was that the stick of butter seemed too small for the buttercream. I ended up adding 1/4 cup of shortening, and even then it was pretty thick, I had to heat it up slightly to pipe onto the cupcakes. The tartness of the buttercream with the sweetness of the cupcakes was great, everybody loved it, thanks for the recipe!
I made these 3 days in a row (twice for a fundraiser, and these were a HUGE hit!!) and then today for my 4 kids and my neighbors. Everyone has loved them and the frosting was perfect!! Normally I hate frosting, but this one was perfect, thank you!!
I made these and they are awesome!! But my only problem is that even with filling the cups 1/2 to 3/4 full, they sank. I live in Colorado, any tips?
It took me three tries to get it right. The first batch was delicious, but didn’t rise. The next batch sank and I had to toss them ???? I think the third batch is ok. They are tricky because of the syrupy lemonade, but taste great. I think if the egg whites and lemonade were at room temp when they were mixed they would bake better. Worth the effort, though!
These cupcakes taste so great! I made them twice though, and both times they sank HORRIBLY. I thought maybe I’d made a mistake the first time, so I made sure I followed your recipe to the tee. But no luck, they sank again, even after being filled only 1/2 full.
I live in Montana, I wasn’t sure if maybe it was an altitude thing?
These are great! I found your recipe/ site looking for this exactly. I made them for a baby shower for 3 different moms (they were all having girls, so I thought pink lemonade was appropriate 🙂 they were a hit, even tho I used canned frosting (I was being lazy…). Making them again for Resurrection Sunday picnic and this time taking the time to make the buttercream frosting 🙂
Love this! I’ve used it last year when I made cupcakes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
So pretty and summery!
These cupcakes are incredible. Can’t wait to make them again!
Such a great recipe! I made them for a Fancy Nancy baby shower and they turned out BEAUTIFULLY. Tart and sweet, perfect for a Texas summer!
My one suggestion for the future is that it’s just enough frosting, just barely. I also added a little bit more salt and 1/2 the lemon juice, using milk instead.
Thanks for sharing!!!
I made these and several others of your cupcakes today to try something different. I like these but I want to love them so I need to go heavier on the concentrate next time. I used the lower concentrate like you stated because I was unsure, I think somewhere in between will be perfect!
Hi! Fantastic site. Been on it for about ten minutes and am in love already!!! Quick question, though. For the Pink Lemonade cupcakes, would you say you could use a scratch white cake recipe? If so, which one would you recomend?