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