April 21, 2020

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Maraschino Cherry Frosting

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My daughter turned 12 back in August. She really wanted pink lemonade cupcakes for her party, but I had trouble finding a recipe online that had consistently good reviews, and I’m not a boxed mix kinda gal. Given that she sprung her request on me about two days before her birthday, I made vanilla cupcakes instead, tabling these ones for another day.

I started trying to make the perfect pink lemonade cupcake last month. I was a woman on a mission. I tried several different recipes until I hit on one that I really liked, then I made it a couple more times, just to be sure. Totally unrelated to my love of cupcakes. I swear!  (By the way, December 15th is National Cupcake/ Lemon Cupcake Day. Guess I’m ahead of the game here.)

All of the pink lemonade cupcake recipes I had found called for frozen pink lemonade concentrate, and I wasn’t going to go that route. This was going to be the real deal. I knew it was a gamble – too much

lemon juice, and they’d be too sour; too little, and it’s just a slightly less sweet vanilla cupcake. I based this recipe on gut instinct, luck, and an adaptation of this recipe from Life, Love & Sugar.

These are SO light and fluffy, even days after they are made. The first couple of recipes I tried resulted in cupcakes that were thick, heavy, and dense. They tasted good, but the texture I was going for just wasn’t there. These needed to softly envelop your mouth with flavor.

The lemon flavor is subtle. The frosting is light and creamy, and the maraschino cherries really jazz these up. I’m a really bad cupcake decorator, by the way. I even tried to make the frosting all pretty using my grandma’s cake decorating stuff, but it’s hard to pipe out frosting that has chunks of cherry in it.

Food safety info: Desserts with cream cheese frosting will be okay if left out on the counter overnight, but they should be refrigerated after that, or if the temperature in your house is warm. If you’re concerned about cold cupcakes, just remove them from the fridge 20-30 minutes before eating. Cake/cupcakes thaw quickly, and even freeze well!

Follow Janus Lane’s board Cakes & Other Sweets on Pinterest.My daughter turned 12 back in August. She really wanted pink lemonade cupcakes for her party, but I had trouble finding a recipe online that had consistently good reviews, and I’m not a boxed mix kinda gal. Given that she sprung her request on me about two days before her birthday, I made vanilla cupcakes instead, tabling these ones for another day.

I started trying to make the perfect pink lemonade cupcake last month. I was a woman on a mission. I tried several different recipes until I hit on one that I really liked, then I made it a couple more times, just to be sure. Totally unrelated to my love of cupcakes. I swear!  (By the way, December 15th is National Cupcake/ Lemon Cupcake Day. Guess I’m ahead of the game here.)

All of the pink lemonade cupcake recipes I had found called for frozen pink lemonade concentrate, and I wasn’t going to go that route. This was going to be the real deal. I knew it was a gamble – too much lemon juice, and they’d be too sour; too little, and it’s just a slightly less sweet vanilla cupcake. I based this recipe on gut instinct, luck, and an adaptation of this recipe from Life, Love & Sugar.

These are SO light and fluffy, even days after they are made. The first couple of recipes I tried resulted in cupcakes that were thick, heavy, and dense. They tasted good, but the texture I was going for just wasn’t there. These needed to softly envelop your mouth with flavor.

The lemon flavor is subtle. The frosting is light and creamy, and the maraschino cherries really jazz these up. I’m a really bad cupcake decorator, by the way. I even tried to make the frosting all pretty using my grandma’s cake decorating stuff, but it’s hard to pipe out frosting that has chunks of cherry in it.

Food safety info: Desserts with cream cheese frosting will be okay if left out on the counter overnight, but they should be refrigerated after that, or if the temperature in your house is warm. If you’re concerned about cold cupcakes, just remove them from the fridge 20-30 minutes before eating. Cake/cupcakes thaw quickly, and even freeze well!

Follow Janus Lane’s board Cakes & Other Sweets on Pinterest.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Maraschino Cherry Frosting

The original recipe says it makes 12-14 cupcakes, but I made 18 cupcakes from this.
  • CourseDessert
  • CuisineCupcake
Servings
18 cupcakes
Servings
18 cupcakes
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Maraschino Cherry Frosting

The original recipe says it makes 12-14 cupcakes, but I made 18 cupcakes from this.
  • CourseDessert
  • CuisineCupcake
Servings
18 cupcakes
Servings
18 cupcakes
Ingredients
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
  • 2 tbsp maraschino cherry juice this is the liquid from the jar of cherries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup butter must be room temperature!
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream must be room temperature!
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk must be room temperature!
  • 3 tsps vanilla extract
Maraschino Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 10 oz jar Maraschino cherries
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar No exact measurement – this is “to taste” so you may use more or less than 1 cup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Servings: cupcakes

Instructions

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate large bowl or a stand mixer, on medium speed, mix together the milk, sour cream, butter, egg whites, and vanilla extract. Frequently scrape sides and bottom if using a stand mixer.
  4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and low/medium speed – about 3-5 minutes. Do not over mix, and remember to scrape the sides/bottom.
  5. Add the lemon juice and maraschino cherry liquid and mix for about 1 minute, or until batter is slightly pink throughout.
  6. Fill cupcakes almost 3/4 full. There should be about 1/2″ of room left at the top.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes (it took a full 20 minutes for me).

Maraschino Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Drain the liquid from the maraschino cherries (be sure to set some liquid aside for the cake mix if you are doing this step before making the cake).
  2. Using a food processor, chop up half of the maraschino cherries – about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Using a stand or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula during the mixing process to ensure it is well-mixed. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Fold in the cherries on low speed.
  5. Still on low speed, add in the confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Do a taste test after each sugar addition and add another 1/8-1/4 cup if needed, and until sweet enough for your liking.
  6. Ice the cupcakes once cooled, and top with a cherry (optional).

Recipe Notes

It is SUPER important that your milk, sour cream, and butter be room temperature, or even heated for 10-30 seconds in the microwave. It will NOT mix up if you don’t do this!

I don’t like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes. If you do, simply double the frosting recipe.

Food safety info: Desserts with cream cheese frosting will be okay if left out on the counter overnight, but they should be refrigerated after that, or if the temperature in your house is warm. If you’re concerned about cold cupcakes, just remove them from the fridge 20-30 minutes before eating. Cake/cupcakes thaw quickly, and even freeze well!