Happy 4th of July: Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Cakes and Cupcakes, Dessert | 24 comments

Happy Fourth of July! Guess what I’m taking to a BBQ tonight? Cherry Limeade Cupcakes. So it’s not exactly patriotic looking, but who doesn’t love Sonic’s Cherry Limeade…why not try it in cupcake form?

I’ve seen this idea on Tastespotting and been wanting to give it a try. I’m not the most accomplished cake or cupcake decorator. I’ve only used frosting tips maybe five times in my life and didn’t own any until this morning, but I think the cupcakes look pretty cute.

I haven’t eaten any of the cupcakes yet, but the cake batter was delicious. And the kids really loved licking the bowl for the frosting (after I put the frosting in the piping bag), so I’m confident that these will be a big hit tonight. Logan can’t stop begging for one.

It’s worth noting that I barely had enough frosting for 18 cupcakes. It was really cutting in close. The cake recipe made 21 cupcakes (would have probably been 24, but I sampled some batter, ok a lot, and a few cupcakes were bigger than others). The kids ate a couple of cupcakes so we ended up with 18 and frosting for all, but just barely.

Do you have any special plans for today? Are you making anything yummy?

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
adapted from Annie’s Eats

cupcakes adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake
  • 2 1/4 c cake flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 c whole milk or buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • zest of 3 limes
  • 1 stick (8 Tbs or 4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with liners. Makes 18-24 cupcakes.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lime zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.

Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between 18-24 cupcakes. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer the cupcakes cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes. Frost and decorate after fully cooled.

Cherry Frosting

  • 3 3/4 cups confectioner’s’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 Tbs maraschino cherry juice
  • red food coloring (optional)

To make the frosting, combine the confectioner’s’ sugar, butter and maraschino cherry juice in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high speed and beat until smooth. Add more maraschino cherry juice as needed to achieve desired texture. Add red food coloring if desired.

Frost cooled cupcakes. Garnish with lime slices and maraschino cherries, if desired.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Amy I. - July 04, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

    These look amazing…so creative! Can't wait to try them. I'm pretty new at cake/cupcake decorating too, but practice makes perfect, right?!


  • 2
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - July 04, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

    Amy – you are so right! For me cupcakes are even easier than cake. I always get cake crumbs all over the frosting. Now that I have some frosting tips I am definitely going to practice more. Plus, Logan loves cupcakes so this would be something fun to do together.


  • 3
    Jamie - July 04, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    Dorie's Perfect Party Cake is my absolute fave, so there is no doubt in my mind these are amazing! They look beautiful…have a great fourth!


  • 4
    oneordinaryday - July 04, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

    What a pretty summer cupcake. Love 'em.


  • 5
    Laura - July 04, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

    Looks so pretty and dainty, I love girly desserts! Thanks for sharing!


  • 6
    Maria - July 04, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

    Super cute. I love them!


  • 7
    Rachel - July 04, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

    Yummy! Going to try these next week! Thanks for posting!


  • 8
    Krista.S - July 04, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

    These look fantastic! Great job!


  • 9
    Cristie - July 04, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

    What a great July 4th cupcake! It goes on the to try list.


  • 10
    Tami - July 05, 2009 @ 1:57 am

    These cupcakes are adorable! Very cute for a summer party. :)


  • 11
    Jennifer - July 05, 2009 @ 11:14 am

    How fun!!!! Perfect for a bbq!! Hope you had a wonderful 4th!


  • 12
    Jo - July 06, 2009 @ 2:37 am

    Really cute! Cherries and lime, what a great combi.


  • 13
    NikiTheo - July 06, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

    These look great! And I'm sure they were awesome!Happy belated Independence Day!


  • 14
    Suzy - July 06, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

    Great job. The first time I saw these I had to try them myself. Nothing better than pink and green :-)


  • 15
    Sara - July 09, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    Beautiful cupcakes! Limeade and cherry sounds like a great flavor combo.


  • 16
    Debbie - July 11, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

    Sonic Cherry Limeade is one of my favorite drinks from the past – this recipe makes me think of that – and I love cupcakes, so it sounds like a perfect translation. =)


  • 17
    Melinda - July 14, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

    Dear God, I just made these cupcakes and my family suddenly thinks I'm the most amazing mom ever. These are so good. I even made substitutions to make them dairy free (dairy free margarine, rice milk soured with lime juice for buttermilk) and they are perfect. I think these will be a family tradition for us for years to come.


  • 18
    nandini - July 31, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    The cup cakes look so adorable….Just discovered ur blog and i love it… it is very elegant and nice to read too.


  • 19
    Hoosier Homemade - September 15, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

    Those look amazing! And once again, great photos! Thanks for joining the party at Cupcake Tuesday!~Liz


  • 20
    jsprik - September 15, 2009 @ 11:56 pm

    uuuummmm….YUM, that's all i have to say!! :)


  • 21
    e-Mom - September 19, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

    Lime–my all-time fav. fruit. Smashing angular photography. Great job!e-Mom @ Susannah's Apronshttp://susannahsaprons.blogspot.com


  • 22
    Anonymous - September 28, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    I love citrus anything. I made these for my kids birthday and everyone raved and wanted seconds. fantastic!! My only notes are that my zest was stringy and so I ran my zest and sugar through the food processor and my cupcakes took about 5 mins longer to bake.


  • 23
    Alicia Chafin - March 21, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    I made these this weekend for a Bakesale benefiting Japan. They were a HUGE success. So cute, thanks for the excellent idea! I actually made them from a lemon box cake mix “gasp” but added fresh lime zest to the batter.


  • 24
    Kenna-boo - May 24, 2015 @ 3:17 pm

    I like how they look I might as well use them for a summer party or cookout


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