Happy 4th of July: Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

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.