These strawberry lemonade cupcakes are tender lemon cupcakes topped with a swirl of rich sweet strawberry buttercream. The perfect summer combination!
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Strawberry lemonade is one of the most perfect combinations of sweet and sour. So of course this combination makes a killer cupcake. We’re taking a little bit of a shortcut on the cupcakes, using a doctored box mix and lemonade concentrate since making the buttercream takes a couple extra steps (make your own strawberry powder).
Let’s talk cupcake ingredients:
- Cake Mix-either white or yellow will do. Yellow cake mix gives it an extra pop of yellow but the flavor is basically the same
- Lemonade concentrate-you know the stuff you keep in the freezer and use to make lemonade on a hot summer day? Thaw it out and pour 1 cup of it into the cake mix. It gives it more of a lemonade punch rather than just lemon.
- Sour cream-we’re going to use sour cream instead of oil. The acid from the sour cream reduces gluten formation and makes a very tender cake. The fat from the sour cream adds moisture. Sour cream is what gives your cake mix a little extra pizzazz and makes it taste like a bakery cake.
- Eggs-the incredible, edible egg. Protein in the eggs add structure to our final cake so it doesn’t just collapse in a heap
How many cupcakes can you make out of a box of cake mix?
For me, it typically depends on the brand of cake mix. I usually use Pillsbury or Duncan Hines and I can get about 24 regular cupcakes out of a batch of cake mix. I get about double that in mini cupcakes. Is there one kind of cake mix that’s better than another for making cupcakes? Not in my experience. I usually buy whatever is on sale.
How to frost your strawberry lemonade cupcakes:
Really, you can frost these babies any way you want as long as you use strawberry buttercream. Frosting cupcakes is a really easy way to practice your buttercream piping skills though. I personally like a tall swirl of frosting made with a 1M open star tip (top picture). I’ve grown fond of the open star tip rosette as well (second picture). If you’re making mini cupcakes, buttercream flowers made with a 104 tip and a few bead sprinkles are also pretty (third picture). If you’re interested, I’ve included a couple real quick videos below on how to pipe the rosette and the flowers.
Of course, slathering the buttercream on with a knife, is also an excellent choice. Don’t feel like you can’t make these cupcakes just because you don’t want to fill a piping bag. I definitely “taste tested” several of these by smearing on some frosting and popping them into my mouth (especially effective with the mini cupcakes).
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
- muffin pan
- 1 box white or yellow cake mix
- 1 cup lemonade concentrate thawed
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment.
- Mix together cake mix, lemonade concentrate, and sour cream.
- Turn mixer speed to high and add in eggs, one at a time. Beat until combined.
- Line with cupcake papers or spray 2 (12 spot) muffin pans. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool and frost with strawberry buttercream.
- Food processor
- 2 cups freeze dried strawberries one 34 gram package
- 1 1/2 cups salted butter 3 sticks, softened
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- Using your food processor, pulverize freeze dried strawberries until they become a powder.
- If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment.
- Beat butter on high speed until smooth.
- Turn mixer speed down to low. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Beat to combine.
- Add in strawberry powder and beat to combine.
- Add in heavy cream and beat to combine. Turn mixer speed up to high and beat for 1-2 minutes (this is to "whip" the heavy cream to make your buttercream fluffy).
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