Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

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 Cupcakes

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 to make strawberry lemonade cupcakes

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).

buttercream flowers

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • muffin pan

Ingredients

  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup lemonade concentrate thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  • 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.

Strawberry Buttercream

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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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Happy Baking!

Sources:

Fine Cooking