There is a local restaurant that serves killer cupcakes. One night when I was there for dinner I had a lemon cupcake, made with ricotta cheese, that made me want to cry it was so good. The problem is they haven’t served it since (at least when I was there) and I haven’t been able to find a similar recipe on line. After some search I did find this recipe on Confections of a Foodie Bride that I thought I would give a go.
1 1/8 cup (9 oz) frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed*
White cake mix
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioners sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Red food color (to color icing and sugar, optional)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)
To make the cupcakes:
- In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, and the pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take care not to overmix so you don’t end up with dry cupcakes).
- Spray each cupcake liner with the non-stick spray and spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups between 2/3 and 3/4 full). Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cook 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the icing and ice the cupcakes.
To make the frosting:
- Add the butter, confectioners sugar, salt, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy and uniformly pink. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes.
Here are some tips that I discovered when making them this past Mother’s Day
- The cupcake itself wasn’t very pink even though I used pink lemonade. If you want a pinker cupcake I would recommend adding a little food coloring.
- I didn’t think the cupcake was very tart but the frosting was. I may have added more lemon than I should have to make the frosting thinner. Next time I may actually use a little bit of orange juice to cut down on the tartness while still giving it a nice citrus flavor.
- Instead of a pastry bag and tip, put your frosting into a ziplock sandwich bag. Snip one of the corners and then frost
- There are a couple of different ways to garnish. In the picture above I cut up fresh lemons as a garnish. Down below is a picture where I sprinkled some purple sugar I had left over from Fat Tuesday with a mint sprig.
These were a big hit with my family and co-workers. Enjoy!
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