Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

These cupcakes were a comedy of errors – or at least the frosting was.  I couldn’t understand why my cream cheese frosting wasn’t setting up like it should, until I realized that I bought cream cheese spread instead of actual cream cheese.


It was a total rookie move, and I was rrreeeallyyy concerned that I’d be bringing unfrosted cupcakes – aka muffins – to this birthday party.  Thankfully, I was able to just beef it up with some extra powdered sugar and it was sturdy enough for me to plop a bit on top of each cupcake.  I was worried it would interfere with the flavor of the cupcake, but I think the fact that one of my friends at three means that it did no such thing.  People can just eat one to be polite.  But three?  Nope, that’s true cupcake love.

I really liked these cupcakes because they’re so unique.  I don’t make cupcakes often, but this summer I’ve been commissioned to bring them to a couple parties.  I an effort to keep my kitchen exciting, I’ve been trying to find different cupcake recipes.  No boring cupcakes allowed!  These are vanilla cupcakes studded with strawberries that have a sweet-tart lemonade syrup put directly into the cake.  It’s topped with a smooth strawberry cream cheese frosting that will make even the most virtuous baker licking the bowl.  As you can see, these cupcakes are anything but boring.

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On a cupcake note, these are from Annie’s Eats and I highly recommend any cupcake novices – or any cupcake bakers – to check out Annie’s site for cupcake recipes.  She has a really diverse selection and her instructions are very clear and easy to follow.  There’s nothing worse than trying to tackle a difficult recipe with confusing instructions, and you never have that problem there!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

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For the cake:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon zest

12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

For the lemonade syrup:

1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

For the frosting:

1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped

12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract


For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.  Next, cream the butter with a mixer.  Add the sugar and beat until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides when necessary.  Add half the flour mixture and mix.  Add the milk, mix, and then add the remaining flour mixture and combine.  Fold in the strawberries with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then completely on a wire rack.

For the lemonade syrup:

Whisk together the thawed lemonade concentrate and powdered sugar.  Once the cupcakes have cooled, poke several holes in them.  Pour the syrup over them carefully.  You might want to have wax paper or something under the rack so that you don’t make a mess here!

If you are making these over two days – stop at this step.

For the frosting:

Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender.  Strain them through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Add the powdered mixture and mix until smooth.  Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Lastly, mix in the strawberry puree, one tablespoon at a time, until you get the frosting consistency you want.  For me, it was about 3-4 tablespoons.  But, it all depends on how thick or thin you want your frosting.

Source:  Annie’s Eats aka my cupcake guru

14 thoughts on “Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

  1. Sounds like you saved the day with that powdered sugar! Eating three is definitely true cupcake love! 🙂

  2. Pingback: A Few Of My Favorite Things | Tip Top Shape

  3. When frosting doesn’t come together it’s the most frustrating thing ever! I’ve also found that bringing cream cheese to room temperature helps with texture 🙂 These cupcakes sound amazing, found them from your favorite things post, and I can see why they are 🙂

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