Birthday Perfection: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

There's something really summery-sounding about "Pink Lemonade Cupcakes." When I think of summer, sipping lemonade and hanging out on the beach come to mind. But since we live in land-locked  Colorado, at least for now, we'll have to settle for the lemonade-bit alone...this recipe hits the spot.
Our friend Rachel made these cupcakes for her daughter's birthday party a little while back. They were really good. They are also really sweet, so if sweet isn't your thing then this recipe isn't for you. But personally I kind of think that's the point of pink lemonade cupcakes, no? I thought they were the perfect topper to the birthday celebration. 
Happy birthday to the birthday girl! Now, can I have another one?! 

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (Courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen)
  • 1 package white cake mix 
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding 
  • 3 Tbsp sweetened pink lemonade drink mix (like Country Time Pink Lemonade mix) 
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 2 tsp lemon zest 
  • 3/4 cup water 
  • 3/4 cup oil 
  • 4 whites eggs 
  • 6 drops of pink food coloring

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 cup shortening 
  • 1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed 
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • Zest from 1 lemon 
  • 2 pound package or 7 1/2 cups confectioners sugar 
  • 3 drops of pink food coloring 
Decorations: (Optional)

  • 24 lemon slice candies or grapefruit slice candies
  • 12 colored flexible drinking straws
  1. In a large bowl, whisk cake mix, pudding mix, and drink mix together.  Add sour cream, lemon zest, water, oil, and egg whites to the dry mix. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes. Use a strong mixer, this batter is thick.
  2. Scoop batter into 24 lined muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cupcakes donโ€™t look wet and a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
  3. Prepare the frosting by creaming butter, shortening, and lemon zest together. Then add lemonade concentrate, milk and vanilla with a mixer. Beat until smooth.  Then gradually add the sugar, mixing well until light and fluffy. Beat in the food coloring.
  4. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.  (You will have plenty to pile it on.  I had over 1 cup leftover.  Leftover frosting is good sandwiched between two graham crackers).      Optional: Place a lemon candy wedge on top of each cupcakes.  With the straws cut the top 1/3 of the straw off just below the flexible part.  Discard the tops.  Then cut the remaining straw pieces in half.  Place one straw piece in each cupcake to resemble a drink.
Cupcake recipe is a Real Mom Kitchen Original, Frosting is adapted from A Little Loveliness
A note on the cupcakes: Rachel followed the recipe except she took another person's advice and substituted the powdered lemonade mix and the 3/4 cup water in the cake with 3/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate. I recommend making the substitute.
I'm not sure how many this recipe yields, but it's a lot-- you can make small, medium and large cupcakes!