Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

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When we headed to America at the start of last year I had a list of foods and drinks I was really excited to try – think soft pretzels, crack pie and anything peanut butter. But I didn’t expect to come across what would become one of my absolute favourite drinks in the world – pink lemonade.

While I’d always read about it in books, seen it in movies and occasionally spotted a can in-store I’d never actually tried it. Sure, I love pink, but I just imagined pink lemonade to be coloured sprite. So. Wrong.

After realising how much I loved pink lemonade early on in the trip I spent the next couple of weeks drinking as much Minute Maid pink lemonade as I could lay my hands on. Then at Easter this year our good friends gave Kevin and I an amazing gift – a great big tub of pink lemonade powder…YUM!

When I was thinking about what to bake this week I spotted the tub tucked at the back of our cupboard (out of sight, out of mind!) and instantly decided to make a batch of pink lemonade cupcakes.

There’s a lot of flavour packed into these cupcakes – both regular lemonade and the pink variety! Imagine a fluffy sweet lemonade cupcake, topped with slightly tart pink lemonade buttercream. The combination is a match made in heaven and a must-try for any pink lemonade fan.

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I wanted to make sure the cupcake itself was packed with lemonade-y flavour, but didn’t want to add any of the pink lemonade powder – I knew it would tint the batter a very pale pink colour, and it just wasn’t what I had in mind. Instead, I used a teaspoon of lemonade flavouring (you can buy it here) which is amazing – it tastes just like lemonade popsicles!

The icing is where the pink lemonade magic comes in. After whipping up a batch of fluffy buttercream I added 3 tablespoons of pink lemonade powder – just enough to replace the sweetness of the buttercream with that beautiful pink lemonade tang. The powder only very lightly tinted the icing, so I added a dot of pink gel colouring to ramp up the pink.

With all the flavour packed into the cake and icing, assembling these cupcakes is easy – simply pipe a swirl of icing on each cupcake, add a few sprinkles and a little paper straw for added cuteness. Voila! Easy, delicious pink lemonade cupcakes.

As an avid fan of pink lemonade I decided to leave the verdict to Kevin – unfortunately I couldn’t get anything out of him, he was too busy scoffing them! Let’s take that as a good sign!

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Makes approx. 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemonade  flavouring

Pink lemonade buttercream

Method

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add sugar and cream until light and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes)
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together plain and self-rising flour. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in three additions, alternating with milk. Add lemonade flavouring and mix until well combined.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners to ¾ full. Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool cupcakes in pan for 15 minutes before placing on rack to cool.

Buttercream

  1. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add 2 ½ cups icing sugar and 1 Tbsp of milk. Mix until well combined.
  3. Continue to add remaining icing sugar and milk until icing reaches a pipeable consistency.
  4. Add pink lemonade powder and beat until well combined. Add pink gel food colouring until lightly pink.

Scoop icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake. Finish with sprinkles and a paper straw.

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  • Jasmine

    Were can you get pink lemonade powder from in nz to make the icing? Or what would be an alternative!

    • Kirsten

      Hi Jasmine, you can buy it from American stores like Martha’s Backyard – here’s a link to the one I have. Martha’s Backyard is in Mt Wellington, Auckland, but you can also shop online :)