Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes with Sweet Cherry Frosting

Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes
I loved having my children home for the summer when they were young. One of my close friends, Becky Smalley, from Georgia and I were reminiscing about our children’s childhoods while we were working together on a mission trip to Jamaica. She told me that one night her son, Will, was spending the night with a friend. The friend and his mother got into an argument and the boy spoke rudely to his mother. At one point in the argument the mother turned to Will and said, “You don’t ever speak like this to your mother do you?”  Will replied, “No Ma’am, not out loud!”
For all of you with children at home this summer, I hope you survive all the arguments!!

Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes with Sweet Cherry Frosting- Makes 24

Cupcakes
1 box White Cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Classic white cake mix)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup frozen lemonade
One 3 ounce box cherry Jell-O, divided. Reserve 2 teaspoons Jell-O for frosting
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill 2-twelve count muffin pans with paper cupcake liners (24 total). Do not spray paper liners with non-stick spray. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a mixer, mix on low speed for 30 seconds then scrape down sides. Mix an additional 2 minutes on medium speed. Scoop batter into paper liners using an ice cream scoop. Fill liners 3/4 of the way full. You will have left over batter, but do not overfill liners. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sweet Cherry Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons frozen lemonade
2 teaspoons cherry Jell-O (reserved from making the cupcakes)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet fresh cherries (about 9 to 10 fresh cherries)
24 fresh cherries (Garnish each cupcake with one cherry)

Pit cherries using a chopstick and a soft drink or beer bottle.  Hold the cherry at the opening of the bottle with one hand. Hold the chopstick vertically with your other hand. Pierce the center of the cherry with the chopstick and keep pressing until the chopstick passes through the cherry and the pit drops into the bottle. Process cherries in a mini food processor until finely chopped, set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter for 5 minutes on medium speed (#4 on Kitchen-Aid). The butter will be light, fluffy and change appearance to a lemon color. Add powdered sugar, frozen lemonade and cherry Jell-O. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add chopped cherries and mix for one minute. Pipe frosting on cupcakes using any cupcake tip you like. (I used a Wilton Tip 2A). Garnish each cupcake with a fresh cherry. These pink cupcakes are so pretty!

Published in The News and Neighbor on July 13, 2013

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