Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes with Sweet Cherry Frosting

Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes

Several years ago, one of my close friends, Becky Smalley, from Georgia and I were reminiscing about our children’s childhoods. 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!” I started laughing because it sounded like something one of my kids would say.
For those of you with children at home this summer, I hope you survive all the arguments!!

I’m just like a kid when it comes to cupcakes. I can’t stop eating them! This recipe is easy because it starts with a cake mix.

Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes with Sweet Cherry Frosting- Makes 24

Cherry Lemonade 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
Garnish: 24 whole cherries with stems

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Fill two, 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 full. You will have left over batter, but do not overfill liners. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sweet Cherry Frosting

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet fresh cherries (about 9 to 10 fresh cherries)
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)

Process cherries in a mini food processor until finely chopped. Measure 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter 5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Appearance will change to a lemon color. Add powdered sugar, frozen lemonade and cherry Jell-O. Mix on medium speed 1 minute. Add chopped cherries and mix 1 minute. Pipe frosting on cupcakes using any cupcake tip you like. (I used a large round tip, Wilton Tip 2A.) Garnish each cupcake with a fresh cherry.

Tip: 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.

Published in The News and Neighbor on June 8, 2022.

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