Jul 7, 2013

Lemonade Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

cupcake frosted 2


For the past few days here in Atlanta, there has been rain, rain and MORE rain! Yesterday the sun came out in the afternoon and I got so excited until it was quickly covered once again by clouds and the thunder and lightening took their all too familiar place. So until the sun is able to make an appearance for longer than five minutes I thought we needed to bring in a different kind of sunshine. How about sunshine in cupcake form? Lemonade cupcakes with vanilla frosting to be exact. They are so good that I might just be willing to have a few more rainy days for this kind of sunshine! They are packed with fresh lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice, which instantly makes you feel like you are having lemonade but what’s even better is it’s through a cupcake. Again, a total win in my book! Jor had actually asked for a lemon flavored dessert and if lemon is what you are craving, these cupcakes are sure to deliver!

Here’s what you need:


(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Makes 12 standard size cupcakes.)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest and juice from two lemons
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 (pinch) of kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream

(Preheat the oven to 350 F.) Start the cupcake batter by beating together the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl for about three minutes. I prefer to use my stand mixer but a hand mixer will work just fine, too.  Add the eggs, the vanilla extract and the lemon zest.

cupcake batter


Pour in the freshly squeezed lemon juice.

fresh squeezed lemon juice


Add in the salt and the baking powder and give it another good mix. I like to alternate the addition of the milk and flour. Pour in 1/2 cup flour, followed by 1/4 cup of buttermilk and repeat until all flour and milk has been added. The batter should be light and fluffy so be sure not to over mix.

cupcake batter 2

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill each cup with batter. Fill each cup to the top and you shouldn’t have any cupcake batter overflow.

cupcake pre-bakeThe batter should already be fragrant with lemon and transporting you to the days of your lemonade stand. If only I had thought of a lemonade cupcake stand!

cupcake pre-bake 2


Let the cupcakes bake for about 20 minutes. Remember that every oven operates just a tad bit differently so take a peak at around 18 minutes. Once your toothpick comes out clean or with dry crumbs they are done! Let the cupcakes sit on a cooling rack to cool down completely before they get a nice topping of vanilla frosting.

cupcake baked 2


I think this is the hard part. You stand there making the frosting while the cupcakes just sit there almost asking you to take a quick taste. Resist all temptations and go ahead with the frosting. Combine the butter, confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and vanilla extract. Again you can use the hand or stand mixer but for convenience purposes I opted for my stand mixer. Pour in the heavy cream and the frosting should come right together in about 2 minutes. Give it a little taste (no objections I suppose!) and if it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar or more cream if it is too thick. Using a small spatula or knife, top each cupcake with a big or small dollop of frosting and spread just as you like.

cupcake frosted


You can double this frosting recipe and you will then have enough to pipe the frosting on to each cupcake. These cupcakes were just for Jor and my sweet tooth so I went for the more casual look of spreading the frosting with a little spatula. If you need or just feel like being a little fancier a little piping action will be great!

cupcake frosted 3


These cupcakes lasted us about a week. How you might ask? Well I tapped back into my childhood days and resorted to eating only half a cupcake at a time! Crazy?! Maybe. Crazy hard to resist reaching for the other half?! Absolutely! To make them last this long, be sure to keep them in an airtight container and move them to the fridge after a day, or two at the most.

cupcake-inside view


Although I am an absolute chocolate lover, in the summer, like most people, I have a complete craving for all desserts with fruit. Give me a good crumble or a key lime pie (yum!) and all things citrus! I just feel like they are all the epitome of summer of for some reason don’t you just feel like you are eating a “lighter” dessert when fruit is involved? Even when we top it with creamy, fluffy vanilla frosting you just feel like you don’t have to roll away from the dinner table in quite the same way as you do after other non-fruit desserts! Next time I think I might switch out the lemon and try them with orange zest and fresh juice. I’m thinking that paired with the vanilla frosting might equate to creamsicle in cupcake form! My taste buds are already watering. But for now, that’s lemonade cupcakes with vanilla frosting…in the shell of a nut!

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