Lemonade Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting
I loved the light, fluffy flavor of these cupcakes. They were a nice change of pace from the ordinary cupcake texture–almost like a cross between a pound cake and an angel food cake–in a very good way. We used Duncan Hines white cake mix. This recipe would make a great regular cake as well. This is another Southern Living recipe. I have altered the original instructions: pour the batter into the cupcake pan until it is almost full, not 3/4 full as the original states. We found that the cupcakes barely rose at all. This will change your yield to roughly 21 cupcakes.
Frosting: the original recipe goes for an easy, semi-homemade approach using a canned cream cheese frosting and assorted colorful candies for topping. However, semi-homemade cupcake batter was about as far as we were willing to trod down the easy-path. We did try a canned frosting to save time for testing purposes only, but we can testify that the unbalanced, sugary taste of the canned stuff definitely detracts from an otherwise great recipe. Take the time to make the homemade stuff.
You don’t need a ton of frosting with this cupcake. We even managed to get a pretty presentation without any kind of cake-decorating skill required. We simply used the largest round tip we had and iced in a spiral, then topped each cupcake with three blueberries and dusted with lemon zest. I loved that the zest added color and flavor without all the artificial coloring. It’s a great alternative to sprinkles.Sometimes my spirals didn’t turn out perfectly; but when finished with the blueberries and lemon zest the mistakes almost disappeared. Magical! The blueberries and zest were added for looks, but I was surprised by the wonderful impact they had on the flavor. It really brought the whole thing together.
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (18.25-ounce) package white cake mix
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
Remove 2 tablespoons lemonade concentrate from can, and reserve for another use.
Combine remaining concentrate, cake mix, and next 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened. Beat at high speed 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each almost full.
Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely on wire rack. Serve with homemade cream cheese frosting.
Homemade Cream Cheese frosting
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp. genuine vanilla
Beat cream cheese and butter. Add sugar a little at a time, creaming after each addition. Add vanilla,