Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

cherry limeade cupcakesHere we are in the dog days of summer, a time generally acknowledged as the hottest of the year in certain parts of the world. This interesting phrase originated with the rising of Sirius, the dog star, over North Africa and parts of the Middle East sometime in July or August. I was born in the dog days, and I like to think this is part of why I love dogs so much.

In any case, the dog days of summer call for refreshing treats, and these cherry limeade cupcakes fit the bill. They’re very light, with a wonderful texture and subtle flavors. I adapted this recipe from I am Baker, adjusting it very slightly to add more cherry juice and powdered sugar to the frosting. Make sure you allow your ingredients to come to room temperature before using them, as this yields the lightest, fluffiest texture in both the cupcakes and the frosting.

Ingredients

Lime Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

Cherry Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice*

*You can top the cupcakes with maraschino cherries if you like, but I left my cupcakes plain. 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners; this recipe yielded 18 cupcakes for me.

In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add vanilla extract, lime juice, and milk and beat for about 30 seconds.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating until combined, then fold in lime zest.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into cupcake tins, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, beat butter in a mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and allow the sugar to fully incorporate into the butter; this will take several minutes.

Add almond extract and 1/4 cup cherry juice; beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, then add another cup of powdered sugar and additional juice. Beat on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.

Fit a 14-inch piping bag with a Wilton 1A tip and pipe generous blobs of frosting onto each cupcake.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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