Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

July 25, 2018

I am not really someone who would say they are a great cook. For the longest time, the only thing I could cook was breakfast foods, and honestly, it isn’t that hard to scramble some eggs or make a pancake. However, it did take me quite a while to master the art of not making the pancake doughy in the middle or burnt to a crisp on the outside.

Over the past four years since I graduated high school, I have been slowly working on expanding my cooking skills, and it has been a slow process. As of now, I can happily say I can cook more than just breakfast foods.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

The one thing I would like to improve on is baking. I am guilty of making salty cookies, failing at creative rice crispy treat making, or burning the edges to brownies. With the words ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ in mind, I have decided to make lemon cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. To stay with a pink lemonade theme, I am going to use pink and yellow food dye to create the look.

photo by Anna Maxwell

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Lemon Cupcake Recipe


  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter (soften to room temperature)
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs(large)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 lemons (zest and juice from both lemons)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Mix by hand or use a mixer, the butter and sugar until creamed.
  • Add eggs and vanilla, then continue to mix until everything is mixed together (wet ingredients)
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. (dry ingredients)
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (expect the batter to be thick)
  • Lastly, add the milk, lemon juice and zest until it is well combined with batter. Don’t over mix!
  • Line a 12 cupcake pan with liners, then add the batter about 2/3 of the way in each cupcake liner
  • Bake for 18 minutes, check with a toothpick to see if the middle is cooked through. Add an extra 2 minutes if needed.

I found that the amount of lemon juice you add to the batter can vary from 1 to 2 lemons. 2 lemons worth of lemon juice for me added a strong lemon flavor to the batter, and while I do like lemon flavor I wouldn’t recommend doing a lemon flavored icing on top as it might make the lemon too overpowering. 

Vanilla Butter Cream Icing

*NOTE: Wait until cupcakes are cooled before beginning to apply icing*


  • 1 Cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 or 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract(this depends on how much vanilla you want in your, you can taste test as you are making the icing to determine how much you would like)


  • Mix by hand or mixer the butter until creamy
  • Add 3 1/2 or 4 cups of your powdered sugar(leaving about a 1/2 cup on the side)
  • Add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract
  • Mix together well, then add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

Troubleshooting: If you find your icing to be too liquidy, you can add a tablespoon more of powdered sugar. If it is too thick, you can add a tablespoon more of heavy whipping cream. If frosting is too sweet, add a little salt(1/4 of a teaspoon to start off with)

When I was adding dye to my cupcakes to make them pink or yellow, I reminded myself that a little goes a long way. I found pink and yellow food dye at my local grocery store, and I started off with a few drops in each bowl. It didn’t take more than 5 or 6 to each get the right look for the type of dye that I used.

I also added white pearl looking sprinkles to my cupcakes, but you could take a more creative direction and add thin lemon slices or lemon candies to the top.

photo by Anna Maxwell

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Yes, my cupcake decorating could always use some improvement, but I think I did a good job on my first attempt. The one thing I wished I did differently is keep a better eye on the time the actual cupcakes were in the oven. They seemed to have baked a minute or two longer than they should have, but the overall cupcake was tasty. I hope you all enjoyed this recipe post. If you end up making this recipe, let me know on my Instagram or on my Twitter.


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All images were created or taken by me, unless stated otherwise.

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