Friday, March 23, 2012

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Pinterest this last week when I was searching for a cool cupcake for my now 11 year old Caleb to take to school and share with his class for his birthday.  (Wow, that was a long sentence!)

I knew he'd love it since one of his favorite things in the world is Sonic's Cherry limeade drinks.  And since our family is off soda for this entire school year (it's been almost 7 months...the kids are doing great!!!) I thought this might be the perfect thing for him!

They turned out so cute & were one of the best things I've ever eaten.  And I love that they just shout SPRING.  And to top it all off, it was such a beautiful day too.  I got a little bit of sun while watching Caleb play soccer at recess before treat time. 

Such a great day!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons limeade concentrate
3 eggs
3/4 cup half and half
green food coloring

For the lime topping:
1/4 cup limeade concentrate
3/4-1 cup powdered sugar

For the frosting:
7 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
5-7 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (1 jar is enough to make 24 cupcakes)
fresh lime slices
maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking  powder and baking soda.  Set aside.

In your mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until creamed.  Add the limeade concentrate and mix to incorporate.  Add the eggs one at a lime and mix in.  It will look pretty disgusting at this point, but don't worry you're doing it right!!  Add 1/3 of the flour and mix just until incorporated, then half of the half and half, and mix, another 1/3 of flour...mix, rest of the half and half...mix, and end with the flour, all mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in green food coloring to desired greenness.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 the way full (a large cookie scoop works great for this).  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, start making the lime topping.  Whisk together the limeade concentrate and powdered sugar until there are no lumps. 

Dip the tops of each cupcake into the lime mixture.  Keep it upside down for a little bit to let any excess drip back into your bowl.  Like so...

Place cupcakes back on the wire rack while you make the frosting.

Combine the powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and about 5 tablespoons of cherry juice in your mixer.  Mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated and then beat on medium high until smooth.  Add more cherry juice until it reaches the desired consistency.

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.  Top with a maraschino cherry and 1/4 of a lime wedge.

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