I can honestly say I have a serious sweet tooth and this recipe satisfies those cravings to the fullest! Perfect as an individual treat or to please a large crowd, say hello to my Cherry Lemonade Cupcake.
This cupcake literally has a cherry on top and the flavor makes every bite worth it. Both the cupcake itself and the creamy cream cheese frosting are infused with cherry flavor. And for the “lemonade” flavor, fresh lemon juice and zest are the only way to go.
Did you know? Applesauce is the perfect alternative when you don’t want to use butter or oil when baking. It reduces calories and adds fiber. I used applesauce in this recipe because it has a high water conetnt which results in a very moist cupcake.
Do you remember the Easy-Bake Oven? Well, my older sister would whip up a batch of cupcakes that would fill the room with an awesome aroma. And that is where my curiosity for making cupcakes started. Of course, these are way better than any childhood oven could deliver — these cupcakes are made from scratch using 100% fresh ingredients.
Making My Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes:
This cupcake recipe actually begins with the frosting. Make sure your cream cheese is soft and at room temperature before beginning.
Next, cut your cherries into small pieces using a knife or food processer. Place your cherries (I use Maraschino Cherries(paid link) that are flavored with real Kentucky Bourbon), your soft cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Fold using a silicone spatula(paid link) until smooth.
Cover frosting and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. While the frosting is cooling down, you can start working on your cupcake batter.
In a large bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients, except the sugar. In a separate bowl, blend your sugar and butter.
Use a lemon zester(paid link) to zest your lemon skin. Slice your lemon and squeeze out one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Add to the bowl of wet ingredients.
Blend all remaining cake ingredients, except the eggs, for 2-3 minutes. Add your eggs one at a time and continue to blend. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold together.
A quick tip: Do not over blend the cake batter. It will destroy the texture of your cupcakes making them dense and chewy.
Place the paper cupcake cups into a large muffin pan and fill them 3/4 of the way with cake batter.
Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and allow to cool for another 30 minutes before topping with the cherry cream cheese frosting.
Cupcake recipes are always a great way to keep the kids around the kitchen when you want to spend some quality family time, plus making them is a fun team effort. When your sweet tooth is on the prowl, whip up a batch of these Cherry Lemonade Cupcakes to satisfy that urge.
Looking for more cake ideas? Check out my other recipes below:
In a large bowl, blend softened cream cheese and powdered sugar.
Place cherries into a food processor(paid link) and chop into small pieces. Blend cherries and remaining frosting ingredients into a bowl. Cover frosting and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
In a second large bowl, blend sugar and butter.
Using a lemon zester(paid link), zest the skin of the lemon then cut the limit in half to squeeze 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice into the bowl.
Add chop cherries in a food processor(paid link). Add cherries and remaining wet ingredients, except the eggs, into the same bowl. Hand blend ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add eggs to wet ingredients one at a time. Blend for 1 minute.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Lightly fold until blended. Do not over mix.
Place cupcake paper into large muffin pan and fill 3/4 to the top with cupcake batter.
Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool for an additional 30 minutes.