Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

I've seen several blog posts and Pinterest pins for the same Cherry Limeade Cupcake recipe, and since the Cherry Limeade drink at Sonic Drive-In is Bryan's favorite, I thought it would be fun to make the cupcakes for his and Nick's birthday dinner. I started out with every intention of following the recipe, but while walking the grocery aisles my brain began to juggle a few variations. There were three basic parts to the recipe; the cake, glaze and frosting, and by the time I arrived home I had made part one easier, deleted part two, and made part three more complicated!

I was also inspired by another technique I found on Pinterest. A way to frost the swirl on the cupcakes using two small piping bags, filled with different colors of frosting, inside one large bag and coupler. The technique mom and I learned many years ago is messy, time consuming and the results will change every time you refill the piping bag, so this new technique really appealed to me.

Since I was making these cupcakes for my husband and our 19 year old son, I was fairly certain pink frosting wouldn't be their first choice. That's okay with me, but since I want my colors to match the drink this was based on, I had to come up with a way to incorporate the flavors and colors without making them look too girly. Ummm.... yeah. That didn't work out. Regardless, I think flavor is definitely going to trump color this time.

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

For Cake:
1 white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
3 eggs
1 lime, zest and juice of

For Frosting:
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
8 cups (2 lbs) sifted powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
green paste or gel icing color (or food coloring)
pink (or red) paste or gel icing color (or food coloring)

For Garnish (optional):
24 maraschino cherries, drained on paper towels
24 slices of lime

Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Combine all cake ingredients in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape sides of bowl, and then beat on medium speed for two minutes. Bake for 19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 5 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely. For the frosting, cream together the shortening and butter in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Begin adding the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Beat well and scrape the bowl occasionally. When the powdered sugar has been incorporated, remove half of the frosting to another bowl and set aside. To the mixer, add the 2 Tablespoons limeade concentrate and a drop of green icing color. Mix well and add small amounts of coloring until the desired shade is reached. If the frosting gets too soft, beat in additional powdered sugar. Remove the icing to a small bowl, wash the mixer bowl and return the reserved white frosting to it. Add the cherry juice and almond extract (if using) and beat well. If you would like a darker pink than the cherry juice provides, begin adding a drop or two of the pink or red icing color, beating well after each addition, until the desired color is reached.
Fill two small (8-10 inch) disposable piping bags 1/2 full; one color per bag. Cut about 1/2 inch off the tip of each bag and then flatten each bag slightly. Slip both bags into a larger (16-20 inch) bag, fitted with the large coupler and a Wilton brand 1M star tip. Begin swirling the icing onto cupcake at the outer edge, working your way toward the center, overlapping the previous rotation slightly. End the swirl by releasing pressure on the bag, and pulling straight up from the top of the cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with a cherry and slice of lime, if desired.

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TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License