Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

These Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are filled with a tangy homemade lemon curd, and topped with a swirl of creamy and colorful strawberry and lemon cream cheese frosting. They are packed full of refreshing flavors, just like a glass of tangy fresh squeezed lemonade stirred together with sweet macerated strawberries.

Strawberry lemonade cupcake decorated with a candied lemon slice on a plateThese Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are cupcake version of my favorite strawberry lemonade from Red Robin. They used to have this drink called speckled strawberry lemonade, sweet but not too sweet and super refreshing. It even has real macerated strawberry in it, which has to be my favorite thing about that lemonade. I don’t think they serve that anymore nowadays but I used to get that every single time we ate there back in my college day.Strawberry lemonade cupcake decorated with a candied lemon slice on a plate next to a pot of lemon curd, fresh strawberries and extra cupcakes in the back

How to Make Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

For this recipe, I used my Very Strawberry Cupcakes as the base. I add a filling of homemade lemon curd for that tangy lemonade flavor. You could save time and use a store-bought lemon curd instead, I’ve seen a few brands selling it in the store for a decent price. But if you’re up for making your own, my lemon curd recipe takes just 15 minutes extra, and you can use the left over on toast, pancakes or scones.

Strawberry cupcake batter is portioned using an ice cream scoop and baked in a muffin panFilling the cupcakes may sound tricky but is actually very simple. In the past, I used a long piping tip inserted into the cupcake to fill it but now I find cutting out a hole is the easiest. This also ensure enough filling is added to each cupcake.

Cut a hole in a cupcake with the back of a piping tip and filling the whole with lemon curdNo fancy equipment is required to create holes in the cupcakes. I simply use the back of a piping tip to cut into the cupcakes. Push down and twist, when you lift up, a piece of cupcake will come out with the piping tip leaving a nicely formed hole for the filling to be added to. If the piece of cupcake inside the piping tip won’t come out with a little shake, use a chopstick to push it out from the other end. You can repeat the process one more time to create a deeper hole if desired.

Frosting is added to the filled cupcake to cover up the hole and extra piece of cupcake sticking outAdd filling to the cupcakes, and replace the pieces of cupcakes you cut out over the filling. Add frosting to cover everything up and it will look just like new. No one will realize there is filling until they take a bite of the cupcake.

How to Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for the two different frosting being mixed together in a stand mixerI cut this Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting recipe in half for these strawberry lemonade cupcakes but the method is exactly the same. This post on Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting has step by step photos if you want to see all the gory details. In summary, simply beat together softened cream cheese, butter and vanilla until combined. Then add powder sugar and strawberry powder. Mix at low speed to incorporate and then beat at higher speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined to yield a fluffy frosting.

For the lemon cream cheese frosting, you’ll do the same thing except this time you’ll add lemon zest and lemon extract for that tangy lemon flavor. And of course skip the strawberry powder.Assemble the two frosting on plastic wrap to create color swirl

How to create a swirl frosting? When using frosting of two or multiple colors or flavors, you want to add them in long logs on top of plastic wrap side by side. When you roll up the plastic wrap, this will create stripes of different color/flavor running through the big log of frosting. Snip one end of the plastic wrap to expose the frosting before adding it to a pastry bag fitted with an open star piping tip, but don’t remove the plastic wrap. Frost cupcakes as normal.

Candied Lemon for Decoration

Lemon slices for candied lemonThe candied lemon slices are completely optional and for decoration only. I personally don’t find them very pleasant for eating; they’re too tart still. But if you want to make them, I used this recipe for Oven Candied Lemon Slices. I cut it down to using just 1 lemon and 2 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Sprinkle the sugar over the thin lemon slices and bake at 275°F for 45 – 50 minutes. It is best to make these ahead so they have time to cool.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes on a wire rackThese pretty strawberry lemonade cupcakes are just perfect for Spring. They are packed full of refreshing flavors, just like a glass of tangy fresh squeezed lemonade stirred together with sweet macerated strawberries. And they want to be made for your Easter menu!

Celebrate Spring with More Delicious Recipes

Strawberry lemonade cupcake decorated with a candied lemon slice on a plate

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

5 from 1 vote
Strawberry lemonade cupcake decorated with a candied lemon slice on a plate
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
17 mins
Total Time
52 mins
 
These Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are filled with a tangy homemade lemon curd, and topped with a swirl of creamy and colorful strawberry and lemon cream cheese frosting. They are packed full of refreshing flavors, just like a glass of tangy fresh squeezed lemonade stirred together with sweet macerated strawberries.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, lemon cream cheese frosting, lemon curd, strawberry cream cheese frosting, strawberry cupcakes, strawberry lemonade cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 109 kcal
Author: Trang
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried strawberry powder (14 g, 1/2 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (211 g)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (127 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (2 g)
  • 1/2 cup pureed strawberry (113 g, 4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (77 g, room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (50 g)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (2 g)
Lemon frosting
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (113 g)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (113 g)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (2 g)
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar (50 g)
Strawberry frosting
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (113 g)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (113 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1 g)
  • 2 tablespoon ground freeze dried strawberry (7 g, 1/4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar (50 g)
Filling
Instructions
Prepare the strawberry powder
  1. Add 3/4 oz of freeze dried strawberry to a food processor and process until a powder forms. Keep a kitchen towel draped over the food processor while it’s working to prevent the strawberry powder to escape and fly everywhere.
  2. This should yield 6 tablespoons. Use 4 tablespoon (1/4 cup) for the cupcake batter and the remaining 2 tablespoon for the strawberry cream cheese frosting.
Make the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of strawberry powder to a small mixing bowl along with flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix with a whisk to distribute evenly. Set aside.
  3. In the same food processor used previously for the freeze dried strawberry, add the fresh strawberry and puree. Add strawberry puree in a medium mixing bowl along with buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat together with a whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and fold until just combined.
  5. Use a large ice cream scoop to divide batter into the previously prepared muffin pan. One flat scoop of batter for each cupcake cavity, or about 1/4 cup of batter each.
  6. Bake in the middle oven rack for 16 - 17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to the touch, remove cupcakes from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the frosting
  1. Allow the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature and softened before you get started. It can speed up the process to cut them into small cubes.
  2. For lemon frosting, add softened butter, cream cheese, lemon zest along with the vanilla and lemon extract to a stand mixer bowl, mix with the whisk attachment at medium low speed and gradually increase speed to medium high and beat until thoroughly combined. Stop the mixer to add powder sugar, mix at low speed to incorporate the powder mixture into the cream mixture, then gradually increase speed to medium high and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
  3. For strawberry frosting, add softened butter, cream cheese, along with the vanilla extract to a clean stand mixer bowl, mix with the whisk attachment at medium low speed and gradually increase speed to medium high and beat until thoroughly combined. Stop the mixer to add powder sugar and 2 tablespoon of strawberry powder, mix at low speed to incorporate the powder mixture into the cream mixture, then gradually increase speed to medium high and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
  4. To create swirl frosting, lay out a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, scoop out each frosting separately and lay them side by side in two logs. Roll up the plastic wrap to create 1 log of frosting with two colors.
  5. Add a piping tip of your choice to a pastry bag, cut off the excess plastic wrap at one end of the frosting log to expose the frosting and add to the pastry bag without removing the plastic wrap. Set aside until read to use.
Assemble the cupcakes
  1. Use the bottom of a frosting tip to cut out holes on top of a cupcake, push down and twist. Use a chopstick to push out the plug inside the frosting tip. Repeat one more time to create a deeper hole if desired.
  2. Spoon in 1 - 2 teaspoons of lemon curd to fill the hole. Add the plug of cupcake back on top to cover the filling. Add frosting.
  3. Repeat the process for the rest of the cupcakes. Garnish with fresh strawberry or candied lemon slice if desired.
Recipe Notes
  • I buy freeze dried strawberry from Target, one package is typically 1 oz.
  • I used homemade lemon curd in this recipe but store-bought will also work.
  • Refrigerate left over cupcakes.

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1 Comment

  1. March 22, 2019 /


    These sound just lovely and I love that two tone frosting. It looks so fluffy too.

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