Friday, April 15, 2011

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

For a while I have been wanting to try a recipe for pink lemonade cupcakes, and a school bake sale to benefit The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life gave me the perfect opportunity. In fact, a double recipe yielded enough batter to make 48 cupcakes -- enough to send to school, save for a church event, and share with a friend.

Lemon desserts add a refreshingly tart punch to a dessert table; and, of course, everything is better in my book when it is pink.

I wanted these cupcakes to look like a tall glass of lemonade so just a glance would give tasters a hint of their flavor.

Pink and yellow straws cut into fourths look sweet slipped into the icing, and candy lemon slices add a tart surprise. (Straws from The Sugar Diva; lemon candies from Wal-Mart; cupcake liners  from Michaels.)

Such a refreshing and pretty choice for spring!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Adapted from this Paula Deen recipe.

1 box white cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sweetened pink lemonade drink powder

2 sticks margarine
1 cup shortening
8 tablespoons frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Zest from 1 lemon
2 pounds confectioners sugar
Pink icing paste or food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 24 standard-size muffin cups with cupcake liners. Prepare the cake mix batter according to package directions, adding lemon zest, vanilla and pink lemonade powder. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to ladle the batter into lined muffin tins. Bake according to package directions, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting. Prepare the icing by creaming margarine, shortening, lemonade concentrate, milk and vanilla with a mixer. Beat until smooth, then mix in lemon zest. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. If desired, beat in a little pink icing paste to intensify the pale pink frosting. (Note: To take another shortcut, use a lemon cake mix instead of the doctored white cake mix.) 

So if life gives you lemons, make a little lemonade. 

Then share the loveliness with pink lemonade cupcakes.

I hope these cupcakes will bring sweet rewards at today's Relay for Life bake sale. For all whose lives are touched by cancer -- whether you fall in step with a sick loved one or walk the path yourself -- I pray you will discover unexpected blessings along the way.

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

~Irish Blessing

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