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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

cherry-limeade-cupcakes

The third birthday celebrated on our 4-parties-in-1 night was mine!  Most of my regular readers are well aware of my deep love for cupcakes.  I thought it very fitting to make my personal dessert be some sort of cupcakes.  Not as well known is my serious love for fun fruity drinks (or actually almost any sort of juice.)  My favorite kind of cupcakes are those that can be decorated in a fun way, so when I saw this recipe combining a fruity drink with cute cupcakes, I was sold.

I have heard many times how fabulous the drinks from Sonic are, the cherry limeade in particular, but I had actually never even been to a Sonic before (gasp!)  A new one was just built near my grocery store a couple of months ago, so I decided to go try the cherry limeade for myself before I tried a cupcake so I would have something to compare them to.  The drink was good, although I’m not quite sure it lived up to the hype – I didn’t notice enough lime flavor.  Regardless, fruity sugary drink = happy Annie!  The cupcakes tasted surprisingly similar to the drink.  I think the lime syrup drizzled on top of the cakes is key in keeping them moist, and contributes the bulk of the lime flavor, so don’t skip this step.

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. limeade concentrate
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)

For the lime syrup:
3/4 cup limeade concentrate
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the frosting:
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 tbsp. (or more) maraschino cherry juice
red food coloring (optional)

For decorating (optional):
fresh lime slices
maraschino cherries

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed.  Add in the limeade concentrate and mix to incorporate.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions.  Add in the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix ingredients just long enough to incorporate but no longer.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack over wax paper to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, whisk together the limeade concentrate and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl to make the lime syrup.  Poke several holes in the top of each cupcake with a skewer and pour the syrup over the cupcakes, allowing it to soak in.

To make the frosting, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter and maraschino cherry juice in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high speed and beat until smooth.  Add more maraschino cherry juice as needed to achieve desired texture.  Add red food coloring if desired.

Frost cooled cupcakes.  Garnish with lime slices and maraschino cherries, if desired.

Source: adapted from Baking Up Chaos

  • http://penniesonaplatter.wordpress.com Pennies on a Platter

    Oh my gosh. Remember this date: August 25. I’ll expect a batch of these in the mail. :)

    These are amazing!

  • http://joelens.blogspot.com Joelen

    What a great and colorful cupcake! I think your inspiration for them is prettty cleaver! :)

  • Kelly

    Holy cow – these look amazing! When you say imeade concentrate, are you referring to those minute maid frozen cans?

  • Laura

    I LOVE cherry limeade!!!! I think I’m going to have to make these. : ) These look amazing!

  • http://jennyisluckyinlove@blogspot.com Jenny

    I can’t wait to try these. You have just invented my Valentine’s Day surprise to my husband. The cherry-limade is the reason he goes to Sonic.

    Thanks!!

  • http://carascreaturecomforts.blogspot.com Cara

    those look so great! I love Sonic cherry limeades…i will have to try these!

  • http://veggiegirlvegan.blogspot.com VeggieGirl

    So festive!! :-D

  • http://kokocooks.blogspot.com kokomama

    Those cupcakes look great! I recommend the lemonberry slush at Sonic – they squeeze fresh lemon juice for the drink.

  • Erin

    These look so cute! I love Sonic drinks- I’m thinking that a Blue Coconut cupcake would be a fun experiment :)

  • http://www.singletoninthekitchen.com Jessica

    Cutest. Cupcakes. Ever. I like cherry limeades at Sonic but I always ask for extra lime. I think that they taste so much better with more lime.

  • http://macaroniandcheesecake.blogspot.com Stephanie

    What an inventive idea!! I LOVE cherry limeades! Putting these on my list to bake for sure!!

  • http://www.homewithmandy.com Home with Mandy

    These look dangerous – I could eat four! Super cute!!

  • http://ellysaysopa.com elly

    These are so cute and they sound so delicious. I love *anything* lime.

  • http://www.somethingnewiscooking.blogspot.com Michelle

    Those are wonderful looking!

  • http://karaskitchencreations.blogspot.com/ Kara

    These look so cute with the cherry on top. Love the idea of poking the holes and spreading with the glaze-Yum!

  • http://www.cupcakeproject.com Stef

    The green liners were the absolute perfect choice for those. Love the idea!

  • http://baseballbakingandbooks.com ingrid

    Love how you decorated them!
    ~ingrid

  • http://memoriesinthebaking.blogspot.com Marysol

    How colorful and adorable are those!

  • http://www.wheresmydamnanswer.com Cathy – wheresmydamnanswer

    How fun and festive!!!

  • http://www.giverecipe.com Zerrin

    This cupcakes are gorgeous! I must give it a try soon. I can feel how they are yummy in my mouth right now thanks to this wonderful picture

  • http://www.lipsmackinggoodness.blogspot.com Lori

    These are adorable. I love how they look and I bet they taste great!

  • mmhuynh

    OMG I’ve wanted to visit Sonic for SO long, but they are pretty far away from my house, but maybe I can try these instead… so cute!

  • http://elizabethscooking.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    Those look great!

  • http://familyfriendsandfood.blogspot.com Patsyk

    LOVE cherry limeade! These cupcakes would be a favorite for me!

  • http://kelseysappleaday.blogspot.com/ Kelsey

    My whole family loves Sonic, especially for their cherry limeades. We’re actually from the town in Oklahoma where the first Sonic opened. I have several pictures of me as little girl holding a tiny little six oz. kids cup of cherry limeade. I MUST make these for my sister’s upcoming birthday!

  • http://www.thebitchgirls.us Bitter

    The cherry limeades from Sonic have gone downhill over the years. For a really good limeade, go into a small town drugstore with a soda/ice cream counter. My years behind the counter gave me the chance to really perfect my cherry limeades.

    That said, I’m so making these since I left Oklahoma and can’t find a good limeade anywhere. (The Sonic cherry limeades here are particularly bad since none of the staff are from an area of the country that ever served them. They don’t know what one should taste like – and it’s made with Sprite. Yuck!)

  • oneparticularkitchen

    I’m making these right now and it seems like a LOT of syrup… did you use it all?

  • Pingback: Cherry Limeade Cupcakes « One Particular Kitchen

  • Tiffany

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was well received. People loved how cute they looked. One person actually took a picture! As to the person’s question about using all the syrup, I certainly did not. I probably put too much in, but next time I will do the same, but refrigerate them. The syrup definitely gives it that limeade kick! Thanks again, I had to give many people the recipe.

  • Annie

    Oneparticularkitchen,
    I think I used most of it – after all, the majority runs off the cupcakes. You certainly don’t have to use it all though. Do whatever you like!
    :) Annie

  • http://allaboutlea.blogspot.com Leandra

    I made these tonight. They were amazing! I wish I could frost as good as you but oh well. :) I took them to my husband’s work and they were gone in 5 seconds. Thanks for the fabulous recipe. I linked you on my blog so everyone could come see how great your recipes are.

  • Pingback: The Cutest Cupcakes - Lemon Strawberry « The City Girl Cooks

  • Sheri

    I saw these with a straw stuck in (cut to size, of course!). They were precious!

  • http://www.cookingafterfive.wordpress.com Nicole (Cooking After Five)

    I love Sonic’s Cherry Limeade – I agree with you about the lime flavor though. These look great! (By the way, just recently discovered your blog and I love it!)

  • Jillicious

    The key to a great cherry limeade experience from Sonic is to take off the lid as soon as you receive it, fish out the lime wedges, and squeeze the heck out of them to get all the juice you can. Stir with your straw, and make sure to hook the stem of your maraschino cherry over the side before you put the lid back on so you don’t have to fish it out to eat later.

  • Pingback: Summer’s Cool and Sweet: Limeade and Cherry Limeade | No Fuss Fabulous

  • Regina

    I made these for my book club and everyone RAVED about them. I had a few left over and took those to work (so I wouldn’t eat them all myself) and they all RAVED about them, too. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Annie!

  • http://www.blenderbenefits.com Blender Recipes

    Thanks Annie- these look so cute. I love the added addition of sliced limes. Well done.

  • http://www.christianfarmgirl.blogspot.com Shannon

    I made this on Friday.. I couldn’t find limeaid concentrate so I used Sunkist Cherry Limeaide.. Man were these cupcakes the best!! Thank you!! I loved them and they will be a part of our summer baking forever..

  • Brandalynn

    So I was soo excited to try these but I was a little let down by how they turned out. The cake was yummy and the finished product looked beautiful but the icing was just too sweet for me. I might try again with a sour cherry for more of a tart icing.

  • Cupcake

    I just tried this recipe. The cupcakes themselves were amazing! I used all the syrup, but the trick to getting it all to soak in is using the big end of a chopstick to poke the holes instead of a toothpick. The icing was too sweet for me and not enough of a cherry taste. I love how cute they turned out! I am sure they will be a hit!

  • http://littlethingsxoxo.blogspot.com/ Michelle

    I just made these cupcakes. They are really delicious, everyone loved them! I took someone else’s advice and added little straws as garnish, they were SUPER cute! I added them to my blog. PS I love this blog! I’ve made a couple cupcake recipes and they are all SO delicious!! :)

  • Tracy

    I made the cherry limeade cupcakes for my son to take to daycare for his birthday. I had extra so I took them to work, the were a huge hit!! Thank you so much for your recipes. I also made the banana split for his birthday party and people couldn’t believe I didn’t buy them somewhere!

  • Tabriah

    Just wanted to thank you for the great recipe! I made them this weekend for my daughter’s 2nd birthday – Cherry Limeade theme…and they were wonderful and so pretty that everyone thought I bought them from somehwere. Thank you for sharing! I will be making these again!

  • Maia

    these look amazing! I’m going to make these with my best friend as soon as I can!

  • Mikayla

    my boyfriend and i added a little green icing to the cupcake batter! green cupcakes with red icing! they are adorable! they taste amazing!

  • http://facebook.com/hannahbananascakesanddesserts Hannah Gilmore

    Thanks for the recipe! In addition to the concentrate, I also used Lime Grenadine. A couple of added tablespoons to the already 1/2 cup + 2 Tblspns of limeade concentrate makes for a delicious taste. I also added about half a small packet of lemon-lime koolaid, which adds flavor and a bit of nice color. And to make the cake super moist, I add 2 pre-made pudding cups such as Jello or Snack Pack. For this recipe I used vanilla. I also used a fork to whip a BUNCH of air into them. I find it funny that I can’t even get that much air with a whisk :P Well, anywho, they’re in the oven right now, and smell delicious. I’m going to top with a cherry buttercream and a lime wedge and a green maraschino cherry :D

  • Sherra Ogden

    Thanks so much for the credit and link back! Your’s turned out gorgeous! I bet they were just as yummy!!

  • Rachel

    These were fabulous! I stumbled across the recipe on Pinterest, tried them one crazy cooking night after putting my baby to bed, and LOVED them. I proceeded to share them the next day with some co-workers (truth be told, I had to give them away before I ate them all.) Everyone I shared them with asked for the recipe and raved over them. Delicious and unusual. Congrats!

  • http://ch4pterfour.wordpress.com/ Ashley

    I’m looking forward to trying these!

    Sonic’s cherry limeade is overrated. Homemade is better: 1 can frozen limeade concentrate, 1 2-liter Sprite, 1 jar of maraschino cherries (preferably with stems), 1 sliced lime. Mix according to directions on can, substituting Sprite for water; add cherry juice to taste. Pour into glasses over (crushed) ice, add a few cherries and a lime slice, and enjoy! It’s not nearly as sickly sweet as Sonic’s is.

  • Lora

    I am not a fan of cherry, especial maraschino, but I LOVE Sonic’s classic Limeaid. Can I substitute lime juice for the cherry juice in the frosting? I will have to try. these look fun!

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page re: substitutions. Thanks.

  • Belenski

    I fell in love with this cupcake’s cuteness on pinterest. I made them for a few friends b-days & our church’s bake sale. They were a hit.

  • Shelby

    I added a little green and yellow icing to the cupcakes for a more lime flavored look. They turned out great!!

  • Claire

    Oh my goodness, I made these for a party and they were so, so good! These have to be my favorite cupcakes now, Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!