September 10, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I found a very interesting idea in my latest issue of Rachael Ray - adding Kool Aid to your icing. A light bulb flickered above me - why hadn't I thought of this before?!?! So I headed to the Kool Aid website for inspiration... because most people have a Kool Aid packet laying around right?

When I saw Strawberry Lemonade, I immediately put this combo together: moist lemon cupcakes, lemon curd filling, and a strawberry lemonade buttercream frosting. Mmmmmm. Now to be honest.... the hubby brought home a large container of Country Time Strawberry Lemonade instead of the individual Kool Aid packets, but he did look at how many ounces are in every Kool Aid packet so I could provide accurate information! (He knew the large container would give me plenty of room for experimentation!)

So, here we go! A wonderfully light and refreshing cupcake .


Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Cupcakes: I used a boxed mix- Duncan Hines Lemon. The filling and icing fancy it up a bit! :)

Filling: Check out my recipe for Lemon Curd- it's fast, easy and oh so tasty.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tb Strawberry Lemonade flavored drink mix (approx. 4 Kool Aid packets)
  • Evaporated milk or water

  1. It is very important the butter be room temperature and very soft- it will make the icing smoother. In a medium bowl, whisk or beat the butter and vanilla until creamy. Continue to mix as you add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
  2. Mixture will be very crumbly - add your liquid one Tb at a time, whisking constantly, until you reach the desired icing consistency. I like the icing to still be a little firm so it holds shape better. (Note: I used evaporated milk and simply poured the remaining milk in an airtight container and put in the fridge for use in coffee, hot chocolate...or more icing!)
  3. Once icing is smooth and creamy to your liking, begin adding the flavored drink mix - yep, one Tb at a time. Be sure to give the icing a little taste after each Tb; you may find you like it with less - or more. The 4 Tb gave the frosting a very slight pink coloring and soft tart flavor.
  4. Add food coloring if the drink mix isn't enough color.

To assemble:

  1. Cut a slit, about an inch long, in the top of your cupcakes
  2. Pour lemon curd into a plastic baggie (or icing bag if they are handy) and seal. Cut off one corner of the bag.
  3. Slightly squeeze cupcake to open top where you made the slit. Squeeze in some lemon curd - a tablespoon or so - then stop squeezing the cupcake. If you didn't squeeze your cupcake too hard, it should return to close its original shape. Repeat with all cupcakes.
  4. Ice cupcakes, being careful of the slit. Make sure you didn't fill the cupcakes so much that the curd is coming out the top - this won't mix well with the frosting.

I think these cupcakes are really cute and feminine - just begging for some polka dots or sprinkles!


And check out the filling!


Keep cupcakes in an airtight container, in a cool place until ready to serve. The best part is that you can make all the components 1-2 days in advance and assemble just before serving. Just be sure to serve the same day you assemble.

Just think of all the Kool Aid combos! Add cherry to your chocolate frosting for a Black Forest flavor. How about Berry Blast Cream Cheese Frosting?!? Please share your ideas and experiments!

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6 comments:

the country cook said...

Those are lovely! Thanks for the tutorial on how to fill the cupcakes - I've never seen that done before.

susan said...

Kristen-I have made pink lemonade cupcakes and loved them. I did not put the lemon curd in them but I think it would bump it up a notch! Love the Kool Aid idea!

Our Treasured Home said...

Love the idea of using Kool Aid! These cupcakes look cute and tasty! Will be thinking about ideas.

Edgar said...

how much do i use of the evaporated milk ?

Kristen said...

Edgar - just a few tablespoons. I used 3, but add it a tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly between each. Do this until you reach your desired consistency. I like icing a litle firm so it holds shape well.

Edgar said...

Thanks Kristen, i used about 4, but next time I'll use 3, even with 4, the icing was nice and firm.

btw, I cooked this recipe and everyone LOVED it.

I just did it just for fun, but now I have the baking bug, i just want to bake cupcakes all day!!