cherry limeade cupcakes*

Last week we had a luau for the students, which also happened to be our first BBQ of the summer. No, I did not just get the memo that it has been summer for the last several months, but because of different restrictions from the health department it is really quite the process to be able to cook outside. However, we got a temporary event permit, so I decided that we needed to make it more than just a plain old BBQ - and what better way than to have a fun luau! We had decorations and leis and of course - some cherry limeade cupcakes topped with a little paper umbrella! LOVE IT.

I really liked the lime cupcake, but I must admit - the cherry frosting really didn't do it for me. It didn't have a very cherry distinct flavor, and I absolutely love cherries, so that was a huge disappointment. I even added extra juice from the maraschino cherries, but it still wasn't very cherry-y. But the cupcake - so good!!! My suggestion: add even more of the juice or possibly get some cherry flavor extract. (I have a confession, I didn't know if cherry flavor extract existed - so I just googled it. It does! Phew.)

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
from Java Cupcake

Yield:  Makes 4 dozen cupcakes

5 1/4 cups flour*
3/4 cup corn starch*
1 tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 limes, zested and juiced
10 oz can of limeade concentrate or lime margarita concentrate, thawed and at room temperature
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup hot water

*NOTE: This combo of corn starch and flour is to make cake flour.  If you have cake flour on hand, use 6 cups of it.

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners.

In a medium bowl, prepare the sugar by working the lime zest into sugar by pressing the back of a spatula down into sugar, thus releasing the oils from the zest into the sugar. This process should take about five minutes, and the sugar will become very fragrant. Set aside.

In another large bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, salt, baking powder and soda three times.  You really want to make sure the corn starch is very incorporated into the flour.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the lime sugar and mix on high until light and fluffy.

Add the entire can of limeade concentrate and lime juice.  Mix until combined.  Don’t worry if it appears curdled… it’s normal at this point!

Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.

In three parts, add the flour mixture.  Between each addition of flour, add half the milk.  Mix only until the flour is just combined.

Add the hot water and mix by hand until incorporated.  DO NOT OVER MIX!

Fill liners 2/3 full, or use an ice cream scoop to distribute one full scoop into each liner. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, poke 7-10 holes in each cupcake with a toothpick.  Drizzle a tablespoon of syrup over each cupcake, allowing it to soak into the cake.

Lime Syrup
1 10 oz can of lime juice concentrate or lime margarita concentrate, thawed
1 cup powdered sugar 
Whisk together the powdered sugar and thawed concentrate until all the sugar has dissolved into the concentrate.
Cherry Buttercream
Double this recipe to have enough to frost 4 dozen lime cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
5-6 tbsp Maraschino cherry juice
3-4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/8 tsp Wilton Christmas Red food color gel
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the butter.  Cream after each addition.

After half the sugar has been added, add the cherry juice and mix until combined. Add enough whipping cream until you get your desired consistency, you may not need all of it, or you might want to add more. Mix in the coloring. After everything has been combined, mix on high for 30 seconds.

Pipe onto cupcakes and top with a cherry and lime for garnish.

These turned out so fun and were perfect for the occasion! We served them along side a BBQ hamburger, pineapple & watermelon salad, chips, and a tossed salad. And look how convenient - here is Nate modeling his spread for us all to see!

Happy baking, grilling and luau-ing!!



Cambric said...
August 18, 2011 at 6:29 PM

YUM! looks awesome! will for sure be making these!!!

Nathan said...
August 19, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Man that is one good looking burger:) and yes the cupcakes are the best-thanks Alyssa!

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