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Classic Cupcakes Get a Tart Twist
12852teapartylemoncupcakes

In this season of family reunions, bridal showers, baby showers and picnic lunches, a classic treat like the cupcake is the perfect playful dessert to top off your celebration. But, why not give the old family stand-by some fresh flavor? All you need is that summer staple: lemonade!

When I began to tackle these Tea Party Lemonade Cupcakes, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison of classic lemonade and pink lemonade. So, to help keep the two straight, I lined my first cupcake pan with yellow cupcake liners and the second with pink (good thing that the standard cupcake liner packs come with a variety of pastel colors!).

Cupcakes tins and liners

The first step is to combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Mixing your dry ingredients separately is a good rule of thumb for most baking because it ensures that the ingredients combine thoroughly and you won’t ever bite into a pocket of baking soda in your finished product (Am I the only one that has done that before? Ick!).

Flour

Next, cream together the sugar and ½ cup of butter in a large bowl by mixing at medium speed. Add eggs, ½ cup lemonade concentrate and milk.

Mixing side-by-side

Once all of those ingredients are thoroughly mixed, reduce your mixer speed and add the flour mixture.

Batter side-by-side

The pink lemonade concentrate gives a slightly different coloration (though nothing radical). I wasn’t sure how that would affect the baked finished product, plus the idea of pink colored, pink lemonade-flavored cupcakes was adorable to me, so I added about seven drops of pink food coloring gel to get this cute cotton-candy color batter. Now you’re ready to divide the batter into your muffin cups.

Fill each cup 2/3 full of batter and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the old toothpick trick shows that you are ready (insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and when it comes out clean – no batter stuck to the sides – you know it’s baked through).

Batter in tins

Those 15 minutes while your cupcakes are baking is the perfect time to prepare your frosting. So, put your 6 tablespoons of LAND O LAKES® Butter into a medium-sized mixing bowl and beat until it’s creamy. Add the powdered sugar gradually along with the lemonade concentrate. The concentrate makes for strong flavoring, so it doesn’t hurt to do a little taste-testing as you go. If you prefer less lemon flavoring, add a little milk and less concentrate. This will give you creamier frosting consistency with less tartness. Of course, I added a little pink food coloring gel to the frosting that will be used on the pink lemonade version as well.

Frosting

When the cupcakes are finished baking, remove them from the pans to cool. One thing I didn’t really consider when preparing my pink versions of the cupcakes was that – just like the “yellow” cupcakes – the pink ones got a little golden brown around the edges of the top. This wasn’t as perfectly pink as I was hoping for, but the frosting takes care of covering that.

Cupcakes baked

Once the cupcakes are are completely cool, you can frost them (If they are even the least bit warm, the frosting will melt and slide off). After your frosting is done, recruit kids to help with the decorating, or get in touch with your own artistic side. Garnish with candy fruit slices, sprinkles, or any other treats that  suit your fancy. I chose to make flower designs with lemon and pina coloda-flavored jelly beans.

Cupcakes decorated

In the end, you  have a sweet, casual summer dessert to share with friends and family. As for the standard lemonade versus pink lemonade debate? Well, the cupcakes come out tasting pretty much the same. But get creative! Try raspberry lemonade, or throw some blueberries in there. I would love to know how your variations turn out. Post below to share your ideas and successes, then rate Tea Party Lemonade Cupcakes at landolakes.com.

Finished cupcakes

On Thursday Becky has ideas to share about a great weekend breakfast recipe that you can make ahead.  Come back and learn how to make it.

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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.


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