I may have actually squealed in delight when I saw how cute these turned out. Just maybe.
I found the recipe over at Annie’s Eats and knew I had to give it a shot. The love my sister and I have for cherry limeades at Sonic is somewhat legendary. She actually lived in LA (that’s Los Angeles — not Lower Alabama) for a few years (far! Too far!) and when she would come back to visit we would always go to Sonic and drink our weight in cherry limeades. And Sonic happy hour during the summer? Half price cherry limeade? Nearly. Every. Day. Point being, this recipe was a no-brainer choice for my baby sister’s birthday this year.
I stuck pretty closely to Annie’s recipe:
- 3 cups cake flour (I actually used cake flour, which I never do)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature (I am a rebel and use salted all the time)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. limeade concentrate
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk because it’s all we keep in the house)
To make cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line or grease cupcake pans
- In a large bowl whisk together the cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, cream the butter until fluffy and 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 gradually, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix ingredients just long enough that everything is incorporated — don’t want to overmix it
Fill your prepared cupcakes pans and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then completely on a wire rack
Now the syrup!
- 3/4 cup limeade concentrate
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
After the cupcakes are completely 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 toothpicks and gently spoon the syrup over the cupcakes, a tiny bit at a time, allowing it to soak in. I didn’t end up using all the syrup, but feel free to do so! Annie tells me it’s up to your tastes.
- 3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
To make the icing, combine the confectioners sugar, butter and maraschino cherry juice in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until sugar is mixed in, then increase to medium speed and beat until smooth. You can add more maraschino cherry juice as needed to thin out the icing enough to be workable, but I found that 4 Tbsp was just fine. Optional: add red food coloring if desired; I didn’t because the pink of the cherry juice alone was fabulous.
- fresh lime slices
- maraschino cherries
Ice your cooled cupcakes, and garnish with lime slices and maraschino cherries, if your little heart desires. I absolutely did desire — this put them over the top from great cupcakes to OMG THOSE ARE FABULOUS cupcakes. I love them!