Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
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Hellllllooooooo summer! Summer makes me want to grill out… nothing beats a great grilled meal! My husband is the grill master around here… I provide the side dishes and desserts 🙂 Speaking of which, this is a great cupcake that combines some of my favorite Kraft ingredients… vanilla pudding mix, Kool-Aid, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Cool-Whip topping!
Strawberry cupcakes with a lemonade cream cheese and cool whip frosting. There’s Kool-Aid in both the cupcake and the frosting!
Start with a box of strawberry cake mix and follow the directions on the back of the box, with a couple of switch-outs.
- Instead of water, use milk or buttermilk
- Add 1 extra egg (so if the box calls for 3 eggs, use 4)
Also, add in half a package of Jell-O vanilla pudding mix and about 2 tsp of strawberry Kool-Aid.
Mix up the batter in a mixer. I use a stand mixer, but a hand mixer could be used as well.
Bake, following the cupcake directions on the box until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling racks. Look at that beautiful pink color!!!
Now it’s time for some incredible frosting. Start with 1 1/2 packages of Philadelphia cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar.
Cream the cheese and sugar together with some cream in a mixer, then spoon in your cool whip and mix until combined and fluffy.
Add in your lemonade Kool-Aid, mix to combine.
Look how fluffy and creamy that looks! Now just scoop your frosting into a piping bag fitted with your desired icing tip (I used a large closed star tip).
Tip: If you don’t have a piping bag, just scoop the frosting into a plastic storage bag and snip one corner off. Insert your icing tip 🙂
Soft, creamy, light, and deliciously lemon-y! Now you can garnish these any way you’d like. I chose a light dusting of a pale yellow decorating sugar, a slice of fresh strawberry, twist of lemon rind, and a strawberry licorice straw 🙂
Now how moist are these cupcakes? Crazy moist and fluffy!
These are the perfect cupcakes to bring to your next grilling party, or just to make as a treat for yourself or your family 🙂
I will say, these are not your typical cupcakes… they have a big strawberry flavor, and the frosting can be as tart and lemon-y as you’d like. I made mine pretty strong and my kiddos still devoured them 🙂
To go with the grilling theme… and for a great layer of flavor, you can toss a few lemon slices on the grill, until they get lightly charred. Use a fork to get the grilled lemon flesh out and add it in with your frosting while it’s beating.
I love serving these cupcakes alongside a great grilled meal, like my delicious Honey Bacon Glazed Grilled Chicken or Caribbean Citrus Habanero Chicken Skewers 🙂
- Box of strawberry cake mix (plus milk eggs and oil, as indicated on the box)
- 1/2 packet Jell-O vanilla pudding mix
- 2 tsp strawberry Kool-Aid drink mix
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 12 oz . Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened (1 1/2 packages)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 t packet lemonade Kool-Aid drink mix (you won' be using the whole packet start with about 1/2 tsp and adjust from there after tasting)
- Yellow food coloring optional
- 16 oz . Cool Whip frozen topping thawed
- Fresh strawberries sliced, for decoration
- Lemon rind for decoration
- Strawberry licorice twist cut into 3" sections, for decoration
- Yellow decorating sugar optional, for decoration
Look at your cake mix box and preheat to suggested temperature written in the directions.
Add the dry mix to the bowl of a stand mixer, then follow instructions on the cake mix box (remembering to substitute milk or buttermilk for the water, and adding an extra egg). Pour in the vanilla pudding mix and strawberry Kool-Aid mix. Beat until combined.
Prepare muffin tin by lining with cupcake liners. Fill liners about 2/3 of the way full and bake, according to package directions, or until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake comes out clean.
FOR THE FROSTING:
To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and heavy cream. Beat until well combined. Add in a bit of the lemonade Kool-Aid mix and beat to combine.
Spoon in the cool whip and mix until light and fluffy. Taste, and add more lemonade Kool-Aid mix if desired.
Add frosting to a large piping bag (or large zip top bag with a corner snipped off) and use any decorating tip you desire. I used a large closed star tip.
Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with decorating sugar (if desired), and garnish with a sliced strawberry, lemon rind twist, and strawberry licorice twist.