Tart lime cake soaked with lime syrup topped with cherry buttercream and garnished with a lime wedge and cherry make these cupcakes a sweet summer treat!
As soon as I saw the recipe for Cherry Limeade cupcakes on Annie’s Eats I was certain it would make it into the rotation sometime this summer. I put the call out to my friends that I’d be making them this week and got a couple orders for these little summer goodies.
The recipe from Annie’s Eats was a pretty basic recipe, but I wanted to kick things up a bit and really bring out the lime flavor. In the original recipe, they noted that most of the lime flavor came from the lime syrup that was drizzed on top, but I really wanted a punch of lime to come through in the cake itself.
I zested two limes and pressed that into the sugar, bringing out the natural oils and flavors creating a lime sugar. I also added the juice of the two limes into the batter. I also added a bit more lime juice concentrate than the original recipe called for too. And a few other tricks.
I’m really happy with the intense lime flavor of these cupcakes. Paired with the sweet cherry frosting, it’s a perfect summer treat!
- 5¼ cups flour*
- ¾ 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
- ⅓ cup hot water
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
- ¾ cup Maraschino cherry juice
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ tsp Wilton Christmas Red food color gel
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- 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 ⅔ 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.
- 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.
- Once the cupcakes are cool 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.
- 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.
- When using lemon or lime in a recipe, to really add a punch of flavor, zest the fruit into your sugar before creaming with the butter. By working the zest into the sugar, you'll create a fragrant sugar full of the oils and acids from the fruit creating an extra dimension of flavor to your cupcakes that will really make them stand out! I do this almost every time I use lemon or lime and it really creates an exceptional product! Good luck!