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Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

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!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes  | JavaCupcake.comAs 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.

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes  |

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.

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes  | JavaCupcake.comI’m really happy with the intense lime flavor of these cupcakes.  Paired with the sweet cherry frosting, it’s a perfect summer treat!


Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Yield: 4 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes



  • 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

Cherry Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup Maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp Wilton Christmas Red food color gel
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the lime sugar and mix on high until light and fluffy.
  5. 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!
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  7. In three parts, add the flour mixture. Between each addition of flour, add half the milk. Mix only until the flour is just combined.
  8. Add the hot water and mix by hand until incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  9. Fill liners 2/3 full, or use an ice cream scoop to distribute one full scoop into each liner.
  10. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Lime Syrup
  13. 1 10 oz can of lime juice concentrate or lime margarita concentrate, thawed
  14. 1 cup powdered sugar
  15. Whisk together the powdered sugar and thawed concentrate until all the sugar has dissolved into the concentrate.
  16. 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.

Cherry Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the butter. Cream after each addition.
  3. After half the sugar has been added, add the cherry juice and mix until combined.
  4. Add enough whipping cream until you get your desired consistency, you may not need all of it, or you might want to add more.
  5. Mix in the coloring.
  6. After everything has been combined, mix on high for 30 seconds.
  7. Pipe onto cupcakes and top with a cherry and lime for garnish.

Tips & Tricks - Lemon & Lime Sugar

  1. 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!

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 10th of May 2019

I made these for teacher appreciation week and the results were not what I was hoping for. I want a light fluffy cake with a strong lime punch, but the cake was dense and chewy. The icing was very runny and I had to add 2 1/2 cups extra powdered sugar to make it pipeable.

connie munoz

Saturday 6th of May 2017

I have never heard of using cornstarch , this much, am going to totally try curious now just because of that...thank you, your recipes are always spot on:)


Sunday 7th of June 2015


I am looking at trying your frosting recipe, and I was wondering how many you think you were able to frost with one batch of frosting. Thank you, they look great!

Betsy Eves

Monday 8th of June 2015

Well, the recipe card for this says it makes 4 dozen. :)


Tuesday 14th of May 2013

Just want to double check the counter stability of the frosting...will it have to be refrigerated, or can it be left out on the counter?

Betsy Eves

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

You can leave it out! :)


Friday 10th of May 2013

OMG they bang....

Betsy Eves

Friday 10th of May 2013

I'm not sure what that means.... but thank you! haha ;)

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