Joel just got through with his yearly review and got really great feedback. I wanted to surprise him with a dessert he would love and immediately thought of Cotton Candy Cupcakes. He loves cotton candy (I personally do not) and always gets cotton candy ice cream when we visit Cold Stone.
Well, I searched Fargo high and low but had no luck finding the cotton candy flavoring that is called for in the recipe. Not surprising but disappointing nonetheless. But I will be purchasing cotton candy flavoring to make these for Joel…maybe for his birthday? You say his birthday isn’t for 3 months? Yes, I’m a little bit of a compulsive planner. Sue me.
Anyway, the second cupcake that I knew he would just love was Cherry Limeade Cupcakes. We love Sonic limeades but don’t get them too often since we do not have one in town. I thought this would be a unique, great surprise that he would really enjoy. And he did.
The cupcakes had an amazingly light texture that neither of us could believe. We just kept eating them to make sure the first wasn’t a fluke. Joel absolutely loved the frosting due to all the maraschino cherry juice which he loves. The sweetness of the frosting balanced out the lemon-lime zippiness in the cake.
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
recipe from The Culinary Enthusiast
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
zest of 3 limes
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. pure lemon extract
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
4. Put the sugar and lime zest in a mixer bowl and mix until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
5. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is mixed well, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Continue mixing for 2 minutes.
6. Divide the batter between 18-24 cupcakes, filling each about 1/2 full.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer the cupcakes cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes. Frost and decorate after fully cooled.
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4-8 Tbsp. maraschino cherry juice
red food coloring (optional)
Combine the powdered sugar, butter and maraschino cherry juice in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high speed and beat until smooth. Add more maraschino cherry juice as needed to achieve desired texture. Add red food coloring if desired (I did not add any).
Frost cooled cupcakes. Garnish with lime slices and maraschino cherries, if desired.