I knew that I wanted the cupcakes to be light and refreshing and summer-y. Another friend had sent me a recipe for Pink Lemonade cupcakes a while ago that fit the bill perfectly. I made sure to make a mixture of regular sized and mini-cupcakes so the boot camp ladies would feel a little less stressed about ingesting sugary calories at 7:30am :)
The original recipe called for sweetened pink lemonade drink mix, but I used Crystal Light to sweeten the cupcake batter, and it worked out fantastically!
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
adapted from Real Mom Kitchen
1 package white cake mix
1 small package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding
1 pitcher sized container (see photo above, it's just a little tiny plastic cup) of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 whites eggs
6 drops of pink food coloring
2 cups butter, softened
1 single package (for a bottle of water) of Crystal Light pink lemonade drink mix
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pound package or 7 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3 drops of pink food coloring
In a large bowl, whisk cake mix, pudding mix, and drink mix together. Add sour cream, lemon zest, water, oil, and egg whites to the dry mix. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes. Use a strong mixer, this batter is thick.
Scoop batter into lined muffin tins (this recipe made 18 regular and 24 mini cupcakes). Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cupcakes don’t look wet and a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
Prepare the frosting by creaming butter then add pink lemonade crystal light package, milk and vanilla with a mixer. Beat until smooth. Then gradually add the sugar, mixing well until light and fluffy. Beat in the food coloring.
Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes (I used my favorite Wilton 1M tip). (You will have plenty to pile it on. I had over 1 cup leftover to use on another cake the next day.
Option: Cut down the tops and bottoms of a flexible drinking straw (in coordinating pink, if you have them!) and place one straw piece in each cupcake to resemble a drink.