Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

I’ve already posted 2 awesome snacks from our Bayday (Soft Pretzel Bites and Veggie Pizza Appetizer) but we certainly couldn’t survive the hours at the beach on salty, savory, treats alone. Nope. We needed something sweet. Usually when I think about a sweet dessert to share with a group my mind jumps straight to chocolate. And don’t be fooled, last minute I did whip up some brownie bites, but for the main attraction I had a vision of a light and summery cupcake. From there I decided on Strawberry Lime Cupcakes.

The recipe I used for the cupcake caught my eye right away (well, pretty much anything that uses cream cheese does that). You might be skeptical, but I used cream cheese in a coffee cake once and the result was a moist and tender crumb, I figured that would be perfect for my cupcake base. I made a few changes to really up the strawberry flavor and sub lime for lemons and I think that was a good decision.

Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

(Cupcake adapted from Cooking Agents; Frosting Sunny Side Up Original)



8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp lime zest
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/3 cup strawberry puree* **
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

*I used a pint of strawberries which made about 1 cup of puree. I processed the strawberries in my food processor and then pressed through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds. This process really helped to concentrate the strawberry flavor (more so, I think, than fine chopping alone)

** The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil instead of strawberry puree. I accidentally poured a little too much (1/3 cup) which is why my measurement reads 1/3 instead of 1/4. If you live in a really humid environment maybe cut it back to 1/4.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a measuring cup combine the strawberry puree, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla, set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese and butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the liquid ingredients in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Careful not to over mix.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

Strawberry Lime Frosting


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp salt


Beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth, adding more powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. (Just be careful not to cover your kitchen in powdered sugar, which has never happened to me)

Garnish cupcakes with chopped strawberries and lime zest.

I Dreamed a Dream

>This past weekend I had a dream about Ohio. In my dream I wanted had to make a friend cupcakes. Of course I had to figure out how to get them to her because I live 2,000 miles away. Finally I came to the conclusion that I had to fly home to bring her the cupcakes. I imagined how perfectly my cupcake carrier would fit under the seat. I think my brain was trying to tell me that I needed to make cupcakes.

So, when I woke up I knew that I would be making some. I decided I wanted to make classic white cupcakes with a lemon raspberry butter cream, in honor of spring. The recipe that I usually use for making white cakes is awesome, first it calls for butter instead of oil, butter makes everything better. Second, the way the ingredients are brought together is unique and does not require beating egg whites to stiff peaks and then folding it into batter, which makes my arm tired! The result is an incredibly light but still flavorful white cake.

Unfortunately, I discovered that this batter is almost too light for making cupcakes. I filled the liners as I usually do, a little less than 2/3 full and they rose sooooo much that they spilled over the tops and looked more like muffins than cupcakes. They also did not do a great job of sticking to the liners, a few came right out of the liners as I tried to remove them from the pan and in others the liners were peeling away from the edges. They tasted great but just weren’t as sturdy as I usually like my cupcakes. I still really like this recipe for regular 9 inch round cakes, so I will share the recipe but I will also add a link to recipe that would be better suited for cupcakes.

White Cake with Lemon Raspberry Buttercream
(Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
(Recommended recipe for cupcakes)

White Cake

1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 oz), softened

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease two 9 inch cake pans with vegetable shortening, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper and flour the pans.
Combine milk, eggs whites and extract in a small bowl with a fork. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer and mix at slow speed with a paddle attachment. Add butter. Continue beating at slow speed until mixture looks like wet sand (If you’re doing this by hand, sift the dry ingredients together and rub in butter).
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and gently shake to smooth batter. Bake 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes then invert onto racks to cool completely before frosting. Unfrosted cakes can be frozen for 1-2 weeks.

Lemon Raspberry Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tbsp half and half
2 tbsp seedless raspberry preserves
1 cap full lemon extract (~1/2 tsp)
(I think a tsp or 2 of lemon zest would be a wonderful addition however I did not have any lemons on hand)

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes or until very pale yellow and creamy looking. Slowly add the confectioners sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Half way through adding the confectioners sugar add the half and half, raspberry preserves and lemon extract. Continue to beat until the frosting is a smooth spreadable texture, but not too soft. If it appears to stiff or dry add a little more half and half. If it appears too wet or runny add more confectioners sugar.

Dah dah dah dah… It’s Elmo Time!!

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

About a month ago a friend told me that she was throwing an Elmo themed birthday party for her sons second birthday. I have seen a few Cookie Monster cupcakes and Elmo cupcakes on various blogs in the past and I was always wishing that I had a good excuse to make them. This party was just the excuse I was looking for. So I jumped on the opportunity and offered to make the cake/cupcakes. They wound up being a huge hit and the birthday boy was definitely loving the Elmo theme.

Most of the blogs that I have seen have used frosting to make the eyes and the nose but I wanted to do something different. I also knew that I would need to spread the work out over a few days and using all frosting wouldn’t work for that. So I decided I would make the eyes and nose out of Wilton candy melts. A week before the party I did a test run on my idea for decorating the cupcakes and I was so excited when it worked. The week of the party I spread the work out over three days. On Wednesday I baked the cakes and cupcakes and then covered them will saran wrap and froze them. Thursday night I made the eyes and nose. Friday I took the cupcakes out of the freezer in the morning and then in the afternoon I did all of the decorating except for the mouth (didn’t want the gel icing to spread/melt). Saturday all I had to do was put the mouths on the cupcakes and get them safely to the party. I do think that you could do all of this work in one day. It would take several hours but it is doable. I am listing step by step instructions with some pictures below!

Elmo Cupcakes


20-24 cupcakes (I used this recipe and this recipe)
Wilton candy melts in white and orange
Candy melting squeeze bottle (follow instructions for melting the melts)
Chocolate chips
Tooth picks
1 large bowl of hot water
Paper towels
2 cups buttercream frosting
Red food coloring
1 piping bag fitted with tip #18
Black decorating gel in .68 oz tube

To make the eyes and nose:

  1. Melt the candy melts and chocolate chips in squeeze bottles by filling a bowl with hot (but not boiling) water and placing the squeeze bottles in the water. I kept the bowl next to my work station so when I wasn’t using a bottle it was staying warm. Replace the water as necessary and keep paper towels by your side to dry of bottles as needed.
  2. Print a picture of Elmo and place the picture under a sheet of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet.
  3. Start by outlining the eyes in white, leaving a space for the chocolate eye.
  4. Fill in the whites and use a toothpick with small, light circular motions to smooth.
  5. Fill in the spot for the chocolate by squeezing a small amount of chocolate into the space. Then wet your fingertip and lightly press down on the chocolate to fill in the space and smooth it out.
  6. Outline the nose with orange. Fill using the same circular motions with a toothpick.
  7. Move the template to a new spot on the parchment paper and repeat until you have all of the eyes and noses that you need, plus a few extra just in case.
  8. When you finish making all of the eyes and noses put the cookie sheet in the freezer to set the candy.


  1. Fill a piping bag, fitted with tip #18, with the red buttercream frosting. Be sure to twist the top of the bag so frosting doesn’t squeeze out while you decorate
  2. Outline the edges of the top of a cupcake by holding the piping bag perpendicular to the cupcake. Lightly squeeze the bag and use a small down then up motion to make a star.
  3. Once the top of the cupcake is outlined fill in the middle using the same motions, be sure to make the stars close together and not to leave empty spaces.
  4. After the cupcake is frosted, place candy eyes on the cupcake letting them hang over the edge about 1/2 inch.
  5. Using the black decorating gel, draw a mouth below the eyes and nose.


  • To decorate a cake, use the same method for the eyes and nose but on a larger scale. It was easier to outline the eyes/nose and then use a warm spoon to fill in the space. For the cake I used chocolate for the mouth instead of decorating gel. To pipe the frosting I used a bag fitted with tip # 2D. I used a total of 4 1/2 cups of frosting to make 20 cupcakes and one cake (it was 2 thin layers)
  • If you do not have a piping bag you could simply frost the cupcakes using a spatula and then put the eyes and nose on. It wouldn’t have the textured look but it would have the same overall feel.
  • Make sure the eyes and nose are fully set before trying to transport them to the cupcakes.
  • If you are pressed for time just use a boxed cake mix and store bought icing.
  • Wait as long as you can to use the decorating gel because it will eventually start to run/spread.
  • I hope these directions help, but if anything is unclear feel free to leave a comment or email me (orangekitchencooking @ I will try to clarify anything that doesn’t make sense!
  • And last but not least, don’t worry, these cupcakes are “Birthday Boy Approved”

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes!

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Lately I have seen a lot of “tie dye” cupcakes in the food blogging world and I always think they are so cool looking. I remember the first time I saw them I knew that I was going to have to make them! So I didn’t have to brain storm for very long to decide what I wanted to make for the 4th of July. I have to say that I am very very pleased with the results! They turned out even cuter than I had hoped for. So if you are looking for an impressive treat for your 4th of July celebration, look no further. 🙂

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

White cake batter (I used the Wilton recipe below but don’t feel bad if you just grab a box of white cake mix from the grocery!)
Red Food Coloring
Blue Food Coloring
3 bowls (1 for each color)
Buttercream Frosting
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles

Prepare the cake batter as directed.

Divide the batter into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl white. Add 3-4 drops of red food coloring to another bowl and 3-4 drops of blue food coloring in another. Mix the food coloring in and add more if the colors are not bright enough.

Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. Start by dropping a spoonful of white batter into the bottom of each liner. Follow with a spoonful of blue. If you want you can go back with a toothpick and swirl the colors a little bit, just be careful not to “stir” the batter because the colors will blend). After the blue do a drop of white in each. Then a spoonful of red. Finish with small drops of each color on top.

Bake according to cake batter recipe.

Top each cupcake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

Classic White Cake – I cut the recipe in half and below I’ve listed the measurements I used
(Source: Wilton Website)


3 cups cake flour sifted
1 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
1cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg whites


Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare cupcake pans with cupcake liners (24)

Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside. With mixer at slow speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.