Cherry Limeade Cupcakes


I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed with cherries lately. I think this is the third cherry post within a week. But really who could complain about that, right? Cherries are one of my favorite fruits. They always remind me of the beach because I always take along a bag of cherries to snack on (and licorice and a bag of potato chips that always ends up getting full of sand). These, I wouldn’t recommend taking them too the beach, too risky. No one wants a sandy cupcake or melted frosting. But, they are perfect for a summer party. Maybe I’m making all these cherry posts because they remind me of summer and yet where I live it still hasn’t felt anything like summer (mid 40’s just isn’t cutting it for me). These cupcakes however, are making it feel like a nice summer day around here.

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

I love how these are full of fresh lime flavor, thanks to their generous amount of fresh lime zest, a bit of fresh lime juice and a simple lime syrup glaze which is brushed along the tops of the freshly baked cupcakes. The frosting screams cherry, not only with it’s color but with the sweet flavor of the maraschino cherry juice mixed in. And of course these couldn’t be cherry limeade cupcakes unless they were finished atop with a cherry. Who could resist them?

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyCherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Cherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Simple Syrup

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp granulted sugar

Frosting and topping

  • 3/4 cup butter (I used 1/2 cup unsalted and 1/4 cup salted)
  • 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Few drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • 12 maraschino cherries , lime slices and sugar crystal sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar with lime zest until finely ground, about 1 minute. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter with lime sugar mixture until pale and fluffy (if you don't have the paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then occasionally throughout entire mixing process, stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in egg, then mix in egg whites one at a time, adding in vanilla with second egg white.
  3. In the liquid measuring cup used to measure buttermilk, whisk together buttermilk with lime juice. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 18 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes in muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly while preparing simple syrup.
  4. For the simple syrup:
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp lime juice with 1 Tbsp granulated sugar until sugar has dissolved. Brush mixture over warm cupcakes (use all of it, I did about 2 light coats over each cupcake). Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  6. For the frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until pale and fluffy. Mix in 1/4 cup powdered sugar then mix in maraschino cherry juice and optional red food coloring. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add remaining 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar (add an additional 1/4 as needed to reach desired consistency), then increase mixer to medium and whip until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread over cooled cupcakes, top with each with a maraschino cherry and a lime slice and sprinkle edges with sprinkles if desired.
  8. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyCherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking Classy



  • Matt Robinson: How fun are these Jaclyn? So great, love the flavor combo too. We LOVE cherries here too. May 14, 2014 at 10:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Matt! And yes aren’t cherries just the best? May 14, 2014 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Annie: These are absolutely ADORABLE! I am definitely going to try to make these :) May 14, 2014 at 10:40am Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): These cupcakes are so gorgeous and summery, they make me want to throw a pool party! :) May 14, 2014 at 11:49am Reply

  • Cammi Allen: They are just too adorable NOT to post lots of pictures! Jaclyn, you are one of a kind at what you do! I have pinned this and am going to take them visiting teaching – I will do my best to make them look as good as yours…. haha… :) May 14, 2014 at 12:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You are way too nice Cammi, but thank you :)! I hope you love them!! May 14, 2014 at 1:52pm Reply

  • Jeanette: These look so amazing and creative! Love the time and thought you’ve put into making them and taking great photos. May 14, 2014 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Jeanette for such a nice comment! May 14, 2014 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness: You are the queen of cupcakes Jaclyn! These are SO cute, and I love the cherry lime combo! Pinned! May 14, 2014 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: So gorgeous!! You make THE most gorgeous cupcakes, without a doubt! And so creative. I love cherries too – dried, regular/fresh, maraschino, not picky :) pinned May 14, 2014 at 1:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s so nice of you to say Averie :)! That means a lot to me! May 14, 2014 at 1:51pm Reply

  • Shari Kelley: I loved seeing all the pictures, Jaclyn! These are such beautiful cupcakes and sound like they taste amazing, too. The way you decorated them with the lime, cherry, and straw is so pretty! Thanks for sharing the recipe. May 14, 2014 at 3:31pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Very pretty cupcakes! May 14, 2014 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Chloe @ foodlikecake: You make the best cupcakes! May 15, 2014 at 3:31am Reply

  • Alyssa {Cake, Crust, and Sugar Dust}: These are absolutely stunning!!! Such adorable cupcakes, and such a fun, playful flavor! I can’t get over how pretty and perfect these are! May 15, 2014 at 8:36am Reply

  • Crystal | Apples & Sparkle: I love the cherry-lime combo. And, as always, your photos are gorgeous! = ) May 15, 2014 at 11:43am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Crystal! May 30, 2014 at 6:17pm Reply

  • Natasha of Jaclyn, those cupcakes are beautiful and so fun! I love all the pictures. When we’re talking about cupcakes, there can never be too many pictures ;) May 15, 2014 at 7:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Natasha :)! May 16, 2014 at 7:00am Reply

  • kathy neblett: These are so bright and energizing! They make you want to get up dance :) May 16, 2014 at 6:23pm Reply

  • Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.: I just can’t stop looking at your photos Jaclyn! The colors are gorgeous! May 18, 2014 at 10:32am Reply

  • Brooke @ Piggy Bank Savers: These cupcakes are so PRETTY! Perfect for summer parties! May 19, 2014 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar: These are beautiful! Perfect for summer! I’ve totally been loving cherry recently too – I’d forgotten how yummy it is! May 27, 2014 at 7:40am Reply

  • Amy Kathleen Kelsch: Hi Jaclyn:
    These are absolutely adorable!!!! May 28, 2014 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Sarah Miller: I was wandering what size round tip you used to decorate these cupcakes? They are super cute and I’m going to make them for my niece’s birthday. June 3, 2014 at 9:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I actually used one of those large couplers because my tip went down the disposal a few months ago and got completely crumpled up (I hate when that happens!) and I haven’t been able to find the same size since (going to have to order online I guess) but anyway the one I would have used is the very large round circular tip, about 3/4-inch. June 4, 2014 at 9:40am Reply

  • Laura: Hi Jaclyn, I made these last night for my daughter’s birthday and they were fantastic! I think they were one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Thank you for the lovely photos and step by step instructions. June 11, 2014 at 6:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked the recipe, and photos :)! Thanks so much for your review Laura! I hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday! June 11, 2014 at 9:30am Reply

  • Laurie: These cupcakes were so delicious! I made them for Father’s Day this past weekend, and my whole family loved them. I featured them on my blog today: June 17, 2014 at 5:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: They look perfect :)! I’m so glad you liked them Laurie! July 4, 2014 at 12:43pm Reply

      • Laurie: Thanks! It’s a great recipe! July 11, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

  • Lorna: Hi, dumb question over here, but what’s the difference between your all purpose flour and your cake flour? June 22, 2014 at 6:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Basically they have different levels of protein (gluten) so each will yield different results. Cake flour also has a finer texture. Not a dumb question at all :). June 22, 2014 at 9:54pm Reply

      • Lorna: So when I’m at the grocery and I’m trying to find cake flour, what am I looking for brand-wise? June 23, 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: This is actually the only kind they sale at like 5 of my local grocery stores so it’s what I get and I’ve always been happy with the results it gives (they sale a no name brand in bulk too but I’m yet to try that). June 23, 2014 at 9:49pm Reply

          • Laura: Hi everyone, King Arthur makes an unbleached cake flour for those who are concerned about the chemicals in our foods. I’ve used it a couple of times now to make these delicious cupcakes and they’ve come out great. They sell it in Walmart. June 24, 2014 at 9:43am

          • Lorna: Thanks, you were very helpful! And thanks for responding so quickly. June 24, 2014 at 6:07pm

          • Jaclyn: No problem :)! June 24, 2014 at 8:13pm

  • Ashley: Thanks for a great recipe! I served these for dessert on Sat evening and everyone loved them. June 24, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Ashely! I’m so happy to hear everyone loved them! July 10, 2014 at 10:57pm Reply

  • Tammy B.: I made these cupcakes for a Memorial Day cookout…they were a huge hit! I would like to make a cake version for a couples wedding shower this weekend. Any tips? Just wanted to make sure I didn’t need to do anything different with the cake recipe. Two 9 inch pans to make four layers maybe? Thank you! July 9, 2014 at 5:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear they were a hit at your cookout! For the cake I think the only thing that I’d do different is double the recipe and then they’ll probably just need more time – just not sure how much more :). July 22, 2014 at 11:15pm Reply

  • Audrey L.: I made these for the annual cook off at work today and I won first place in the dessert category! These are great! Thanks for sharing! August 4, 2014 at 7:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear that Audrey :)! Thanks for your comment! August 25, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

  • Emily Buteau: These are so beautiful! I’m going to try them for my daughters birthday tomorrow! How do you get the sugar on the frosting so even and perfect? August 12, 2014 at 7:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just rolled the edges in a bunch I had cupped in my hand. I hope they’re enjoyed! August 13, 2014 at 8:54pm Reply

  • Chris: These look wonderful. I’m going to make them (mini size) for a baby shower. Any suggestions to make the lime sugar? I don’t have a food processor to pulse the zest. Could I just add a little lime juice? Thanks for the beautiful post. August 27, 2014 at 8:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can just rub the zest with the sugar using your fingertips. I hope you love them! August 27, 2014 at 9:23am Reply

  • Keisha: How could I make this a layered cake? All the recipes I’ve seen call for box cake mix which I am trying to stay away from. November 9, 2014 at 9:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would double the recipe for a layered cake and it will need to bake longer, my guess would be around 30 minutes for a 3 layer. November 9, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

  • Nikk: My aunts an AKA and they have an event this coming weekend and of course they volunteered me. Then I came across you, my savior with these wonder Pink N Green cupcakes. Perfect! November 11, 2014 at 10:33am Reply

  • Marikathryn Hendrix: I saw these last night and couldn’t stop thinking about them! :) So I got up early and made them this morning and they are sooooo good. Even better than they look and they look amazing!
    Thank you! April 12, 2015 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Jill: Not a cherry fan..think i could use strawberries instead? June 30, 2015 at 12:11am Reply

  • Rumi: your creativity is so powerful.very nice. July 8, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Sokiemom: Thanks for the fun recipe! The cupcakes were fine until I put the simple syrup on them. Then they became super soggy, and they seemed to turn into the batter again. They tasted OK, but I was really disappointed with the texture after the syrup. Do you have any suggestions on how to change that? I was thinking maybe less syrup? I used all of it like you suggested in the recipe. Thanks! May 31, 2016 at 12:56am Reply

  • Allie: Hi i was wondering what size piping tip you used for the frosting July 14, 2016 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Joli: Do these require refrigeration because of the cherry juice in the frosting? July 16, 2017 at 12:32pm Reply

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