Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Published May 14, 2014. Updated March 7, 2020

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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).

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

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.

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

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Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

These cupcakes have the best blend of flavors - made with bright tart lime meets sweet fruity cherries. They're fluffy and topped with a dreamy frosting.
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours


Simple Syrup

Frosting and topping

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


  • 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.
  • 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. Scrape down bowl.
  • Mix in egg, then mix in egg whites one at a time, adding in vanilla with second egg white. Scrape down bowl.
  • 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. Scrapw down bowl and fold batter gently.
  • 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.
  • For the simple syrup:
  • 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.
  • For the frosting:
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 398 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 188mg8%
Potassium 93mg3%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 625IU13%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.


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  • 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!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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 :).

  • Ashley

    Thanks for a great recipe! I served these for dessert on Sat evening and everyone loved them.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Thanks for your feedback Ashely! I’m so happy to hear everyone loved them!

  • Lorna

    Hi, dumb question over here, but what’s the difference between your all purpose flour and your cake flour?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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 :).

      • Lorna

        So when I’m at the grocery and I’m trying to find cake flour, what am I looking for brand-wise?

          • 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.

          • Lorna

            Thanks, you were very helpful! And thanks for responding so quickly.

  • 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.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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!

  • 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.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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.

  • 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!