Pink Lemonade Cupcakes – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

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Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Pink Lemonade Cupcakes, found over at Your Home Based Mom. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and I found it by Googling around for Paula Deen’s pink lemonade buttercream frosting, after one of you commenters mentioned the idea in a comment. I’d point y’all to it and thank the commenter, but I’ll be damned if I can remember who it was. (Okay, I just went and searched. It was Melanie. Take a bow, Melanie!)

A doctored-up cake mix and pink lemonade frosting. You KNOW I was on board for that!

Your cake ingredients:


White cake mix, the things you need to make the cake according to the directions on the box (in this case, vegetable oil and eggs – water was required, too, but I didn’t bother to take a picture of that. If you don’t know what water is, you’ve got bigger problems than we can help with.), lemon zest, pink lemonade mix, and Bacardi Rum vanilla.


Seriously. Who the fuck are they trying to kid? Eating raw cake batter is your reward for making a cake! Kiss my ass, Betty Crocker (Nance, add them to the list of companies that will never sponsor us now!)


Mix the cake, toss in lemon zest (I used fresh lemon zest because I’m a fancy bitch like that. You could probably use the dried stuff you can buy in the store if you are not so fancy as me.), vanilla, powdered drink mix. (By the way, that Country Time Pink Lemonade was the ONLY kind of pink lemonade that wasn’t using artificial sweeteners, which is why I bought that huge-ass container when I only needed a little of the powder.)

This, right here, is the point where I decided to deviate from the recipe. I was pouring batter into the cupcake liners that lined the cups of my muffin tin, and I remembered how much I REALLY FUCKING HATE peeling those liners off the cupcakes, and so I decided “Oh, to hell with this shit. I’m making a cake instead.”

So I greased my 9×13 cake pan, dumped in the batter, and stuck it in the oven.



Uh oh.


This is what a cake pan with raw batter in it looks like. In case you were wondering.

And the cake, done. Well, probably a little overdone.


I let the cake cool for a few hours, and then made the frosting. I should add here that I made this cake on the day that we had guys tromping in and out of the house all day long, replacing our air conditioning unit thingy. The thing I hate about having work done in the house is that I feel like I can’t DO anything in case they need a question answered (they didn’t need ANY questions answered), so I was very distracted. And yet, I took the following super-gorgeous and professional-looking picture of the frosting ingredients. Try not to feel too bad about your own picture-taking abilities.



Thawed frozen lemonade concentrate, powdered sugar, softened butter, Bacardi Rum vanilla.

Beat your butter ’til it’s creamy.


Add your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until you get annoyed and just throw the rest of it in there and sugar goes everywhere.


Add vanilla and thawed pink lemonade concentrate until it’s the consistency you want.


Frost your cake.


What you cannot tell from this picture is that the frosting was a very pretty, very light pink.


And the verdict? Fred thought it was AWEsome. He thought it was so awesome that at the end of the weekend, instead of feeding the leftovers to the chickens, like we usually do, he wrapped it in tin foil and stuck it in the freezer. Can you DO that with cake, frosted with buttercream frosting? Hell if I know; I guess we’ll find out next weekend.

I, on the other hand, was pretty meh about it. I don’t think it was the fault of the recipe, I think I just wasn’t in the mood for cake and buttercream frosting. (I know, right? CAN there be such a thing as not being in the mood for cake and buttercream frosting?! Apparently so.)

At this point, I have no plans to make it again unless Fred specifically requests it.


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Nance’s take: 

 031608 - Cheese!

This is Rick and Robyn in a popular cupcake shop back in 2008. Please note the serious cheesin’ that happens with these two when there are cameras present. Good Lord.  Also, the amount of freaking cupcakes that were purchased that day!

I love cupcakes, but I stick with white, chocolate or yellow. Don’t be messing around and adding shit. I might break down and have a red velvet one, but I usually always regret it. On the day this photo was taken I distinctly remember having a couple  margarita flavored cupcakes (ew) in the box. And I remember Robyn liking them. What a weirdo.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

So I wasn’t surprised when she decided to go pink lemonade on me with this recipe, but I did roll my eyes really hard. I grumbled and bitched about how awful it was going to taste and put everything about making them off until the last minute.  Maybe we should just try to find a recipe for the most perfect vanilla cupcake, eh?

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Shirley was bound and determined to help me get these damn cupcakes done and I’m pretty sure that it was just so she wouldn’t have to listen to me bitch about it anymore. I was howling when I found out that my 72-year-old mom had no idea what lemon zest was. Yes, this is my mother and the woman who was supposed to have taught me how to cook. To say she was having difficulty is an understatement and I sure did hold my breath when she grabbed that paring knife to get the zest off that micro-planer. Especially when she dropped it and almost impaled poor Sadie. The very worst part? I’m pretty sure we have used lemon zest in other recipes on here. Is my mother having a moment?

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

My first action shot of the entry!  Whee!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Cake batter with pink lemonade mix and lemon zest (which sorta kinda looks like cumin because I am that much of a great photographer).  Who has an expensive camera and still doesn’t know how to use it?

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

After I mixed it up I wasn’t impressed with how it looked so I decided to add some gel food coloring. Pretty, huh?

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Blahblahblah, right? I decided to switch things up after I made the first round of cupcakes so I added blueberries (tossed in flour) to the last of the cupcake batter before I tossed it in the oven. Everybody knows that blueberries and lemon go great together. Right, Phaedra?

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

This is me making the frosting and forgetting to take a picture until the last minute. Ugh!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I decided to use a plastic storage bag instead of a pastry bag so I could just throw it away when I was done.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Big Mistake.  After this happened I remembered that I tried this before and the plastic storage bag didn’t hold up. I’m a clumsy ox on a good day so you can just imagine the freaking mess I had going on here.  I’m also a stupid ox for doing this before and not learning my lesson.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Man down!

Of course it had to have been one that was already frosted.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I tried to make my cupcakes as pretty as the ones that lady had on her page, but get real. It’s a cupcake and I couldn’t be bothered because it felt too much like crafting to me.

The most shocking thing? Everybody liked these cupcakes! They liked the normal ones and they liked the ones that I put blueberries in. The recipe is definitely a winner in this house. Do I think I’ll make them again? Maybe someday if I am completely over normal cupcakes. But I just don’t know if it’s worth the hassle of tracking down pink lemonade mix and lemonade concentrate. Eh, I guess I’m on the fence about it.  They’re good.  Not great.  I would probably just stick with chocolate, white or yellow.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Besides, look what it did to poor Felina!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Zimbabwe-an
Serves: 12
  • Cake:
  • 1 Box of white cake mix + whatever ingredients the box calls for (usually eggs, oil, water)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (use fresh if you're fancy; the dried stuff from the grocery store if you're not)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp sweetened pink lemonade drink powder (I'd avoid the stuff with artificial sweetener, but you do what's in your heart)
  • Frosting:
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 3-5 Tbsp frozen pink lemonade concentrate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ C softened butter
  1. Make your cake:
  2. Preheat the oven according to the instructions on the box.
  3. If you're making cupcakes, line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. If you're making a cake, spray your cake pan with Baker's Joy or Pam or whatever cheap knockoff you use. NO JUDGEMENT HERE.
  4. Mix cake batter following the instructions on the back of the box; add in lemon zest, vanilla, and pink lemonade powder. Bake according to the instructions on the box.
  5. Cool.
  6. Make your frosting:
  7. Beat the softened butter on med-high speed until it's pale and creamy; about 2 - 3 minutes.
  8. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. Make sure the powdered sugar is well incorporated before you add the next ½ cup of sugar. When all the sugar has been added, turn the speed to high.
  9. Add vanilla and then melted pink lemonade concentrate until you've reached your desired consistency.
  10. Beat until the frosting is smooth.


Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, because November 10th is National Vanilla Cupcake Day. Since I love most form of cake, I was totally on board for this.

First, we make the cupcakes. Ingredients:

Cupcakes (1)

Cake flour, butter, eggs, baking powder, milk, homemade vanilla.

Sift together your flour, salt, and baking powder. I didn’t take a picture of the sifting, because my sifter is an ugly mess – but it works well, so I ain’t replacing it.

Cupcakes (2)

Throw your butter and sugar into a bowl and then beat it ’til it’s light and fluffy. Or in fancy-bitch cooking parlance, cream the butter and sugar.

Cupcakes (3)

Cupcakes (4)

And then I had a brain fart and didn’t take another picture of the cupcakes ’til they were baked. I added the eggs, beating well after each one, then added the flour/salt/baking powder in three portions, beating just until the flour was incorporated.

I imagine you know what cupcake batter poured into a cupcake tin looks like. If not, well, don’t sit there and be all “I do NOT know what cupcake batter looks like. Halp? Can someone tell me?” Google that shit!

While the cupcakes are baking, make your frosting. The ingredients:

Cupcakes (6)

Cream cheese (I used neufchatel because it’s what I always grab, and suddenly I’m realizing maybe why I had an issue. More about that later.), butter, powdered sugar, vanilla.

Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, then slowly add the sugar.

Cupcakes (7)

Cupcakes (8)
“HEY! I like frosting!”

Cupcakes (9)
“Me too! Give us the frosting, lady, and no one gets hurt.”

I put the frosting in the fridge, as directed, and a while later the cupcakes were done.

Cupcakes (10)

See those silicone cupcake liners? They are a FUCKING NIGHTMARE to get off of baked cupcakes, and I DO NOT RECOMMEND using them. I bought them to use to freeze eggs, and they work wonderfully for that. They held up well for the baking of the cupcakes, but like I said – total nightmare to peel off the baked cupcakes. TWO THUMBS DOWN, silicone liners.

Cupcakes (11)

So the frosting sat in the fridge for about half an hour, and then Fred and I each tasted it. It was not sweet at ALL. Which, I’m sorry, what is the point of having frosting if it isn’t going to be sweet? So we added more sugar and then more sugar, until we reached the desired sweetness. We ended up adding 3/4 cup more of confectioner’s sugar, in addition to the 1 cup the recipe called for.

I chilled the frosting for another half hour, then another half hour after that. It was still pretty soft, but I was tired of waiting, so I loaded it into my handy dandy plastic storage bag, cut the tip off one corner, and frosted the cupcakes.

Cupcakes (12)

Cupcakes (13)

Clearly I am no fancypants when it comes to frosting cupcakes, but like I said – the frosting was pretty soft. It actually seemed to get softer after I frosted them, so I ended up putting the frosted cupcakes in storage containers and keeping them in the fridge.

I’m thinking that using neufchatel cheese in the frosting might have been a mistake, because I think it’s softer than full-fat cream cheese (I THINK – I so rarely use regular cream cheese that I might be making that up). I thought for a while that adding the extra sugar did it, but I would think that the sugar would have made it stiffer, so who the hell knows?

The verdict: the cupcake part was really really good, but neither of us is a huge fan of cream cheese icing. I’ll definitely make the cupcakes again, but next time I’ll either make buttercream frosting or (Fred’s idea) chocolate buttercream frosting.

Cream cheese frosting or not, we ate plenty of the cupcakes and gave the rest to the chickens.


Nance’s Take:


Whew, boy! A picture of my mixer creaming the butter and sugar in this recipe. It sure doesn’t get much more exciting than this, does it?

Vanilla cupcakes. It’s a thing for me because I have yet to find the perfect cupcake recipe.  I need it to go with a swiss meringue buttercream frosting recipe that I already have and love. The frosting recipe is one that just won’t do on any old cupcake so I have been on the hunt for a while now. Which is why I picked this recipe.  And we’re making it here because November 10 is National Vanilla Cupcake Day.  Get your shit together, people.


I mixed it up like the recipe said and I ended up with this.  As per my usual, I’m counting on Robyn to give everyone the exact details of this recipe. Think of her as the goody-two-shoes that is eager to please and think of me as the asshole in the back of the classroom.


I was a little annoyed that the recipe didn’t say how much batter to put in the cupcake liners. Please note: I was making an educated (ha, NOT) guess here and trying to err on the side of NOT fucking up my cupcake pan with spill-overs.  The good news:  I didn’t mess up my pan.  The bad news:  They were not the kind of cupcakes you see in the store.

But I was still getting all excited because…CUPCAKES WERE IN DA HOUSE!


I ended up asking Robyn if she had made the cream cheese frosting that came with the cupcake recipe (we don’t normally discuss the recipes that we’re making). When I found out she had that part of the recipe covered I decided to go ahead and make my own swiss meringue frosting.  It’s pretty, huh? The recipe takes an entire pound of butter. So it’s not only pretty, but delicious (and really bad for you).


The first cupcake. Short as shit. Please note that CRUST underneath the icing. I baked them for exactly 20 minutes like the recipe said. I’m sorry, but cupcakes should not crunch when you bite into them.  On the second batch I filled the liners up more, baked for 20 minutes and they still had a crunch.  And also, they were dry, dry, dry the whole way through!


I tried sprinkles to make them look prettier and they just ended up looking like sad, sad cupcakes with sprinkles. Sigh.


All hail The Cupcake Queen!


Felina’s willing to take one for the team.


Her eyes tell me that she thought the frosting was pretty tasty.


This is your brain on drugs. Sugar highs are not to be taken lightly.

Here’s the deal…I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t work out for me. I have no idea (but I will soon) how Robyn’s turned out, but my copy of this recipe went straight to the garbage can. Everybody in the house tried them and they all agreed that they sucked (but the frosting was good, heh). I personally thought that these would be great if you like the taste of day old biscuits.  This recipe is definitely NOT a keeper for me.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: dessert, snack
Serves: 16
  • Cupcakes
  • 16 paper cupcake liners (Robyn does not recommend silicone cups because they're a pain in the ass)
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (Note: 1 c. confectioner's sugar is not going to give you a very sweet frosting. Robyn recommends you add an additional ¾ - 1 c. confectioner's sugar.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tin with paper muffin cup liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
  3. With mixer on low speed, beat in the milk and vanilla until just combined. Add flour in three portions, beating just until incorporated each time.
  4. Fill each muffin ⅔ full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool cupcakes in the pan on a rack for five minutes; then remove them to a rack. Leave the liners on the cupcakes (note from Robyn: I do not see what difference leaving the liners on or taking them off could possibly make, but what do I know?)
  6. While the cupcakes are baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to spread, about 15 minutes.
  8. If you're super organized and want to, you can make the frosting up to 2 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. (Make sure you store it in a well-sealed container so that it doesn't end up tasting like that onion you left in there a month ago and forgot about, which is slowly rotting. Mmm, rotting onion frosting!)
  9. Frost the cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.