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Lemon Dream Cupcakes

Lemon cake is one of my all time favorites, but sometimes I want something a bit creamier than the traditional lemon loaf. These lemon dream cupcakes are made with powdered lemonade mix for a really easy and simple dessert. And, the frosting really lives up to the word “dreamy” in the title.

This recipe a breeze since you start with a boxed yellow cake mix. It really couldn’t be any easier to make. The real work is in the frosting, which is the perfect lemon frosting if you ask me, so it’s well worth it!

To make the cake you’ll need to dissolve the lemonade mix in water before blending the other cake ingredients. Once your cupcake pan is lined with either paper, foil, or silicone liners pour the batter in and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before taking them out of the pans and letting them continue cooling on a wire rack for an hour.

Lemon Dream Cupcakes

While the cupcakes are cooling combine hot water with more lemonade mix for the frosting. Once it’s dissolved put into the fridge to cool down. If you skip this step then the frosting will still be delicious, but it can turn out a bit grainy.

When it’s time to frost the cupcakes use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and butter and beat until creamy. Add half the powdered sugar and mix slowly until blended, then add in the lemonade mixture and the rest of the sugar. At this point if the frosting is still a bit dry add in 1 teaspoon of milk at a time, mixing each time, until it’s thin enough to pipe or spread with a knife easily.

If it’s too wet then add in a bit more powdered sugar instead of milk. Blend the frosting until really fluffy and then add in a few drops of yellow food coloring if you’d like.

Spread the frosting over each cupcake, or use a piping bag to apply the frosting. The final touch is to sprinkle either some lemon zest or some turbinado sugar on top and then these delicious cupcakes are done.

Lemon Dream Cupcakes

The frosting really takes these cupcakes to the next level and takes these treats from good to delightful. If you’re a fan of fluffy, creamy, zesty frosting then you need to make this recipe ASAP!

Makes 24 cupcakes

1h 25m prep time

25m cook time

Rated 5 out of 5
Rated by 1 reviewers
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup powdered lemonade flavor drink mix
  • 1 15-oz box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup powdered lemonade flavor drink mix
  • 1/8 cup hot water
  • 1-8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 or 3 drops yellow food color, if desired
  • 2-4 tsp milk (if needed)
  • 1/8 cup turbinado sugar or lemon zest for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Add paper or silicone liners to 2 12-cupcake pans.
  2. In a large bowl combine water and lemonade mix and stir until dissolved. Add in cake mix, butter, and eggs and stir until uniform in color.
  3. Pour into cupcake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely (at least 1 hour). Towards the end of cooling, combine hot water and lemonade mix for frosting and stir until dissolved. Place lemonade mixture in fridge to cool off completely.
  5. Beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy using as electric mixer. Add in half the powdered sugar and blend slowly until incorporated. Add the lemonade mixture and the rest of the sugar and beat until fluffy. If frosting is too dry add a teaspoon of milk at a time until frosting reaches firm yet fluffy texture. Add in 2-3 drops of food coloring if desired.
  6. Spread frosting over cupcakes with a knife or scoop into a piping bag or plastic baggie with tip cut off one end. Sprinkle frosted cupcakes with turbinado sugar or lemon zest (optional).

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

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