Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Pink tastes like fun!
Pink... that was the answer I received when I asked Liv what kind of cupcakes she wanted for her 12th birthday party.  Pink?  Ok... but what does pink taste like?  Apparently pink tastes like "fun", but most importantly, with over 20 pre and early teen dancers coming to our party these cupcakes needed to be something special.  Not the little girl, overly sweet, out of the box cupcakes of yeseryear.

Searching on "pink cupcakes", results for Pink Lemonade Cupcakes came up time and again mostly with variations on a couple of recipes seeming to be used over and over.  Narrowing our choices down to two of our favorites, Liv came up with a great idea:  Why not a cupcake taste test at the party?  Done.

From scratch version from Sweet Cheeks
Our two most popular versions of Pink Lemonade Cupcakes had one totally from scratch and the other a cake mix enhanced recipe, but both arriving with wonderful reviews.

Sweet Cheeks in the Kitchen provided our favorite from scratch recipe bringing a cupcake with a lightly sweetened lemon flavor and a nice tender crumb.  Pink Lemonade Concentrate provides the perfect addition to bring sweetness and tartness all at the same time and smiles to everyone who tasted.

Enhanced cake mix from Foodie Bride
Confections of a Foodie Bride provided our second Pink Lemonade Cupcake version, and with her simple description of "Bright", she had us at the first word of her blog post.  This lower in fat recipe had me smiling even before I had my first taste of the tender little cakes and the ease of putting them together had me making a batch with minimal effort.

Double batches of each version all wrapped in pretty, colorful liners caught nearly each girl's eye entering the house in full birthday party mode.  Fresh from a week long dance intensive class, the girls were hot, tired and hungry.  Pizza, strawberries and bananas were the first order of the day followed by a cooling dip into the pool and then... cupcakes!


Eager helpers had the cupcakes passed out in no time, at least one taste of each recipe, and then the girls were off to discuss the nuances and differences of each one.  A white board was provided to keep track of their thoughts and votes as the girls spent an inordinate amount of time actually discussing appearance, texture, color and taste.

For appearance and color, most girls chose the "bright pink" cupcake which actually was colored somewhat accidentally.  Not being a food color person, my experience with food dyes is somewhat limited.  Let's just say that food color gels work exceptionally well, and one really does not need more than a very, very small amount to color a batch of cupcakes pink.  Hence... electric pink cupcakes which actually rated very high on the appearance scale. 

Texture... the scratch cupcake barely edged out the mix version for texture, though the preferences here were not very strong.  Comments of "light and airy" were given nearly equally to both cakes, though I will admit to personally preferring the from scratch cupcake over the mix version.  The from scratch cake had a crumb that simply was preferable to me.

Water slides work up an appetite!
Taste.  Here the mix cupcake nudged the from scratch cake to take the lead.  With the mix cake being somewhat sweeter it seemed to have more immediate appeal to the girls.  While the lemonade flavor enhanced both versions, it was more pronounced in the from scratch version and not as appealing as pure sweetness in the pre-teen world.  For me, the from scratch version won hands down in taste, though I will admit to being partial to lemon. 

All tallied, the electric pink cake mix cupcake came out the winner, though not by much.  Voting was split just about down the middle with 62% choosing the sweeter electric pink enhanced cake mix version.  Would we make either of them again?  Absolutely!  Each version was made as written on the author's site and either version is wonderful, tasty, pretty and most importantly, fun.  Pink is most definitely the way to go.

Lucky Liv and her friends

24 comments:

  1. I love that you used your daughter and her friends to taste-test the cupcakes. Pink lemonade cupcakes sound divine! And they look so pretty, too! Yum!

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  2. How pretty and cute! There is nothing better than pink and purple cupcakes....no matter what age you are! : )

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  3. Loks super yummy, and fun to boot!

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  4. Happy birthday to Liv!!! The party and taste test sounds like an absolute wonderful time :-) I'd actually like to make both of these versions and see which one I like, too! And you gals got perfect weather for a pool party!

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  5. LOVE the idea of a taste test for the party, the girls must have loved trying both and giving their input. They do both look delicious, I am sure it was hard to choose!

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  6. Kim, I would love to have you as my mom..you must made Liv so proud with those cupcakes, they are simply delightful! Looks like they had so much fun! Liv is growing up, 12th B-day you say..wow, did I already mention before that she is one gorgeous young lady? She defiantly is! Thank you Kim for sharing and have a wonderful week ahead! Liv Happy Birthday!!

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  7. Looks like everyone had a great time at the party. What perfect cupcakes for a 12th b-day party!

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  8. Happy Birthday Liz! Pink lemonade cupcakes sound scrumptious - so summery too! Great idea to have taste-testing.

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  9. Happy Birthday to Liz. I love the idea of a taste testing and I agree - pink DOES taste like fun!

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  10. Happy birthday Liz! You're so lucky to have a pink-lover. I think those cupcakes are the bomb and would love to be able to make girlie things like that. Dudette had a Spiderman cake for her birthday (that give you a clue?)

    The girls look so happy (and all gorgeous) at the party!

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  11. Brilliant idea ending a pool party with a cupcake taste-test-- that must have been a blast! Pink Lemonade Cupcakes definitely sound interesting. Both of the two cupcakes look gorgeous and tasty (I LOVE that crazy electric pink shade). Happy birthday to Liz!

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  12. Wishing your daughter a happy 12th Birthday! Judging by both cupcakes, they did their job in being pink and pretty and absolutley delicious! Love the idea of pink lemonade flavour - so girly ;-)

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  13. Wishing your daughter a beautiful birthday. They are all having so much fun.
    The pink cup cakes are so pretty. I Know my daughter is going to make such demands very soon.

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  14. Wow - those cupcakes are so cute! xoxo from Trinidad

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  15. This post just made me smile! Thanks for starting my Monday off with such joy! ~ Megan

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  16. Happy 12th Birthday Liv- You are lucky to have not one but two kinds of cupcakes to eat ant your pool birthday party. Looks like you had a wonderful party thanks to Mom.

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  17. Happy Birthday to Liv!! I would have answered pink at that age too! I loved pink when I was younger. I feel like most little girls do ;-)

    These cupcakes are so cute! What a great idea Kim...those girlies are so very lucky!

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  18. These are the CUTEST cupcakes!! I can imagine how popular they were at that party!

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  19. the mini cupcakes are way too cute to eat! :D

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  20. Mini cupcakes SOOO cute..

    Just read your comment on my blog. I have a picky eater too, many mornings I'm glad she just takes a few swigs of juice!

    Glad to see you're on Food Gawker, your pictures just pop off the page!

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  21. This is my favorite cupcake from my favorite bakery in Durham! And... pink is my favorite color! :D Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Happy 12th B-Day to Liv! My g-daughter Gabby just recently had her 10th B-day, as well!
    Such fun and pretty little cupcakes! Love the pink lemonade flavor. The girls sure enjoyed them, and looks like they had an amazing time. Fun photos, as well!

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  23. Oh yes "pink does taste like fun!!" In our house too. I'll bookmark this one for our next girlie party.

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  24. Just stumbled on your blog! Everything on it makes me drool... and hey, happy belated birthday to Liv -- guess what! She shares the same birthday as I do :)

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