Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

So Summer is winding down and we are all getting ready to have the kids head back to school!!! Yippee! All the stores have their fall decorations up and the sweaters are on the shelves.  It is easy to wish the days away when Corporate America has us all brain washed to start thinking Christmas Shopping Season is a mere few weeks away. Then we step outside and the blast of the heat is upon us! Step back Retail Guru's, I am not ready to head into fall just yet.  It is August for crying out loud! It is HOT HOT HOT out there! So here is my toast to a Summer that I am not ready to give up on just yet!
This is super easy to boot!
1 package white cake mix
3 egg whites
1 cup water plus 2 tbs
1/3 plus 1/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate thawed
2 tbs canola oil
pink gel paste food coloring
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 1/2 tbs meringue powder

in a mixing bowl combing cake mix, egg whites, water, oil and 1/3 cup pink lemonade and a tiny amount of gel paste.  This stuff is strong so go light on it unless you want a pepto pink cake mix.

Line 24 cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins and divide the batter evenly filling each well about 2/3 full. When done give the pans a little jiggle to settle the batter and a quick tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  Cake mixes of today are nothing like the dry air filled mess that they used to be.  You can really jazz up a good mix and they are moist and tasty!
Bake for 20 min at 350 or till the batter is baked through and the cake springs back when you touch it.
Cool cupcakes on a rack.  The air circulation will cool them faster and keep the bottoms from getting soggy.  We have all had that cupcake at pot luck from the poor individual who just doesn't quite get it.  If you are that individual this is the tip that fixes that!
While cupcakes are cooling make your frosting. If you plan on piping make a double batch of frosting as piping uses more product than just frosting with a palate knife.
Take the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup lemonade, 1/4 tsp lemon extract, 2tbs of water, and 2 1/2 tbs meringue powder in a standing mixer and combine till smooth and creamy.
If you pipe you can use room temperature cupcakes.  If you are going to frost with a palate knife the cooler the cupcake the better.  I would chill them for 30 min first.
Pipe or frost the cupcakes and enjoy your summery delight!!


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