Gluten Free Pink Lemonade Cupcakes Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on March 9, 2011

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It is almost Spring Break time which means my normally sleepy little Florida beach town will get inundated with visitors – “spirited” collage students will wonder the streets, alabaster-skinned families from Minnesota will turn bright red on our beaches and most importantly, my g-kids arrive!

Whenever the g-kids come they always cook up ideas for money making ventures and inevitably they want to have a Lemonade stand. Unfortunately all attempts at selling glasses of freshly squeezed Lemonade for 50 cents have been fiscal failures. What has been successful for them is baking gluten-free baked goods and selling them at business offices. So this year I thought of a way I could help them combine both – Gluten Free Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!

The cupcakes are light as air, the frosting sweet and pink and overall these gluten-free cupcakes are just as cute as could be – topped with a sugared lemon slice and a bright red maraschino cherry.

So, would you pay an adorable kid 50 cents for one of these treats?

Gluten Free Pink Lemon Aid Cupcakes

Gluten Free Pink Lemonade Cupcakes Recipe



3 large eggs
1 large lemon
¾ cup sugar – use divided
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2/3  cup gluten-free flour


1 lemon
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Small pinch of kosher or fine sea salt
3 cups powdered sugar, measured then sifted
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice


1 lemon
½ cup sugar plus more for coating the lemon slices
½ cup water
12 maraschino cherries with stems, patted dry



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks putting each into a large mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks in a mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, on high speed for 5 minutes or until they are lemony yellow in color.

Zest the lemon then squeeze the juice. You should have ¼ cup of lemon juice, if not add a little water to make ¼ cup total. Add the lemon jest, juice and salt to the egg yolks. Mix to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add ½ cup of sugar. Beat the mixture on medium speed for 4 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in volume. Turn the mixer to low and gradually beat in the flour. Mix until just combined.

Beat the egg whites on high speed with the whisk attachment until foamy. Gradually add in the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Continue to beat until glossy and stiff peaks form. Fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture then fold in the remaining whites. Fold until the mixture is no longer streaky. Put the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and spring back slightly when touched. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Zest and juice the lemon – you should have approximately ¼ cup of lemon juice.

Beat the butter in a mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, until creamy. Add the lemon juice, salt, 1 cup of powdered sugar and the maraschino cherry juice. Beat until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until combined. Fold in the lemon zest.


Cut off a slice from each end of the lemon and slice into 6 thin slices. Combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a small sauce pan. Stir to combine and add the lemon slices. Bring mixture to a boil then lower the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour some sugar into a plate. Drain the liquid off the lemon slices and gently lay the slices on the sugar with a fork or tongs. Cover with more sugar and let them cool. When cool, cut the lemon slices in half and toss then around to coat slices evenly with sugar.

To assemble, frost the cupcakes and add a lemon half and a cherry on top of each cupcake.


This gluten free recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

Need a quick meal?

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“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

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Ready for dessert?

Simply...Gluten-Free DessertsSimply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

“I love your gluten free recipes - I can now have my desserts.” – F.R.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. This blog accepts free manufacturers samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

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Categories:    Cupcakes
  • Jeanine

    You are amazing, Carol. These cupcakes look so, so cute, I’d gladly pay your g-kids quite a bit more than $0.50 for one. I still have lemons, and my one kiddo actually asks “Mom, do you have any home-baked goodies?”, so I think I will surprise her with these cupcakes after school. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Grace

    What a precious idea. I’m planning to feature this recipe, connected to you of course, as one of my favorites for March. You can view it the first of April.

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Thanks Grace!

  • Jeanine

    Mine aren’t as pretty as yours, but boy, they taste fantastic! The cupcake is so light, and there is so much lemon tanginess, YUM! Thanks again!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Yay! Glad you liked them – really light huh? And I am like you, love the tanginess. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Theresa

    Those look so pretty and amazing! I’d pay more than 50c for one of those! :)

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      The g-kids will be happy to know, maybe they will up the price :)

  • Iris

    I had the same thought as Jeanine. I would pay a lot more than $0.50 for these!

  • InTolerantChef


  • Maggie

    I think I’d pay $3 for these! What a steal :) You’re the best G-Ma ever! Have fun with the kiddies.

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Whoa! $3.00, they wouldn’t know what to do with all that money – well actually they would figure it out :) They are little mogals in the making!

  • Johanna B

    Where do you live? I’ll be by to buy some from the g-kids. They look fantastic. Actually I live in Kansas now but I grew up on the Gulf Coast.

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      On the Florida side of the gulf – that’s kind of a long trek from Kansas for a cupcapke :) Where did you grown up?

      • Johanna B

        Before I started school we lived in a little town near Bay St Louis, MS. Then when I was in 2nd grade we moved to New Orleans. I miss the beach and the water but not the hurricanes although here we have tornadoes.

        • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

          I am with you, love the beach not crazy about the hurricanes. After helping out in the aftermath of Katrina I have new found respect for what a hurricane can do.

  • Nichole Long

    Made these just because today is Friday! They are delicious and a great little taste of spring/summer!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Yay! Isn’t it great how lemons are available in the winter but bring such sunshine to your food?

  • Lauren – As Good As Gluten

    I admire your blog and love your recipes (including this one – can’t wait to try), so I nominated you for a blog award – Versatile Blogger Award!

  • Kim-Cook It Allergy Free

    Carol, just beautiful! What a perfect springtime treat! And as usual, the photos of these are unbelievable! Another one to add to my must-try list! Missed you this weekend! But cannot wait to see you at the end of April!

  • Jess

    Oh my gosh, these look delicious!!

  • Ez

    I’m new to your blog (I discovered you through a pin on Pinterest), and boy am I ever glad to have found you! My daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac and I just know these scrumptious little cupcakes will perk her right up. Being fairly new to gluten-free cooking…I’m wondering if you have a gf baking mix that you can recommend (which one did you use for these cuties)? Thank you so much for sharing your recipe…and yes, I’d absolutely pay more than .50! xo Ez

  • Ez

    Oh gosh…feeling absolutely ridiculous that I didn’t notice the link to your flour before posting my previous comment. Sorry about that.

  • Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite

    These are absolutely adorable! Also very easy to make and not too many ingredients as some gluten free cupcakes have! Trying this soon and linking it back to you!

  • Lera Bocchino

    Perfect piece of work you have done, this site is really cool with wonderful information.

  • Gretchen Garbe

    I am speechless. It is a improbable blog and very partaking too. Great work! That’s not likely much coming from an beginner blogger like me, but it surely’s all I may think after having fun with your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. Unlike other blogs. You actually know what you are speaking about too. So much that you made me want to read more. Your weblog has develop into a stepping stone for me, my fellow blogger. Thanks for the detailed journey. I actually enjoyed the 6 posts that I have read so far.

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  • Alyssa

    Love these! Question: How do you gt your icing to look like that? Thanks!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Well actually Alyssa I had piped the icing on (not my strong suit anyway) and it was pretty warm so it just kind of started to melt a little :) I decided I liked the way it didn’t look too “done”

  • Tamara

    im going to try this but with limo cello! I’ve been looking for a good recipe to use it!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Yum ,that sounds amazing!

  • rosacea

    Carol, These cup cakes are amazing. Love the color and the marachino cherry is a great touch. I’m sure children will love these too. I would pay $2 – $3 for these! You can’t even get a regular cup cake for under $0.75 in the grocery store.

  • Georgann Thomas

    Hello! I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks for the shout out!

  • Maria

    This was my first Gluten Free recipe Ive ever made and it turned out!!!!! I was so impressed!! Everyone loves them!
    A Million Thanks!!!!!

    • Carol Kicinski

      YAY! Good for you :)

  • candaceiw

    Thank you for the recipe. I don’t see any butter or shortening in the cupcake ingredients. Am I missing something? thank you for sharing your talents.

    • Carol Kicinski

      You’re welcome and no, you are not missing anything – the cupcakes themselves have no butter, etc. They are light little sponge cakes. There is butter (or butter sub) in the frosting. Enjoy!

  • candaceiw

    I answered my own question, this is more of an angel food cake, but then I question, no levening?

    • Carol Kicinski

      Nope, the beaten egg whites are all the leavening you need!

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  • Vanessa

    They looks so yummy, I will definitively try to make them :-) I love cupcakes

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Vanessa! Enjoy.

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  • Juli

    These look delicious! Any good ideas as to rendering these lactose free? Thanks.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Sure that’s easy! Just substitue either dairy free butter (Earth Blance) or all vegetable shortening (like Spectrum) for the butter in the frosting. It will be delicious!

      • Juli

        Thank you so much!

        • Carol Kicinski

          My pleasure!

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    • Carol Kicinski

      I have! All I can say is to be diligent nad make make sure all your security measues are in place. It is difficult, but there is technolgly to keep you ahead of the game!

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