Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raspberry Lemonade Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting

Something about spring’s arrival makes me crave light and airy treats. Don’t get me wrong, I never refuse chocolate. In fact I rarely partake in a dessert that isn’t chocolate. But something about Angel Food lures me anyway, and it seems like the perfect spring dessert. G had the great idea to make them into cupcakes.  And you remember our over abundance of lemons?  Well, it seemed like a perfect marriage to combine lemons with Angel Food cake in our newest cupcake.

But something was missing.  Don’t get me wrong, simply adding lemon zest into your Angel Food cake mix is divine!  But we were looking for something just a little more special.
Then I remembered back to this cake I loved growing up.  I’m pretty sure it was an 80’s Midwestern institution.  It was a basic white cake mix and basic Cool Whip topping, but the secret ingredient (that you didn’t know about until you cut into the cake to see) was bright red strawberry Jello.  “Jello Poke Cake” is what we called it.  It was about the only thing the cafeteria ladies in our small town school pulled off successfully.  Everyone ate hot lunch on the day it was served, even if the main dish was something nasty like chipped beef on toast!

Raspberry Lemonade is a perfect spring drink in my book (more on that later), so we decided to use raspberry Jello instead of strawberry in our cupcakes.

Now we had our cupcake planned, but regular frosting seemed too heavy and sweet for this light and airy cake. I think that is why the cafeteria ladies always used Cool Whip – the lightness didn’t take away from the sweet fruity Jello infused cake.  So we hunted down a Whipped Cream frosting that will knock your socks off.  Seriously, this stuff is lick-the-spoon incredible! Our frosting was adapted from a fantastic Lemonade Frosting from AllRecipes.
Raspberry Lemonade Angel Food Cupcakes copy
Yes, I know what you are thinking.  Why make a super light, low cal cake like Angel Food (and yes, I used sugar-free raspberry Jello!) and top it with full fat whipped cream?  Because it is AMAZING. Top it with some candied lemon and this beauty took our breath away. 

Recipe after the jump...

Raspberry Lemonade Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting
Ingredients (makes 4 dozen cupcakes):

  • 1 box Angel Food Cake Mix, prepared as directed
  • Zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 1 package of raspberry Jello (3 oz) – sugar free is fine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 fluid ounces of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • Candied Lemon or fresh raspberries to garnish
1. Preheat oven as directed on the cake mix box.

2. Mix the cake batter as directed on the box.
3. Fold in lemon zest after mixing.
4. Bake according to the instructions for cupcakes on the box. 
5. After your cupcakes have cooled, use a fork to pierce holes in the top.  Poke the fork into the tops 2-3 times per cupcake.
6. Heat one cup of water to boiling. Stir into gelatin mix until dissolved (in a glass measuring cup if you have one – will make the next step easier!)
7. Pour (or spoon) slowly over cupcakes.  You don’t want a full swimming pool in the cupcakes – just a little to run into the tunnels you made with the fork.  Attempting to photograph yourself pouring into the cupcakes = spilled liquid gelatin mess on the counter.  Trust me.
8. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  I made these the night before and refrigerated overnight!

Onto the frosting!

9. If possible, chill your mixing bowl before you get started.  Then combine whipping cream, sugar and lemonade concentrate in a bowl and beat until the frosting reaches stiff peaks when you remove your beaters.
10. Put whipped cream into a piping bag and frost your cupcakes!  Top with candied lemon or fresh raspberries!
These little cakes are not only pretty, but boy are they scrumptious.  We may have consumed a dozen or two just the two of us at our conference.  They sure make a tasty breakfast. :)  Perfect for Easter brunch dessert!

Word to the wise – Angel food is light and airy and lacking much structure.  Between the Jello and the whipped cream frosting, there is a lot of weight pressing down those pretty cupcakes.  If you intend to use a pretty cupcake wrapper like we did, leave the cupcakes in their papers underneath to maintain structure and avoid collapse!  It will make for a prettier presentation (and less of a leaning tower like the ours were).

We’d love to hear if you make your own!

P.S. Like our wrappers above?  Check back in a few weeks – you might just see them in the shop!!
Linking to:
It's a KeeperTidy MomJoin  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
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Jodie said...

This looks yummy!

Warm Wishes,

P.S. Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left on my spring wreath!

Kirsten @ Mushki Loves said...

I LOVE jello cake! Yummy! I found you at The polkdot Giraffe.

Alexandra said...

Wow! These look fabulous! Please share your recipe with our readers by linking up at Muffin Monday. Thanks!


Little Brick Ranch said...

These look great!! I love the flavor combo!! Thanks for linking up to Foodie Friday.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

I bet you need the light cupcake to balance out the rich frosting. Sounds wonderful.

I'd like to invite you to share this recipe on my linky, Sweet Tooth Friday. I hope to see you there. http://alli-n-son.com/2011/04/14/chocolate-birds-nests/

Lindsay Conner said...

Yum!!! Hopping over from TTandJ :)

Lyuba @ Will Cook For Smiles said...

Sounds great! And so easy, I bet it tasted like a slice of heaven!
New follower!
Hope you can stop by too http://willcookforsmiles.blogspot.com/

heather {WhipperBerry} said...

yum, yum, yum! great combination!!


Dottimae said...

These look great! thanks for sharing the receipe.

Tiaras & Bow Ties said...

Wish the laptop had a scratch and lick screen! I can almost taste them now. Will need to try this, the kids are off school for Easter break. Daughter's 2 fav's are Angel food and raspberries...combine and oh my! Thanks for sharing.
Stop over sometime to visit, Kim @ tiarasandbowties.blogspot.com

Tiaras & Bow Ties said...

PS. I'm now a follower! Wanted to let you know I found you thru Get your craft on link Party

{nifty thrifty things} said...

Hmm.. Those look so yummy!!
Thank you so much for linking these up to {nifty thrifty sunday} as well!
Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

Jill @ Women Who Do It All said...

Those look so yummy! I'm featuring them over at womenwhodoitall.blogspot.com

:) Jill

augcott said...

I cannot wait to try this recipe.......yummy!

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