How to Make Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcakes
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Why Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcakes? I am totally a child of the 70s and remember the big Kool-Aid man busting through a wall and saving the day with all the thirsty kids and flustered mom.
He was in his glory as a man in tights and wearing a giant plastic pitcher of that sugary goodness that seemed to quest everyone on a hot Wisconsin Summer Day.
Just check out these Cherry Kool-Aid Man Commercials:
So, these Cupcakes are a throwback to my childhood – and I hope they bring a smile to your face.
How to Make Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcakes
We played around a lot before sharing the final results with you – tried tweaking my white cake scratch recipe, tried different cake mixes, and finally came up with our version of Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcakes.
If Cherry Kool-Aid isn’t your thing? No worries – use one of the other flavors: Green Apple, Strawberry Kiwi, Peach Mango, Cherry Limeade, Tropical Punch, Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Sharkleberry Fin, or Invisible Grape – which I would dye purple.
Simply sub out the right kind of Kool-Aid and alter the food coloring used for the cake mix and frosting.
Is Kool-Aid bad for you?
Yes, Kool-Aid is bad for you. Each cup of Kool-Aid has 20 grams of sugar, or to be precise, the equivalent of 5 teaspoons of sugar. Research has shown that the artificial dyes in Kool-Aid may cause hyperactivity in your child. Long-term consumption may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
However, Kool-Aid has fewer calories than your typical soda, contains vitamin C, and is not carbonated.
That being said – cupcakes aren’t good for you either – if you have long-term consumption and overindulge.
So there – don’t make and eat these every day.
What else can you do with Kool-Aid?
I find it funny as Kool-Aid has been used lately in everything from cookies, to dying hair. Let’s face it – we are a creative lot! I even saw a recipe for Kool-Aid pound cake!
There seem to be mixed results for using it as a hair dye? Professionals seem to hate it but the normal folks like us seem to have better results with it. Here is a video I found on how to do it – which I find fascinating! I know what I paid to have a stylist dye my kiddo’s hair purple…this might be our next venture!
The one that really blows my mind?
Kool-Aid pickles! Or Koolickles as they are more commonly known as. They reportedly originated in the Mississippi Delta region of the United States…and I guess it is credited to African American culture. The recipe is more often made with water, not pickle brine, or simply dipped in Kool-Aid powder.
I’m not sure I am brave enough to try them, but the colors are fabulous!
The standard Kool-Aid pickle ingredients are:
- 1 packet of Kool-Aid mix
- 1 jar of dill pickle spears or whole pickles
- 1 cup of sugar
Remove pickles from jar leaving the pickle juice. To the pickle juice, add 1 cup of sugar and stir to combine as well as you can. Place the pickles back into the jar and close the lid. Be sure the lid is tight. Place Kool-Aid pickles in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Shake or turn the jar at least once a day during the 1-2 weeks.
OK — I went down a rabbit hole! Let’s get back to the cupcakes!
We use a boxed cake mix
These Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcakes are started with a boxed mix instead of being a Kool-Aid cake from scratch. I find that it is the best way when baking with Kool-Aid to make a consistent finished product.
What cake mix do I prefer?
Right now, the brand at Aldi is my favorite – as I have been playing with layered cakes too. It has brought taller cake layers than either Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker lately and comes in lower on the price point.
How do you store Kool-Aid Cupcakes?
The best way to usually store your finished creations? Room Temperature. Considering the buttercream frosting, they should be fine for five to six days. You can learn more about that in our article How To Frost A Cupcake.
Just like any of our cupcake recipes, you can make the cupcake bases in advance. I actually have some yellow cupcakes in my freezer right now for Easter.
Generally, the rule of thumb is that if you plan to frost and enjoy them within a couple of days you should be storing your cupcakes at room temperature. If you do not plan to frost or enjoy them within a couple of days then it’s best to freeze them.
You can learn more about Batch Baking During the Winter Months in my other post if you want to, but batch baking and freezing are some of my trade secrets. Rarely would I pop them in the fridge – the constantly circulating air dries them out too much.
Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcakes Ingredients
You will need:
- 1 box of white cake mix
- 3/4 cup kool-aid drink powder, cherry flavor
- 1 1/4 cup water*
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil*
- 3 egg whites*
- 1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 3 TBS heavy cream
- 4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 drop of red food coloring
*Or what your boxed cake mix asks for.
Cherry Kool-Aid Cupcake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 24-cup muffin pan with liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together: 1 box of white cake mix, and the 1/2 cup Kool-Aid drink powder.
Follow directions on the package and whisk in 1 1/4 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 egg whites, and 2 drops of red food coloring.
Divide batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Kool-Aid Cake Frosting
When ready to frost the cupcakes, whisk together: the 1 cup butter, 3 TBS heavy cream, 4 cups powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup kool-aid drink powder, cherry flavor.
Add in 1 drop of red food coloring, (or as many drops as needed to get to the desired red tint you are looking for)
Whip until it is smooth and fluffy, but holds its shape. Scoop into the piping bag and set aside until you are ready to frost these babies!
Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
Now, you COULD decorate them more – I know I usually do all “Fancy” with sprinkles, etc but occasionally? Less is more.
What do you think?
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