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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Carrie'd Away by Cosmo Cupcakes

Sex and the City 2 opened this past weekend, and I went to see it opening night with some friends. Last year, my friends and I "pre-gamed" with some chocolate fondue. This year, I decided to make SATC-themed cupcakes: Cosmo Cupcakes!

And because it is such a girlie theme, I went out of my way to make sure everything was pretty and pink.

A cosmopolitan normally contains vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and lime juice. I basically reconstituted a cosmo as the batter liquid sans the vodka, because I figured that vodka wouldn't make a very strong contribution to flavor post-baking. I really wanted the other flavors to pop. 

All of the amounts specified in this recipe are meant to be used with the Duncan Hines white cake mix box. A different brand will have different amounts of water, oil, and eggs. If you are using a different brand of cake mix, follow the directions on the box for the oil and eggs, and just reconstitute the cosmo in whatever volume of water it calls for on the box. Or, you can just make it easy on yourself and substitute one of those cosmo ready-made mixes for the water in any white boxed cake mix.

For the icing, I chose to combine all the cosmo flavors into the buttercream. However, the icing can easily be made with just some (or one) of these flavors. Instead of 1 tbls per flavor, this icing can easily be made with 3 tbls of all one flavor, or split between your two favorites. If you'd like a cream cheese icing, just substitute in 8 oz of cream cheese for one of the sticks of butter in the icing.



  • 1 box of Duncan Hines white cake mix
  • 8 oz cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 tbls lime zest
  • 2 tbls vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • dye gel in pink (optional)

Cosmo Icing

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 5-6 C confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tbls cranberry juice concentrate
  • 1 tbls triple sec
  • 1 tbls lime juice
  • 1 tbls lime zest


1. Combine all liquors and juice into your mixing bowl and swirl it around to combine
2. Add rest of ingredients for the cake (egg whites, oil, zest, dry mix), and beat with a mixer until combined and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. At this point, add some dye gel if you want to enhance the color of your cupcakes
3. Divide amongst 24 cupcake wells, filling about 2/3 full
4. Bake at 350F for about 18-20, until toothpick inserted in center is clean, and/or they spring back when touched
5. For the icing, beat 2 sticks of butter until light and fluffy.
6. Add the juice, zest, and triple sec, and beat to combine
7. Add the sugar gradually, until desired spreading consistency is reached
8. Frost when the cupcakes are completely cooled, and enjoy!

As you can see from the picture, my pretty cupcake wrappers unpeeled from my cupcakes. This didn't happen until the next day, much to my disappointment. After visiting several baking forums, I have come to the conclusion that there was a coating on the inside of the baking cup that didn't let it adhere as well to the cake. If given the choice, I'd rather have this scenario than the cupcake being cemented to the wrapper, but it still made me a little sad.

These cupcakes were incredibly yummy. They were light, not overly sweet, and all of the flavors were fresh and bright. Fresh lime juice and zest really makes a difference here, definitely don't settle for anything out of a bottle.

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