Soda cupcakes are what you make when you have little time and limited ingredients in the house.  They are easy, low in calories (if you use diet soda instead of regular), and easily customizable without much risk.  You can make a chocolate cake with Coke, a white cake with Sprite (or tonic water), or you can get creative and make different flavors (such as the super easy pumpkin muffins).  Essentially, boxed cake mix really just needs 12-15 ounces of liquid to work. 

For this recipe I wanted to put a citrus twist on these cupcakes.  It ended up working out really well.  Lemon is just such a clean, refreshing taste, and I love it combined with sugar.  Really, I love any food that has lemon in it, but especially sweets.

Here is the recipe:

For the cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
~10 ounces diet lemon lime soda (like Sprite)
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

For the frosting:
1 container of store-bought vanilla frosting
2 Tbsp lemon juice

The cake tends to end up better if the soda is flat, so if you have an open 2 liter bottle in the fridge, then that’s great.  If not, a new one will work fine, too (bottle or can).  Either way, you mix all of the ingredients together.  Easy as that! 

Next, fill a cupcake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  I made 12 big cupcakes, but this could just as easily make really fun bite-size cakes in a mini-muffin pan.  Bake until the cupcake tops are a light golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean.  This is usually about 15-20 minutes, depending on how your oven cooks.  Obviously, if you are making the mini cakes you need to cook them for less time.   You can also refer to the box that the cake mix came in and see what that particular brand recommends.

After you take the cupcakes out of the oven, let them cool completely.  We don’t want the frosting melting all over them. 

In order to make the frosting lighter, put it into a mixing bowl, add in the lemon juice, and whip it up with a mixer (or a wisk) to add air.  This makes it less dense, and, in my opinion, a lot better. 

Then you can either pipe the frosting on or just lather it on there with a knife.  Both ways taste exactly the same!

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