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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sweet Summertime Cupcake Recipe

Fun multicolored cupcakes that are made from a doctored up cake mix and topped with a simple but cute popsicle decoration. These cupcakes will have you singing sweet summertime!

tray of cupcakes with swirls of frosting, colorful sprinkles and candy popsicle toppers

       Super cute cupcakes do not have to be a challenge to make. This recipe starts with a cake mix, but has all the good stuff added in to make them taste like they came from the bakery. A twirl of frosting and some cute little candy popsicles on top and they are ready for a party!

      Summertime is when we do the most entertaining. Unfortunately it is also when we feel like spending the least amount of time in the kitchen.

      It's too hot too get too crazy with complicated recipes. Besides, I'd rather be outside throwing water balloons with everyone else.

looking down at summery cupcake with fluffy white frosting and pink candy popsicle topper

      That doesn't mean I don't still like to have fun homemade treats for our guests.  It just means that I try to cut myself a little slack where I can.

       These fun summery cupcakes were the perfect way to find that balance of cute and basically homemade without too much time or worry. They were actually a lot of fun to make!

sweet summertime cupcakes with extra spinkles and mike and ikes in front

Making the multicolored cupcakes

       This cake batter comes together super easily. I used a yellow cake batter because I didn't plan on separating eggs.

       That does mean you may have a slight yellow cast to your colors, especially if you choose lighter colors. If you want true colors, you can follow these steps but use our favorite doctored up white cupcakes recipe.

bowls of pink, blue and purple cupcake batter

      Choose whatever colors speak to you. I picked up a box of berry blend Mike & Ikes for the toppers, so I tried to coordinate with those colors.

        You could easily make red white and blue cupcakes for the Fourth of July.   Or match whatever the color theme is for your party.

      Gel food coloring is my favorite way to add color to batter or frosting. You can get vibrant colors without adding all of the liquid from regular food coloring.

pink and purple cupcake batter in cupcake liners in tin

      The colors do tend to deepen a bit as they bake. So you can stop adding coloring a drop or two before you get to the color you are trying to achieve.

        Usually I use a large cookie scoop to portion out batter. For this a not quite full medium scoop of each color was about perfect.

colorful summertime cupcake cut in half with pink blue and purple cupcake inside showing

      Using the scoops makes transferring the batter easy.  It also allows for pretty consistent portioning.

Decorating the cupcakes

      Start by making your favorite decorating frosting.  I used pipable cream cheese frosting for these babies and it was delicious.

      If you are wanting a more traditional buttercream you could try sweetened condensed milk buttercream or my perfect not too sweet buttercream.

a bunch of sweet summertime cupcakes with swirls of cream cheese frosting and mike and ike popsicle toppers

        For a soft and fluffy finish, Italian meringue buttercream would also be a great way to go. Just do whatever you like best.

      If you are making a crusting American style buttercream, you will want to apply any sprinkles you are using right away.  Once the frosting sets, you won't get the sprinkles to stick. The meringue style buttercream gives you a longer sprinkle application window. (For more info on the different kinds of frosting, check out my frosting 101 guide.)

bunch of sweet summertime cupcakes with orange candy popsicle topper in front

     I thought I would like the rosettes the best on these cupcakes. But it turns out I like the swirly peaks a bit better.

      Luckily you can get either from the same set-up. Just fit your piping bag with a large closed star tip (open stars work too).

        To make the rosette, start in the center of the cupcake and swirl the bag around until you get to the outer edge. The swirl is the exact opposite. Start on the outer edge and swirl your way to the center overlapping slightly as you go to build towards a peak in the center.

colorful summertime cupcake split open showing the colors

Making the cute candy popsicle cupcake toppers

      The cute popsicle toppers are super easy to make.  Just pick up a movie theater box sized container of Mike & Ikes.

     There were a variety of color and flavor combinations at my grocery store, but I was drawn to the berry mix. The colors and flavors were calling to me.

      Once you have your candy procured, get some plain wood toothpicks. Snip them into thirds.

        Gently force a toothpick piece into one end of each piece of candy. Then pair two like colors together to make them look like popsicles.

box of Mike and Ikes with cut toothpicks to look like little popsicles

         Push lightly down into the frosting and voila! Summertime in cupcake form is born!

         Add some coordinating sprinkles for an extra pop of fun color if desired. Then you will be ready to collect the compliments as you serve these fun treats.

close up of cupcake with big swirl of cream cheese frosting and pink candy popsicle topper

       Today is national cupcake lovers day, so The Baking Fairy got us together to share some fun cupcake recipes. I'll share links to a few of my favorites below plus some from some of my friends!

More Favorite Cupcake Recipes for Summer:

Cupcakes for Cupcake Lovers Day!

Vegan Birthday Cake Oreo Cupcakes by The Baking Fairy
Avocado Cupcakes with Lime Frosting by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Brown Cow Cupcakes by Palatable Pastime
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cupcakes by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Busy Bee Honey Vanilla Cupcakes by For The Love of Food
Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting by A Little Fish in the Kitchen
Cheesecake Cupcakes by Walking on Sunshine Recipes
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes by That Recipe
Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes by The Freshman Cook
Chocolate Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting by Cooking for my Soul
Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting by Daily Dish Recipes
Cookies & Cream Cupcakes by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Creamsicle Cupcakes by Red Cottage Chronicles
Gluten Free Rocky Road Cupcakes by Frugal & Fit
Honey Lemon's HoneyBee Cupcakes by Simply Inspired Meals
Lemon Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting by The Olive Blogger
Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cupcakes by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Lost Princess Cupcakes by Seduction in the Kitchen
Orange You Glad Cupcakes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes by The Beard and The Baker
Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes by Crumb Top Baking
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes by Bowl Me Over
Pudding Pop Cupcakes by Nik Snacks
Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting by Join Us, Pull Up a Chair
Strawberry Basil Cupcakes with Chocolate Balsamic Frosting by The Spiffy Cookie
Strawberry Cupcakes by Confessions of a Baking Queen
Strawberry Jello Cupcakes by Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats
Vanilla Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes by Our Good Life
Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes by Simple Family Crazy Life
Watermelon Themed Cake & Cupcakes by The Mandatory Mooch
White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes by Triple Chocolate Kitchen

colorful cupcake recipe, doctored up cake mix cupcakes, summer cupcake recipes, popsicle cupcake topper
desserts, cake
Yield: 24 servings
Author: Cooking With Carlee

Sweet Summertime Cupcake Recipe

Fun multicolored cupcakes that are made from a doctored up cake mix and topped with a simple but cute popsicle decoration. These cupcakes will have you singing sweet summertime!
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 50 M


For the colorful cupcakes
  • 1 15 ounce yellow cake mix
  • 1 3.12 ounce box cook and serve vanilla pudding (not instant)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 colors of food coloring gel
For decoration
  • 1 recipe decorator's cream cheese frosting
  • sprinkles
  • 1 5 ounce box Mike & Ikes candy
  • toothpicks


How to cook Sweet Summertime Cupcake Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F and line 24 cupcake wells with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until there are no clumps and it is well combined.
  3. Add eggs, oil, water and sour cream. Mix on low speed until combined, then on medium for 2 minutes. 
  4. Divide into 3 bowls and add desired amount of food coloring to each.
  5. Add just over a Tablespoon of each color to each cupcake well, a medium cookie scoop works well for this. The liners should be 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  7. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
To decorate
  1. Cut 8 toothpicks into thirds. 
  2. Push the toothpick pieces into one end of a Mike & Ike.
  3. Pipe a swirl of frosting on each cupcake, add a few sprinkles.
  4. Place two like colored Mike & Ikes on top of the frosting to look like popsicles. 
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Popsicle cupcake toppers inspired by Party Pinching.

Fun multicolored cupcakes that are made from a doctored up cake mix and topped with a simple but cute popsicle decoration. These cupcakes will have you singing sweet summertime!


  1. What a darling idea. The multicolored cupcakes are so cute, and I love the Mike & Ike "popsicles". My grandkids love Mike & Ike's and I have got to make these!

    1. They are going to go nuts for these then!

  2. Those popsicle toppings are just the cutest! What a fun summer treat. Pinned.

    1. These cupcakes were picked as one of my featured favorites from the Summer Fun party and will be showcased on my blog today-- Our Unschooling Journey. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  3. These cupcakes are so super fun! The swirled colors inside and tiny popsicles on top just scream summer! Thank you so much for participating :) <3

  4. Love the little Mike and Ike popsicles. Very creative, not to mention adorable.

  5. I love your candy popsicles on top, adorable!

  6. These are adorable! You're so creative Miss Carlee!!

  7. I love these cupcakes! I'm actually making them with the same decoration for another event!

  8. OMG what a cute way to use those Mike and Ikes!!! Totally stealing it, ha ha.

  9. I saw your photo and was wondering how you made mini-popsicles! Genius.

  10. I love this idea, Carlee! These cupcakes are definitely creative and fun!

  11. These are so creative and I'm going to use your suggestion for the candy "popsicle" cupcake toppers at backyard bbq I'm hosting soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. When I first saw these I thought you bought the pops for on top. Very clever, Carlee!

  13. These are so fun! And those mini popsicles made from mike and ike candy are adorable! Genius idea!

    1. They are some of the easiest cupcakes I've made in a while, but they made a big (and fun) impression!

  14. So fun and super delish - what a creative cupcake, I just love these!

  15. Your cupcakes are just adorable! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  16. I am not sure what I am impressed with more. If it is the colourful cupcakes or the cute popsicles :)

    1. Aren't they both fun? Together they make a big impression!

  17. These are adorable!! So clever. Pinning this post. :)

  18. You are just to clever! These are the perfect summer cupcake!

  19. These cupcakes are just the cutest, thanks for sharing them at the Summer LInk Party! I'll be featuring them tomorrow in my 4 Summer Treats Feature Post.

  20. These are lovely and those little toppers are just the sweetest thing!

  21. How cute are those cupcake toppers - such a great idea! The cupcakes look fun and delicious too. Great dessert for a family BBQ.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!