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Watermelon Cupcakes

Watermelon Cupcakes! Bright green cupcakes with buttercream that tastes like watermelon! Add mini chocolate chips for the watermelon seeds!
Watermelon Cupcakes |with pink frosting and chocolate chips in bright green cupcake liners.

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Kool aid has just revolutionized my buttercream.

You can take any flavor of powdered kool aid and add it to buttercream and voila – buttercream that tastes like watermelon, mango, pink lemonade, kiwi-lime! The flavors seem endless!

Plus it’s such a fun way to jazz up cupcakes for a birthday party – no longer an easy decision between vanilla or chocolate frosting.. and sometimes that’s not even easy :)


Delicious Watermelon Cupcakes with pink buttercream and chocolate chips in bright green cupcake liners next to watermelon slices.

How to make Watermelon Cupcakes

For the base of the cupcake, I used our favorite homemade white cake recipe and added leaf green food coloring from Wilton until I got the desired color.

To make things easier, use a box of white cake mix! Gasp! Yes I said it.

If kids are the primarily people who are going to be eating these cupcakes, we all know that they are more into the frosting than the cake, so if it saves you some time, use a box!

Our recipe will make 10-12 cupcakes (depending on how full you fill the muffin pan) and a box mix will probably make 20-24 cupcakes.

Three easy Watermelon Cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting and chocolate chips next to two slices of freshly cut watermelon.We got our super bright green cupcake liners at Party City – they really seem to match the Watermelon Cupcakes perfectly!

One green Watermelon Cupcake with pink buttercream frosting on top of two slices of fresh watermelon.

Buttercream Frosting

For the buttercream you’ll need 2 sticks of room temperature butter (I use unsalted), 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (this helps with stability, but you can substitute butter if you prefer), 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, 3/4 tsp of powdered watermelon kool aid, and red food coloring.

The watermelon kool aid actually doesn’t add much color to the buttercream (adds a lot of flavor though!) so you’ll need some red food coloring to help create a watermelon pink color.

I used the no taste red gel food coloring from Wilton, adding a little at a time, but it actually takes a lot to even just get the buttercream this color. I have not tried using pink food coloring so I don’t know if it would create the same color.

Don’t forget to add the mini chocolate chips! They complete the look of these Watermelon Cupcakes!

Two easy and delicious Watermelon Cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting and chocolate chips on a granite counter.

For a step-by-step of how to make this watermelon cupcake recipe, watch this short video:

Watermelon Cupcakes

Watermelon Cupcakes

Yield: 10-12 cupcakes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour


Cupcakes - makes 10-12 cupcakes

  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • leaf green food coloring by wilton (or similar light green food coloring)


  • 2 sticks of butter, unsalted at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (can substitute butter)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of powdered watermelon koolaid mix
  • small about of red food coloring, to give the buttercream a pinkish color
  • mini chocolate chips



  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place cupcakes liners to muffin pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, beat again.
  3. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract, mix by hand with spatula.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon.
  5. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
  6. Add in the green food coloring, mix to incorporate.
  7. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each 1/2 full.
  8. Bake at 375º F for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º will keeping the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool before adding the buttercream.


  1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar, mix by hand with a spatula.
  3. Add in more powdered sugar as you see fit, up to 2 more cups, mixing first by hand then with an electric mixer.
  4. Add in the watermelon kool aid powder and a small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color), mixing one last time with an electric mixer.

How to assemble

  1. Place the buttercream in a large piping bag fit with a 1m wilton piping tip. Push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting in the center of the cupcake, swirling out, and then swirling back into the center, progressively stacking the frosting as you get to the center.
  2. Add mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream.


If the temperature is going to be really hot when serving these, it is best to add vegetable shortening to the buttercream because it will give the buttercream stability. An all butter buttercream can become "melty" or "floppy" in high heat.

Watermelon Cupcakes! Bright green cupcakes with buttercream that tastes like watermelon! Add mini chocolate chips for the watermelon seeds!


  1. These are absolutely adorable, and look so delicious too!

  2. I have made these before and just love them.  Was amazed at the flavor.  Thanks for sharing. 

  3. These look delicious, and your photography is gorgeous!!

  4. This is awesome! I’m so going to have to do this for my grad party!

  5. These have got to be the cutest cupcake I’ve ever seen! So clever!

  6. Love these. I will be trying them out at a picnic very soon.

  7. is there any way to make these without kool aid flavoring?

  8. How was the red food coloring used in this?

  9. I made these last weekend for a family reunion. In the interest of time I used a boxed white cake mix. This frosting is so delicious. Tangy and tart and mixed really well with the not too sweet cupcake. I loved them!!!! I am a huge citrus fan so I will use this frosting in different flavors. Thanks!!

  10. This is the powdered Koolaid that you would normally add sugar to, isn’t it?

  11. Thanks for the recipe, but not seeing when you add the green colouring. Want to do this with my girls club on Saturday.

  12. Can watermelon jello powder be used instead of the koolaid powder?

    • Hi Mindy! I’m not sure, but that’s a great question! If you try it, report back!

  13. Is there an alternative to sour cream? Thanks!

  14. I actually tried a flavored jello on a frosting and I really couldn’t taste the flavor (orange) and I think it was a little too sweet ???? so I’m excited about trying the Kool aid…Thanks!

  15. When is the egg added?

  16. Hi can you use water melon flavor oil from dram lorann. As im from Australia and we can’t buy water melon kool aid

  17. Butter isn’t sold by the “stick” where I live. Can you please give an actual measurement for the butter? Thanks.

  18. Hi! How much frosting does one recipe make? And can you use salted butter?

  19. The frosting is waayyyyy too sweet, I would suggest using about half the amount of kool aid. However the cupcakes are delicious and these are so cute!

  20. Even if you don’t like using the watermelon flavoring, you can still tint the frosting.

  21. These are adorable! Certainly the hit of a summer BBQ.

  22. These are pretty! Very pretty for summer parties!

  23. These are absolutely adorable. I love that the buttercream is watermelon flavored! I love flavoring frosting with koolaid. So good !

  24. I can’t find watermelon Kool-Aid.  I’m using my own buttercream recipe and going to try Watermelon juice work in place of the milk.  Hopefully it works!

    • Hi Stacey! A lot of stores should carry the watermelon kool-aids packets, check by the rest of the small kool aid packets!

  25. The cupcakes are adorable!  However, the watermelon kool-aid was so difficult to find.  After 4 different grocery stores, I finally found it at Smart and Final.
    After the kool-aid hunt, turns out the  frosting was way too sweet.  If I make them again I will omit the kool-aid.  

    • Hi Anita! I’m sorry you had trouble finding the watermelon kool-aid. I have found it at Meijer and Walmart before. You can definitely use less kool-aid and less powdered sugar for a less sweet frosting.

  26. Hi there! These look absolutely beautiful! I’m planning on making these for my best friend’s going away party (watermelon is her favorite fruit) but I don’t want to include the watermelon flavor to the icing. If I take it out, will the buttercream frosting still taste good or do you suggest using another recipe? Thank you!

  27. Hi there! Your cupcakes look absolutely gorgeous! If I wanted to make these cupcakes without the watermelon flavor does your buttercream frosting work without the koolaid or is that what gives the frosting its flavor? If so, would just using another frosting recipe be better? Thank you! I’m making these for my best friend’s going away party and these really caught my eye.

  28. I made these before in the states and my grandkids loved them. I’m now living in Cambodia and sour cream is extremely expensive and difficult to find. I was wondering if I could replace it with Greek yogurt.

  29. Those are adorable! I had a recent cupcake disaster (over my daughter’s birthday cupcakes, no less!) so I’ll have to try some new ones to redeem myself.

  30. What piping bag tip do you use? First time using a piping set. Thanks.

  31. Hi what is Koolaid, is it powdered cordial! I live in Australia!

  32. When using the boxed cake mix, do you include any of the other ingredients? Sour cream sounds good to me , so I was wondering if it could still be added to the box cake?

  33. I made these today for my baby’s first birthday party and they turned out perfect and we’re a big hit!! I cheated and used boxed cake mix but followed the instructions for everything else. 

  34. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made them for my daughter’s class birthday party (which is tomorrow) and they look amazing. Of course I need to perfect my piping skills as they don’t look like yours, but I don’t think 10/11 year old’s will care. The frosting is amazing! We couldn’t stop accidentally getting our fingers in it! :-)

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  36. WHO DA THUNK IT????
    Kool Aid??? Really????

    I am so going to use this!!!! So many flavors to choose from.

    Thank you for being an absolute GENIUS!!!!!

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  38. These are the cutest cupcake I’ve ever seen. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

  39. If I don’t want to use shortening in the frosting, I would use 3 sticks of butter?  Also, if I am doubling the cake recipe should I double the frosting? 

    • Yes, that is correct. Simply replace the shortening with butter. And yes I would double the frosting too!

  40. I tried these using a pink food coloring in the frosting instead of red it was lighter than yours but I actually liked the paler ones too. My niece is having a 1 in a melon party next month and these are perfect. I can’t wait to try more flavors and I’m thinking red, white, and blue for the 4th of July.

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  43. Looks so cute! Looks so summery too… and delicious!

  44. My cupcakes taste good but came out very dense? Is there something I  could have done wrong? Gotta get these right before the party in four days! 

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