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Make these fun summer watermelon cupcakes! Bright green cupcakes with buttercream frosting that tastes like watermelon! Add mini chocolate chips for the watermelon seeds! Serve these cupcakes at a one in a melon themed party! 

green cupcakes with pink watermelon frosting with mini chocolate chips for watermelon seeds on marble background
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Kool aid has just revolutionized my buttercream frosting! 

You can take any flavor of powdered kool aid and add it to buttercream and voila – now you have buttercream frosting 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. These Watermelon Cupcakes would be so fun to serve at a summer birthday party or a “one in a melon” themed party! 

green cupcakes with pink watermelon frosting with mini chocolate chips for watermelon seeds on marble background

How To Make Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

Our recipe calls for a lot of moist ingredients. We use egg whites instead of whole eggs, sour cream and milk. Using egg whites only gives the batter a nice white look. The sour cream and milk are where the fat, flavor, and moistness come into play.

Watermelon Cupcake Ingredients

  • unsalted butter: makes the cake tender and helps with leavening 
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness and flavor
  • egg whites: binds the cake together by providing structure 
  • sour cream: adds moisture and creaminess
  • milk: adds moisture 
  • vanilla extract: adds flavor
  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure
  • baking powder: helps to leaven and lift the batter, reacts with the sour cream
  • salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness and enhances the other flavors of the cake
  • leaf green gel food coloring: important for getting that vibrant green color

How to Make Watermelon Cupcakes

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer, 1-2 minutes until fluffy. 
  2. Add in the egg whites, sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat lightly with the electric mixer. 
  3. In a separate mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a few spoonfuls at a time. Mix until just incorporated. Add in a small amount of Wilton’s “leaf green” gel food coloring until you get your desired green color. 
  4. Fill the muffin liners 1/2-3/4 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes at 350º F or until a few moist crumbs remain on a toothpick when inserted into the center. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding the frosting.
green cupcakes with pink watermelon frosting with mini chocolate chips for watermelon seeds on marble background

Watermelon Frosting Ingredients

  • unsalted butter
  • powdered sugar
  • watermelon kool aid powder mix
  • red gel food coloring
  • mini chocolate chips

How to Make Watermelon Frosting

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!

Total Time Required

  • 10 minutes to prep the batter
  • 15 minutes to bake the cupcakes
  • 1 hour, at least, to cool the cupcakes
  • 15 minutes to make the frosting and frost the cupcakes
green cupcakes with pink watermelon frosting with mini chocolate chips for watermelon seeds on marble background

Piping bags – I love these bulk piping bags
Piping tips – Larger piping tips are better for frosting cupcakes. My go-to tips are the Wilton 1M2D, 12 and 199.

How to Pipe Frosting onto Cupcakes

I used a wilton 2D piping tip to pipe the frosting on these cupcakes. A wilton 1M and an Ateco 844 are both very similar to the 2D.

Start in the center of the cupcake, applying pressure to the frosting bag, going in a swirling motion until you reach the edge of the cupcake then lift the tip up and tip more frosting onto that base layer you just made, stacking the frosting and continuing in a swirling motion until you reach the center of the cupcake.

How to Freeze Unfrosted Cupcakes

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. Wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap, then place inside a freezer ziplock bag or freezer storage container.

To thaw: place the bag or container of cupcakes on the counter overnight. Frost once fully thawed. 

How to Make Gluten Free Cupcakes

This recipe turned out great using gluten free flour! We love King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. Follow the directions as stated, but substitute gluten free flour for all purpose flour. 

green cupcakes with pink watermelon frosting with mini chocolate chips with text overlay

Tips

  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they are combined. Over mixing could lead to dry, dense cake.
  • We got our super bright green cupcake liners at Party City – they really seem to match the Watermelon Cupcakes perfectly!
  • Store these cupcakes covered on the counter.

If you’re looking for more summer recipes try rainbow popsicles, cherry dump cake, and 3 ingredient fruit dip!

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Watermelon Cupcakes

By: Beth
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Make these fun summer watermelon cupcakes! Bright green cupcakes with buttercream frosting that tastes like watermelon! Add mini chocolate chips for the watermelon seeds!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, 1/2 cup
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk, I used skim
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • leaf green food coloring by wilton, or similar light green food coloring

Watermelon Frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 1/2 cups
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp powdered watermelon kool aid mix
  • small amount of red gel food coloring, to give the buttercream a pinkish color
  • mini chocolate chips

Instructions 

CUPCAKES

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer, 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat lightly with the electric mixer. In a separate mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a few spoonfuls at a time. Mix until just incorporated. Add in a small amount of Wilton’s “leaf green” gel food coloring until you get your desired green color.  Fill the muffin liners 1/2-3/4 full.
  • Bake for 17-19 minutes at 350º F or until a few moist crumbs remain on a toothpick when inserted into the center. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding the frosting.

Watermelon Frosting

  • In a mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and the watermelon kool aid powder, beat together.
  • Add in more powdered sugar as you see fit, up to 2 more cups,
  • A small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color), mixing one last time with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and combined.

How to assemble

  • 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.
  • Add mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream.

Video

Notes

We got our super bright green cupcake liners at Party City – they really seem to match the Watermelon Cupcakes perfectly!

Nutrition

Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 1039IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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96 Comments

  1. 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! 

  2. So good! I made these with my younger siblings and when they added the egg, they accidentally got a bunch of the yolk in (LOL) they were very worried that they wouldn’t turn out because we couldn’t get all of the yolk out, but they turned out fantastic! We all loved the kool aide in the frosting too!!

  3. Hi! I purchased the green cupcake liners from party city but when I baked my cupcakes the liners don’t look as bright as yours. Did you double line your cupcakes or how did you get them to stay so bright green?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Shannon! My liners stayed very bright green and I did not double them up. It’s possible that the liners have changed since I made this recipe in 2016.

  4. The video clip references shortening in the frosting but does not list it in the frosting ingredients. How much do you put in?

    1. I’ve switched over to using an all butter frosting instead of butter and shortening. If you prefer to use the butter and shortening recipe, simply swap half of the butter for shortening.

  5. I am happy to report that these can be made with vegan butter, almond yogurt, and almond milk. And even watermelon juice in the frosting (turns it orange pink. So i added a bit a red) it made the frosting very fluffy. I made these for my 3 year old sister who has major food allergies (FPIES- dairy mainly) and she loves them! I had extra batter so I put them in donut molds. Makes great layered donuts!

  6. Hi these look so cute!! I plan to make these for my nieces 2nd bday in a couple weeks, but we are doing them mini instead. I’ve read some review on the frosting being to sweet, any suggestions on the recipe to make it less sweet??  Any advice would be helpful!!! Thank you 

    1. Hi D’lynn! Less powdered sugar and / or less watermelon kool aid mix in the frosting would make the frosting less sweet. Frosting is all about taste, so you can add more as you make it!

  7. I tried this today and the frosting was really gross. First was way too runny and then I refrigerated it to thicken and it ended up tasting like slightly watermelon flavored butter. It was inedible. :(

    1. Hi Mandie! That doesn’t sound good! Did you use room temperate butter? Also, I notice when it’s really hot and humid outside buttercream frosting tends to become more runny – was the frosting outside at all?

  8. Could not find powdered Kool-aid anywhere. Used the LIQUID Kool-aid watermelon flavor…. so so. Had to add a ton of vanilla to get rid of the funky taste.

    1. Aw man I just asked if I could use the liquid. Dang. I guess I’ll have to order the flavoring