These Sunshine Cupcakes are a cinch to decorate and the perfect summer treat! Bright and sunny with a smile…these sunny cupcakes are loved by kids and adults and are sure to put a smile on your face!
I love summertime – even as an adult, there’s still something magical about this time of year.
We’ve been having some gray and rainy days lately, which is a little unusual for sunny Colorado. After a couple of days where the sun stays hidden behind clouds, we start to crave the sun. ☀️
So I decided to whip up this sunshine cupcakes recipe to brighten everyone’s day! New recipes like these sweet treats are always SO much fun to develop because I get to see my kids’ faces when they see what I have up my sleeve!
These cupcakes are a CINCH to make. You can use your favorite cupcake recipe, or use a box of cake mix and just whip them up. Then decorate – it only takes minutes and is so easy that the kids can help!
These cupcakes are perfect for brightening anyone’s day, serving at a birthday party, or providing for guests at a summer cookout!
How To Make Sunshine Cupcakes
Here’s how to make these cupcakes full of bright and sunny cheer!
- Box yellow cake mix – plus the additional ingredients according to the box directions OR your favorite recipe.
- Candy corn – you’ll need 8-10 pieces per cupcake.
- Sugar decorating eyes – you’ll need 2 per cupcake.
- Orange frosting – cookie or regular frosting.
- Lemon buttercream frosting – in a piping bag with alarge cut tip.
- Unsalted butter – room temperature
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh lemon juice or lemon zest
- Heavy cream
- Lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- Just a touch of yellow food coloring and orange food coloring swirled in lightly
Preparation Instructions for Sunshine Cupcakes
Just follow this simple process to decorate these delicious cupcakes.
Bake cupcakes in muffin cups per recipe and cool completely.
Prepare buttercream by beating the butter in a medium bowl on medium speed until smooth, then adding the remaining ingredients until well combined.
Pipe frosting on cupcakes in a flat swirl pattern.
Place candy corn tip side out all around the outer edge of the cupcake.
Place sugar eyes in the center opening. Note: if you don’t have candy eyes, you could use miniature semisweet chocolate chips for eyes!
Use the orange frosting to create a smile.
Serve, share, and enjoy!
Aren’t they adorable? They certainly added some cheer to our day and I hope they add some to yours too!
Sunshine Cupcakes FAQs
Here are some questions I often see readers ask. If you have a question but don’t see it below, please leave it in the comments.
I did not fill this batch of cupcakes. But you could easily add some lemon curd filling to the center of these cupcakes for an extra punch of deliciousness!
I didn’t add flavoring to the cupcakes themselves, and instead, used the lemon frosting to add some light and bright flavor.
If you want to add more flavor OR you want the cupcakes to be flavored to use simple frosting, you could add some lemon or orange extract to the cupcake batter before baking. You could also add vanilla extract to the frosting (or the cupcake batter) to add a simple but delicious flavor!
No! These are some of the EASIEST cupcakes to make and decorate. And since I’m not a professional cupcake decorator, I often get frustrated with my final outcome. That’s why I love adorable designs like this one which are fail-proof!
Store your sunshine cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for up to 7 days when stored that way.
If you can, I recommend storing these cupcakes before you put the candy corn sunshine rays on top (just because the candy will get cold and VERY hard). However, if you’ve already decorated them and are just storing leftovers, they will be fine.
Sure, if you prefer chocolate flavoring (or only have chocolate cake box mix), you could whip those up. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need additional frosting so that the dark cupcakes don’t show through at the edges of cupcakes.
More Summer Recipe Inspiration
If you love these sun cupcakes and want even more fun summer-inspired treats, check out these ideas:
- Red White And Blue Poke Cake
- Sugar Cookie American Flag Fruit Pizza
- Summer Berry Cream Cake
- Berrylicious Red, White, and Blue Trifle
- The Best Homemade Strawberry Cobbler
- 1 box yellow cake mix - plus the additional ingredients according to the box directions OR your favorite recipe.
- Candy corn - you'll need 8-10 pieces per cupcake.
- Sugar decorating eyes - you'll need 2 per cupcake.
- Orange frosting - cookie or regular frosting.
- Lemon buttercream frosting - in a piping bag with alarge cut tip.
- 1 stick unsalted butter - room temperature
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- Just a touch of yellow and orange food coloring swirled in lightly
- Bake cupcakes per recipe and cool completely.
- Prepare buttercream by beating the butter until smooth, then adding the remaining ingredients until well combined.
- Pipe frosting on cupcakes in a flat swirl pattern.
- Place candy corn tip side out all around the outer edge of the cupcake.
- Place sugar eyes in the center opening.
- Use the orange frosting to create a smile.