Photos: HBB. Food stylist: Allyson Sullivan; Marianne Zanzarella. Prop stylist: Candace Clark.
Memorial Day's come and gone, which for us means one thing (besides the fact that we can finally wear white again): watermelon season's in full swing. Of course, while we love nothing more than biting down into sweet crimson slices of watermelon on beach picnics, the fruit's sticky juices and inevitable seed mess can be frustrating to deal with. That's why we've found the perfect way to enjoy that sugary melon taste without the syrupy disaster: packing the fruit into a cocktail and cupcake combo! Check out the recipe below to make tidy use of this seasonal treat — and to keep those whites spotless all summer long!
Watermelon Mojito Cupcakes
- 1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) white cake mix
- 2/3 cup strained watermelon purée, from 1 1/3 cups (1") seedless watermelon cubes
- 3 egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups salty watermelon flavored vodka (such as UV)
- 1/4 cup oil
- 30 drops liquid red food coloring
- 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 30 drops liquid green food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Watermelon fruit candies, cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
- On low speed, beat cake mix, watermelon purée, egg whites, 1/3 cup vodka and oil until combined, about 30 seconds.
- On medium, beat 2 minutes. Stir in red food coloring.
- Divide among cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.
- Immediately, using fork, poke 6 sets of holes into top of each cupcake. Brush tops with remaining 1 cup vodka.
- Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on racks.
- On medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups butter (at room temperature) until fluffy, 2 minutes.
- On low, gradually beat in 4 cups confectioners’ sugar.
- On low, gradually beat 1/4 cup water, peppermint extract and green food coloring into frosting until just blended.
- On medium-high, beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe over cupcakes.
- Garnish with watermelon candies.
Makes 18 cupcakes.
- Piece of seedless watermelon, about 2 lbs.
- 1/3 cup of packed, fresh mint leaves
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice
- Watermelon flavored vodka
- Light rum
- From 2-lb. piece seedless watermelon, scoop out 12 melon balls; freeze.
- Cut 2 cups (1") cubes from remaining watermelon.
- In a blender, purée cubes until smooth.
- In a pitcher, using the end of a wooden spoon, muddle 1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves, 3 Tbsp. sugar and 3 Tbsp. lime juice.
- Stir in watermelon purée and 1/4 cup watermelon flavored vodka, and 1/4 cup light rum.
- Divide frozen melon balls between 2 tall glasses; add drink mixture.
Makes 2 servings.