Sunshine Cupcakes: A Ginger-Flavored Sweet Treat

I’ve told y’all about Sunshine, the pick-me-up ginger berry flavored goodness that’s straight out of Winston-Salem via the ad agency I work for, but now I’m taking Sunshine to a new level. I’ve merged my love for this delicious beverage with my affinity for baking, creating a deliciously crisp cupcake, with Sunshine integrated into both the cake and icing.

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I’d been planning to bake these cupcakes, for a while, and since it’s a friend’s birthday at work today, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to give it a try.

I plan to play with different versions of a Sunshine cake recipe (and perhaps quick breads and other treats as well), but this is my first attempt. My icing turned out much thinner than I’d hoped (I think perhaps I didn’t let the Sunshine and cornstarch “gel” together enough, or that the mixture didn’t cool completely before I added it to the butter and powdered sugar mixture). To help it set, I refrigerated my cupcakes overnight and that worked like a charm. The cake is quite good chilled, in fact, so for this batch I plan to serve them that way.

Ingredients (for cake)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup Sunshine

Ingredients (for icing)

  • 1 cup Sunshine
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions (for cake)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger, and set aside.
  • In another separate bowl, whisk together Sunshine and Greek yogurt (mixture will be slightly fizzy).
  • Add flour and Sunshine mixtures to butter mixture alternately, both beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Batter will be rather thick.)
  • Fill cupcake liners about halfway with batter, and bake for 16-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool.

Directions (for icing)

  • Place Sunshine in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, then reduce heat to low. (This will take a few minutes.)
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water until lumps are gone.
  • Add corn starch/water mixture to Sunshine reduction, whisking constantly as you add it in. Mixture will begin to thicken and have a soft, gel-like appearance.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in ground ginger.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool completely. (You can put the bowl in the fridge to speed up the process.)
  • Once the Sunshine mixture is cooled completely, place the contents into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together with softened butter.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed, adding about 1 cup at a time to the butter mixture until thickened. (You may have to add more or less powdered sugar depending on how the Sunshine mixture settles.)
  • Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost them and enjoy!

What Sunshine treat should I try next? Cookies? Blondies? More cupcakes? Quick bread? Cast your votes!

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