Party Food

Sunshine Cupcake Recipe #WhereFunBegins

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In the kitchen with Sam—again. I swear we don’t live in the kitchen…but we do visit it frequently.  Inspiring moments and silly conversations happen there regularly.  This weekend Sam and I were in the mood to bake (and eat!) cupcakes.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Summer Cupcake Recipe

Before we could bake we had to get the ingredients. A run to Sam’s Club was on the agenda. Sam loves that place and likes to pretend it is his own company…if only!

Sunny D at Sam's Club

Sunny D

Anyway, we were picking up a few items at Sam’s, and as usual, we discovered several more I didn’t know I NEEDED. SunnyD was one of those products. Have you ever tasted SunnyD? If you haven’t, you should. It’s like a happy burst of sunshine in your mouth! SunnyD was created in the 60’s so it has been around long enough to create pangs of nostalgia. Parents who grew up enjoying the sweet taste want their kids to enjoy chugging the fun. What better time than going in to summer, when thirst seems to be at an all-time high?  Sam wants to hand it out when the neighborhood kids come over. So, we bought SunnyD.

Sunshine Cupcakes with Sunny D

When we got back home to our cupcake project I was inspired to switch up my recipe—we used SunnyD in our cupcakes and the buttercream frosting. Sam was fascinated with my method of making the buttercream roses. It really does look impressive but it is quite simple to pull off. Here’s the recipe for our cupcakes; Sam named them Sunny Summer Flowers.



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup SunnyD


  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and gradually add into the batter. Mix in Sunny D at the end.
  3. Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until center springs back.
  4. Makes 12 small disappearing cupcakes.



  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons SunnyD
  • orange or yellow gel food coloring

Orange Buttercream with Sunny D

Rose Cupcakes with 2D Tip

How to Make a Cupcake Rose


  1. Blend butter for one minute on medium speed. Gradually add powdered sugar, then add salt and SunnyD.
  2. Separate frosting into two equal parts; add food coloring to one.
  3. Put a Wilton 2D tip on the end of a large piping bag.
  4. Fill a second bag with the “natural” frosting and a third bag with orange colored frosting.
  5. Insert both bags into the larger bag so they take equal space.
  6. Pipe roses starting in the center of the cupcake and working outwards. The frosting will naturally swirl the colors and naturally your kids will be impressed.

Rose Cupcakes Swirl Frosting

I’m not sure if Sam or I ate the most but I know we both greatly appreciated our creations. Sam wants to make more–to hand out to the neighborhood kids this summer. I love that generous hearted kid!

If you’d like to try the Tangy Original SunnyD in a glass or a cupcake–or you want to share it with the neighborhodd–Sam’s Club is featuring it on an end-cap display with a Rollback price through July. After that you can still buy it, but you’ll find it in the usual refrigerated section then. You can visit for more great summertime ideas!

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it's okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.