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Sweet Summertime Cupcake Recipe

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Fun multicolored cupcakes that are made from a doctored up cake mix and topped with a simple but cute popsicle decoration. These cupcakes will have you singing sweet summertime!

tray of cupcakes with swirls of cream cheese frosting, sprinkles and candy cupcake toppers that look like popsicles

Super cute cupcakes do not have to be a challenge to make. This recipe starts with a cake mix, but has all the good stuff added in to make them taste like they came from the bakery. A twirl of frosting and some cute little candy popsicles on top and they are ready for a party!

Summertime is when we do the most entertaining. Unfortunately it is also when we feel like spending the least amount of time in the kitchen.

It’s too hot too get too crazy with complicated recipes. Besides, I’d rather be outside throwing water balloons with everyone else.

looking down at summery cupcake with fluffy white frosting and pink candy popsicle topper.

That doesn’t mean I don’t still like to have fun homemade treats for our guests.  It just means that I try to cut myself a little slack where I can.

These fun summery cupcakes were the perfect way to find that balance of cute and basically homemade without too much time or worry. They were actually a lot of fun to make!

sweet summertime cupcakes with extra spinkles and mike and ikes in front.

Making the multicolored cupcakes

This cake batter comes together super easily. I used a yellow cake batter because I didn’t plan on separating eggs.

That does mean you may have a slight yellow cast to your colors, especially if you choose lighter colors. If you want true colors, you can follow these steps but use our favorite doctored up white cupcakes recipe.

bowls of pink, blue and purple cupcake batter.

Choose whatever colors speak to you. I picked up a box of berry blend Mike & Ikes for the toppers, so I tried to coordinate with those colors.

You could easily make red white and blue cupcakes for the Fourth of July.   Or match whatever the color theme is for your party.

Gel food coloring is my favorite way to add color to batter or frosting. You can get vibrant colors without adding all of the liquid from regular food coloring.

pink and purple cupcake batter in cupcake liners in tin.

The colors do tend to deepen a bit as they bake. So you can stop adding coloring a drop or two before you get to the color you are trying to achieve.

Usually I use a large cookie scoop to portion out batter. For this a not quite full medium scoop of each color was about perfect.

colorful summertime cupcake cut in half with pink blue and purple cupcake inside showing.

Using the scoops makes transferring the batter easy.  It also allows for pretty consistent portioning.

Decorating the cupcakes

Start by making your favorite decorating frosting.  I used pipable cream cheese frosting for these babies and it was delicious.

If you are wanting a more traditional buttercream you could try sweetened condensed milk buttercream or my perfect not too sweet buttercream.

a bunch of sweet summertime cupcakes with swirls of cream cheese frosting and mike and ike popsicle toppers .

For a soft and fluffy finish, Italian meringue buttercream would also be a great way to go. Just do whatever you like best.

If you are making a crusting American style buttercream, you will want to apply any sprinkles you are using right away.  Once the frosting sets, you won’t get the sprinkles to stick.

The meringue style buttercream gives you a longer sprinkle application window. (For more info on the different kinds of frosting, check out my frosting 101 guide.)

I thought I would like the rosettes the best on these cupcakes. But it turns out I like the swirly peaks a bit better.

Luckily you can get either from the same set-up. Just fit your piping bag with a large closed star tip (open stars work too).

To make the rosette, start in the center of the cupcake and swirl the bag around until you get to the outer edge. The swirl is the exact opposite. Start on the outer edge and swirl your way to the center overlapping slightly as you go to build towards a peak in the center.

colorful summertime cupcake split open showing the colors.

Making the cute candy popsicle cupcake toppers

The cute popsicle toppers are super easy to make.  Just pick up a movie theater box sized container of Mike & Ikes.

There were a variety of color and flavor combinations at my grocery store, but I was drawn to the berry mix. The colors and flavors were calling to me.

Once you have your candy procured, get some plain wood toothpicks. Snip them into thirds.

Gently force a toothpick piece into one end of each piece of candy. Then pair two like colors together to make them look like popsicles.

box of Mike and Ikes with cut toothpicks to look like little popsicles.

Push lightly down into the frosting and voila! Summertime in cupcake form is born!

Add some coordinating sprinkles for an extra pop of fun color if desired. Then you will be ready to collect the compliments as you serve these fun treats.

Today is national cupcake lovers day, so The Baking Fairy got us together to share some fun cupcake recipes. I’ll share links to a few of my favorites below plus some from some of my friends!

Cupcakes for Cupcake Lovers Day!

Vegan Birthday Cake Oreo Cupcakes by The Baking Fairy
Brown Cow Cupcakes by Palatable Pastime
Cookies & Cream Cupcakes by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Creamsicle Cupcakes by Red Cottage Chronicles
Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes by The Beard and The Baker

tray of cupcakes with swirls of cream cheese frosting, sprinkles and candy cupcake toppers that look like popsicles

Sweet Summertime Cupcake Recipe

Servings: 24 Cupcakes
Author: Carlee
Fun multicolored cupcakes that are made from a doctored up cake mix and topped with a simple but cute popsicle decoration. These cupcakes will have you singing sweet summertime!
5 from 8 ratings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


Colorful Cupcakes

  • 15 ounce yellow cake mix
  • 3.12 ounce box cook and serve vanilla pudding not instant
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • food coloring gel


  • 1 recipe decorator’s cream cheese frosting
  • sprinkles
  • 5 ounce box Mike & Ikes candy
  • toothpicks



  • Preheat oven to 325°F and line 24 cupcake wells with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until there are no clumps and it is well combined.
    15 ounce yellow cake mix, 3.12 ounce box cook and serve vanilla pudding
  • Add eggs, oil, water and sour cream. Mix on low speed until combined, then on medium for 2 minutes. 
    4 eggs, ¾ cup vegetable oil, ¾ cup water, 1 cup sour cream
  • Divide into 3 bowls and add desired amount of food coloring to each.
  • Add just over a Tablespoon of each color to each cupcake well, a medium cookie scoop works well for this. The liners should be 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

To Decorate

  • Cut 8 toothpicks into thirds. 
  • Push the toothpick pieces into one end of a Mike & Ike.
  • Pipe a swirl of frosting on each cupcake, add a few sprinkles.
  • Place two like colored Mike & Ikes on top of the frosting to look like popsicles. 


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 155mgSugar: 14g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Marie-Interior Frugalista

Monday 15th of July 2019

How cute are those cupcake toppers - such a great idea! The cupcakes look fun and delicious too. Great dessert for a family BBQ.

Sum of their Stories

Monday 15th of July 2019

These are lovely and those little toppers are just the sweetest thing!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

You are just to clever! These are the perfect summer cupcake!

Jennifer Wise HM

Monday 1st of July 2019

These are adorable!! So clever. Pinning this post. :) #mypinterventures


Thursday 27th of June 2019

Thank you!