Lemon Drop Cupcakes

Here's the Dish

Lemon just screams spring/summer to me as it can be quite refreshing after a winter full of  ’comfort food’ and filling desserts! I ended up bringing some of these cupcakes into work the other day, and the nurses  told me that they were thrilled at how flavorful these cupcakes were. I can promise that you (and whoever you serve them to) will be delighted with the light and lemony sweetness of these lemon drop cupcakes!


The estimated total time to make this recipe is 40-45 Minutes.


Preheat oven to 350, and line (2-12 muffin tins) with cupcake liners.


Pour cake mix in a medium bowl. If you are using anything other than a 12 oz can, measure out 1 1/2 cup of pop, and add to cake mix.


Beat cake mix and pop together until batter is smooth and creamy.


Pour cake mix into lined muffin tin, filling each cup about half way full. Place cupcakes in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.


While cupcakes are baking, mix together pudding mix, milk, cool whip, lemon juice, and food coloring (if desired).


Gently fold everything together, until everything is well combined, and frosting is light and fluffy. Place whipped topping in the fridge to chill until cupcakes are ready to be frosted.


When cupcakes come out of the oven, let them cool completely before frosting.


To prepare the frosting to pipe on the cupcakes, take a large ziplock back and turn it ‘inside out’. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into one of the corners of the bag. Then turn bag ‘right side out’, and push frosting all the way down into the corner of the bag.  Snip the corner of the bag off with sharp scissors…And your ready to begin piping!


This step is optional, but if you desire to have a ‘filled’ cupcake, you may follow the next four steps!

Start by taking a knife and cutting out a circle in the middle of the cupcake.


Pipe about 1 tbs frosting in the hollow part of the cupcake…


And place the top back on!


To frost the tops of the cupcakes, squeeze frosting out of the bag while making a swirling/upward motion and lift at the peak! Garnish with sprinkles if desired!


Serve and enjoy!


1 Box lemon cake mix (or a reduced sugar/sugar free vanilla cake mix)
1 (12 oz) Can diet lemon lime pop (or 1 1/2 cups of pop)
Whipped Frosting:
1(8 oz) Container light cool whip
1Sugar free lemon pudding mix
1 cup Skim milk
JuiceOf 1/2 a lemon (about 1-2 tbs lemon juice)
OptionalDrop of yellow food coloring and/or sprinkles to decorate

Nutrition Breakdown

24 Servings
126 Calories Per Serving
2.5 g Fat
22 g Carbohydrate
10 g Sugar
1 g Protein
3 WWP+*

*Weight Watchers Points per serving


lisa said:

wow! these look scrumptious! reminds me of that show Cupcake Wars ;)
I’m going to look for a natural, no trans fat cake mix so I can try this :)

April 30th, 2011 — 8:44am  |  Reply

Emily said:

SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!

April 30th, 2011 — 8:47am  |  Reply

Elyse said:

Yah! I’m having my parents over for dinner tomorrow and couldn’t decide on what to make for dessert! This is perfect, Thanks Katie :)

April 30th, 2011 — 9:01am  |  Reply

Natalie Hemsley said:

Yum!! Cupcakes are my weakness. I will have to try these. Your pictures look great!!

April 30th, 2011 — 9:22am  |  Reply

Amy said:

Is the calorie count for diet soda or regular lemon lime soda?

April 30th, 2011 — 10:50am  |  Reply

Tina said:

I want to make these soon. LOVE lemon desserts and these look uh-mazing!

April 30th, 2011 — 12:42pm  |  Reply

Cassie said:

These look amazing! I’m going to attempt to make a vegan version for my household soon probably using Diet Squirt [my favorite!]!

April 30th, 2011 — 4:01pm  |  Reply

jaclyn@lifeoftodayslady said:

These look delicious!!! Mmmmm I’m crazy for lemon desserts :)

Also, great pictures and I’m so jealous of your cute apron!!!

April 30th, 2011 — 6:33pm  |  Reply

Cara said:

These look great! They look so light and refreshing! I love lemon desserts,or lemon everything come spring and summer!

May 1st, 2011 — 6:50am  |  Reply

Lindsey said:

These are gorgeous and look delicious! Definitely trying these in the near future, thank you! :)

May 1st, 2011 — 12:19pm  |  Reply

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat said:

Wow Katie! I had no idea that just mixing pop and cake mix would actually make cupcakes! These sound delicious and so spring-y. I’m totally bookmarking these for my next cupcake-making affair! :)

May 1st, 2011 — 5:08pm  |  Reply

kate@ahealthypassion said:

your photos are gorgeous and these cupcakes look delicious!!!

May 1st, 2011 — 6:13pm  |  Reply

Sami said:

you have a way of making every recipe look appealing! maybe it’s the cute aprons or the colorful photography ;) i don’t even really LIKE lemon, but these look yummy! xo.

May 2nd, 2011 — 6:11am  |  Reply

Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily said:

Lemon+Sweet treats= Happiness. I love lemon flavored goodness.

May 2nd, 2011 — 11:13am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

I agree Megan! :) xoxo

May 2nd, 2011 — 12:09pm  |  Reply

Ginger&Rice said:

mmm, those look fantastic! You are an amazing baker. I love to bake, but I’m not very talented with it. (yet!)

May 2nd, 2011 — 2:31pm  |  Reply

Sarah said:

These do look yummy! Gonna have to try sometime!

May 2nd, 2011 — 3:07pm  |  Reply

Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) said:

Those cupcakes are adorable. I love the lemon and frosting, definitely made for Spring :D

May 2nd, 2011 — 5:18pm  |  Reply

Marci said:

These look yummy! Can I ask a question about using diet soda? Does it make the cupcakes taste sweeter or too sweet? Do you think I could use lemon-lime seltzer instead? I’ve never made cupcakes with soda before so I’m a little nervous. Thanks!

May 8th, 2011 — 7:41am  |  Reply

ashley said:


May 8th, 2011 — 9:58pm  |  Reply

Jenn said:

Making these for my coworkers tonight :-)!!!

May 17th, 2011 — 6:31pm  |  Reply

Jenn said:

Okay so I DIDN’T make them for my coworkers… yet! LOL, but soon. I am so impressed that soda and a cakemix can make cupcakes!

May 22nd, 2011 — 9:29pm  |  Reply

Megan said:

These were a big hit! And so much fun to make! Would this work with other flavors, same concept? Oh I put fresh blueberries on top of the icing too!

May 30th, 2011 — 11:28pm  |  Reply

monika said:

amazing cupcakes! i put lemon zest and blueberries in mine!

June 7th, 2011 — 1:23pm  |  Reply

Katie said:

I made these and they are great, but I think the amount that you listed for the pudding box is incorrect. It looks like the normal smaller size box of pudding in the pic but your recipe says 8oz of pudding mix… I couldn’t find any boxes that big!

June 21st, 2011 — 3:09pm  |  Reply

Jenn said:

I keep forgetting that I want to try a cake mix with a soda to make cupcakes. Thanks for reminding me!! Your whipped frosting looks so pillowy. Great touch with the yellow jimmies on top!

July 3rd, 2011 — 8:03pm  |  Reply

Susan said:

I have only been on your website for 15 minutes and think it would be wonderful if you either publish a cookbook or have your own FoodTV show!! I joined WW yesterday, and in my search to enjoy it and not feel as though I am on a diet, found your website. It is very well put together, recipes look delish! Thank you for taking the time to put together such a great site! :)

September 19th, 2011 — 4:49pm  |  Reply

Amy said:

Love these! I had no idea you could just mix soda with cake mix and get such moist cupcakes! I gave the recipe a little twist and separated the frosting into two batches. One I left as is, the other I mixed with pureed strawberries and strawberry preserves and a bit more whip cream and used that as the filling. Now they are strawberry lemonade cupcakes! Yum!

September 21st, 2011 — 8:28pm  |  Reply

Marianne said:

question: When making these should I follow the instructions ont he box that say to add eggs, or just mix in the soda to the dry mix and go?


November 19th, 2011 — 2:02pm  |  Reply

Sierra Koepfle said:

I made these today but the frosting was really runny :( I used Nonfat milk instead of skim. Do you think that would have done it?

January 23rd, 2012 — 3:00pm  |  Reply

Lisa said:

These look so pretty! Thank you for this recipe. I’m on weight watchers and I’m always looking for a low point goody! I made some today using a white cake mix and Fanta Zero orange with white chocolate pudding for the frosting. I can’t wait to try one later. Sierra, did you use only 1 cup of milk? (Not the 2 that the box states for pudding?)

January 25th, 2012 — 9:11am  |  Reply

Brittany said:

Love your blog!! My husband and I made these for dessert tonight and they are so amazing. Your blog is so inspiring and my husband and I have found a number of recipes that we plan to try. Thank you so much for sharing your hard work with everyone! :)

March 3rd, 2012 — 9:03pm  |  Reply

Lori said:

Can you use the f/f cool whip???

March 9th, 2012 — 12:50pm  |  Reply

Monica said:

These were wonderful! I can’t wait to try other combinations for that frosting – amazing! Thank you and good luck with your new venture into full time.

March 18th, 2012 — 7:34pm  |  Reply

lisa said:

I tried making these today. I couldnt find ff sf lemon pudding, so i used vanilla and added lemon extract. the only thing is that i didnt see 8 oz box of pudding. I figured you meant 8 serving, so i used 2 boxes. it came out very lumpy. i added more milk and tried to save it by putting in a mixer, still a little lumpy but better. is it a small box of pudding mix or the next size up?

March 21st, 2012 — 10:39am  |  Reply

Susannah said:

OK WAIT. First these look amaaazing, Second is it JUST the mix and the soda, you don’t add the eggs and oil and water from the directions on the box? That’s insanely awesome if so.

April 13th, 2012 — 4:12pm  |  Reply

Tasha Tinagero said:

I’m about to go make these, but I think I’ll add in some fresh blueberries…interested to see how it turns out!

May 10th, 2012 — 8:18pm  |  Reply

Lindsay Ebenhack said:

Ok so I love ANYTHING lemon but holy cow these were GOOD!! This is one of my favorites for sure!! And FYI, I couldn’t find the sugar free lemon pudding at my store so I got vanilla and added the lemon juice and a little True Lemon and lemon extract (clearly I have a problem, LOL) and the icing turned out perfect and lemony!

March 27th, 2013 — 2:56pm  |  Reply

Jenna Allerson said:

Hi Katie,

Could I make these in two rounds and stack them with frosting in between, or do you think it would be too soggy?

Thanks so much,


February 3rd, 2014 — 12:09pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

that should work! :)

February 3rd, 2014 — 12:38pm  | 

Jenna said:

I made this as two rounds and brought it to a baptism! Rave reviews and people asked for the recipe! Thanks again for another hit Katie!! :)

February 10th, 2014 — 11:59am  |  Reply

Jona said:

will the frosting melt if cupcakes are left in room tempature cause your using whip cream?

July 11th, 2015 — 8:19am  |  Reply

Jona said:

will the frosting melt if left in room tempature cause your using whip cream?

July 11th, 2015 — 9:33am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

diet :)

April 30th, 2011 — 10:52am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks so much jaclyn! :) it was a gift from my amazing aunt! :)

April 30th, 2011 — 7:10pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

great idea cassie! :)

May 1st, 2011 — 5:36am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Me too Tina!

May 1st, 2011 — 5:36am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks lindsey!!!

May 1st, 2011 — 3:56pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Thanks Kate! :)

May 2nd, 2011 — 6:08am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

haha thanks sami! your too cute!

May 2nd, 2011 — 9:03am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks ginger! :)

May 2nd, 2011 — 5:27pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

they sure would megan! :)

May 31st, 2011 — 6:25am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

great idea monika!

June 8th, 2011 — 3:58am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thank you so much susan! what an amazing compliment! i am coming out with a cookbook, and hope to get it out by november!

September 19th, 2011 — 11:56pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

yes that is correct marianne! no eggs or oil or water just the diet soda!

November 20th, 2011 — 12:45pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

did you mix the milk with the dry pudding mix and then add the cool whip? also did you place it in the fridge to let it set?

January 23rd, 2012 — 3:24pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

HI Lisa, that is most likely what happened… But what will help next time to get the lumps out is just to whisk the milk while pouring in the pudding mixture… it helps lumps to not form at all in the first place, because once they form they sure are stubborn as you found! :)

March 21st, 2012 — 4:48pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thats correct susannah! :)

April 13th, 2012 — 6:25pm  |  Reply

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