Sweet Treats: Two Ingredient Lemon Cupcakes

Way before Pinterest ever existed, someone told me that you could make a box cake mix using a can of soda and it would turn out perfect, just as if you made it the traditional way.  I’ve always wondered if that was true, but never actually tried it…until today.  My supermarket is constantly running BOGO sales on cake mixes and frosting, so I typically have those on hand.  I love baking when I already have the ingredients in my house and don’t need to buy anything.  I decided that I was going to try a lemon box cake, but make cupcakes so they would be easier to bring into the office with me (yes, I totally use my co-workers as guinea pigs and for the most part, they like it…or at least, they say that they do).twoingredientcupcake

You will need:
1 box of Lemon cake mix
1 can of Sprite (12 oz can)
Frosting (if desired)
Skittle or sprinkles (if desired)

Step 1 – Pre-heat oven at temperature recommended on box.  Line cupcake pan.

Step 2 – Pour cake mix into mixing bowl and add can of Sprite.  Mix on low for 30 seconds and medium-high for 2 minutes.  Pour batter into cupcake liners.Step 3 – Bake for 16 1/2 minutes and remove from oven to cool.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove and allow to cool for another 30 minutes.Viola!  Two ingredient cupcakes!  They came out perfect too – light, fluffy, moist, and lemon-y (but not too lemon-y).  The myth I heard years ago is absolutely right – you can make a boxed cake mix with just a can of soda.  And supposedly, any clear soda will do, it doesn’t have to be a lemon-lime soda like Sprite.

But who can let a cupcake go unfrosted?  Not me.  It meant that my ingredient count was going to go up, but I just couldn’t leave good enough alone.  Problem was, I didn’t have lemon frosting “in stock” at my house, and I tend not to like lemon cake with lemon frosting.  To me, it can be just a little too much lemon.  Time to get creative.  I ended up using some white frosting that I had and decided I would just have to dye it using some of the yellow food gel left over from my Rainbow Cake last week.

Step 4 – Mix white frosting with a small amount of yellow food gel.  Stir until you think your arm is going to fall off, then stir some more.  For some reason, my food gel just didn’t want to mix with my frosting, but I finally won.  In the future, I will probably use liquid food coloring to dye frosting.Step 5 – Frost cupcakes and top with a Skittle.Okay, I’ll admit, once I frosted the cupcakes, I kinda wished that I had frosted them with lemon frosting.  The frosting I used is pretty, but it doesn’t compliment the lemon cupcakes – actually it almost takes away from the lemon flavor.  I did the best I could with what I had on hand, and for that reason this recipe cost me virtually nothing, but in the future, I’ll do lemon frosting.

By the time you ad in the frosting, food gel, and Skittles, I suppose my ingredient count is up to 5, but I still think that’s pretty good.  This recipe can be made in less than an hour, and most of that time is spent waiting for the cupcakes to cool.  If you are in a pinch and need a quick, delicious recipe, I definitely recommend these cupcakes.

Warning – Whatever you do, make sure that you make this recipe with a 12 oz can of Sprite, and not a 20 oz bottle.  Lots of pins on Pinterest seem to suggest that you can make this with a 20 oz bottle, but I don’t see how that’s possible.  As I researched it further, tons  of people report having a soupy, messy cake if you try to make the recipe with 20 oz of liquid.  I don’t know if there was an error in translation of that recipe or if the original person is just messing with everyone, but don’t do it.  Twelve ounces is plenty of liquid for this cake.

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  1. I loved this recipe! I have seen this cake mixes before and I had no idea you could add soda to it! What a tasty clever idea!!

  2. Lori Altman says:

    Hmm – Wonder what makes sprite make it work? Would coke or rootbeer work in chocolate mix?

    • No idea. I’ve heard that any clear soda will work for a lemon, strawberry, white, or yellow cake. I can only vouch for the lemon cake, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with others. If you are making a chocolate cake, I’ve heard that you are supposed to use coke, diet coke, or root beer, but I’ve heard that sprite will work with that one too. I think I’m going to try a chocolate cake with coke next – just because I have everything for it already in the house and my husband LOVES chocolate cake. I’ll post to let everyone know how it turns out!

  3. Go figure! My husband will be delighted to hear this, he always craves cake at the weirdest times. Middle of the night while playing video games is his favorite time to come into the bedroom and be like “baby? Are you awake? BABYCHOCOLATECAKE!!!! WE NEED TO MAKE IT!”

    Now I can hand him a can of sprite and tell him to figure it out himself.

    • Is there any chance we’re married to the same man? ‘Cause my husband does that all. the. time. But if you are going to send him to make a chocolate cake, just make sure that you try it with a coke, dr. pepper, or root beer and make sure that the soda is room temperature, not chilled. He’s going to have to get up from his video games to watch it a little too, because it doesn’t need as much time as the box tells you (if making a cake, I’d start checking it at about 20 minutes). Good luck getting him to make his own cake – sadly, I don’t think that would work in my house.

  4. that looks really good! I’m going to try this!

  5. um…this is awesome. period. THANK YOU!

  6. oh and this is PERFECT for a baking project with toddlers!!!!!! They will squeal at the fizzing and all you have to do is stir…did I mention I love this????

  7. Wow. This sounds truly delicious :)
    Thanks for linking up!! HUGS

  8. I must go bake a cake now. I am going to try a chocolate mix with Coke. Like I needed another reason to have chocolate and Coke.
    I am Sunday Super Stalking on Friday this week. LOL I hope you have a great weekend!

  9. This is awesome. Yummy cakes that are so easy to prepare – even kids can actually do it. This is a must try. :)

    Thanks for sharing. :)


  10. Wow, really cool! Perfect for when you want something quick and don’t have so many ingredients in the house. Thanks for sharing!

  11. These cupcakes look so good! Thanks for linking up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We hope you’ll be back soon! -The Sisters

  12. This recipe sounds very easy.I will have to try this one. New follower!

  13. That is great to know! I love easy recipes! Thanks for experimenting on your co-workers for us. 😉

  14. Never would have guessed LOL! – Heather, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife

  15. I every time spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s content daily along with a cup of coffee.


  1. […] after I posted my Two Ingredient Lemon Cupcakes last week, the questions started rolling in – Can you do this with “x” cake mix […]

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