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Prickly Pear Cupcakes

Prickly pear cupcakes bring my week of prickly pear eating to a close. While I strongly preferred my prickly pear lemon bars to the prickly pear cupcakes, one friend said that I was doing something akin to comparing a sandwich to ravioli – they are too different to compare. Other friends couldn’t weigh in on whether they liked the the prickly pear cupcakes better or worse than the the prickly pear lemon bars because I hoarded all of the lemon bars for myself! They did have some very positive things to say about the prickly pear cupcakes, though:

  • “Heaven!”
  • “I would definitely buy one if they were for sale somewhere.”
  • “The only thing that would make this better would be chocolate.”

OK – those last two quotes were from the same person I talked about in the first paragraph – but they were good quotes. I had to use them.

The other quote that multiple people had, including myself, was that the prickly pear cupcakes were:

  • “Generically fruity.”

If I hadn’t mentioned the fact that they contained prickly pear, people would not have been able to identify what the fruit flavor was.

The Prickly Pear Cupcake Recipe

The coolest thing about the prickly pear cupcake recipe was the bubblegum-pink batter. It was so fun! Too bad the cupcake didn’t stay that color after baking. This is a Cupcake Project original recipe.


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5 from 1 vote

Prickly Pear Cupcakes

You might not be able to put your finger on the flavor if you didn't know what fruit was in these, but the pink color is really fun.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword prickly pear cupcakes, pricly pear cupcake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 14 cupcakes
Calories 228kcal


  • 2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 3/4 C butter room temperature
  • 1 C + 3 T sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C plain yogurt
  • 1/4 t lemon extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C prickly pear juice You can easily make prickly pear juice with a prickly pear and a food processor or blender. Simply Recipes has a great tutorial on how to make prickly pear juice.
  • 1/4 C lemon juice


  • With a fork, whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, yogurt, and extracts until blended.
  • Combine prickly pear juice and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • Alternately mix in the flour mixture and juice to the sugar/butter mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean.


Nutrition Facts
Prickly Pear Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 147mg6%
Potassium 115mg3%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 350IU7%
Vitamin C 3.7mg4%
Calcium 46mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting with Prickly Pear Lemon Bars

You could top the prickly pear cupcakes with a basic lemon cream cheese frosting. That would be perfectly tasty. But, if you just happen to have some extra prickly pear lemon bars laying around, you can blend them and mix them into the frosting for added zing! That’s what I did, and as you can see in the photo, the prickly pear lemon bars integrated into the frosting so well that no one even knew they were there.

Print Pin
1 from 1 vote

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting with Prickly Pear Lemon Bars

Lemon brightens up the plain background of cream cheese in this wonderful frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese frosting recipe, lemon cream cheese frosting, lemon prickly pear frosting
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 262kcal


  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 C butter room temperature
  • 4 C powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/2 t lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 t prickly pear juice Optional. I only added this to give the frosting a mild pink color. It did not affect the taste at all. You could use food coloring or skip this entirely.
  • 1 C pulverized prickly pear lemon bars Optional.


  • Mix butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time. You can add more or less to get your desired level of sweetness and stiffness.
  • Add lemon extract and, optionally, the prickly pear juice.
  • If you choose to do so, mix in the prickly pear lemon bars. It could also be fun to sprinkle them on top.


Nutrition Facts
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting with Prickly Pear Lemon Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 102mg4%
Potassium 29mg1%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Sugar 39g43%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 405IU8%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


Other Cupcakes With Prickly Pear and Lemon

I want to give a quick shout out to Keesha – The Prissy Cook. Keesha is a fellow prickly pear lover and cupcake baker. Around this time last year, Keesha made lemon cupcakes with prickly pear frosting. She was able to find a prickly pear syrup that made her frosting a gorgeous pink color. Be sure to check out her prickly pear cupcake post for a different take on the prickly pear lemon cupcake and also to read about her amusing tale of transporting cupcakes by bike.

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15 comments on “Prickly Pear Cupcakes”

  1. Elysesays:

    Mmm, these cupcakes look delicious! Your friend is hysterical by the way–sandwiches to ravioli–that’s classic! She’s right though! In fact, I think that cupcakes and lemon bars are sooo different that I would feel totally justified in piling the lemon prickly pear bars on my plate along with a couple of cupcakes :)

  2. Elianasays:

    These cupcakes look super cool. With such a good looking batter, I’d have a hard time not eating it raw. You are so creative. I love checking in to see what you come up with. I wonder what’s next?

  3. annasays:

    Pink batter is the best! Too bad it didn’t hold its color. I’ve never had prickly pear but I’d love to try it.

  4. Stephsays:

    I’ve never had a prickly pear before. That batter looks so pretty!

  5. Elissasays:

    What a beautiful, unusual cupcake! I especially like the look of the frosting, it’s lovely.

  6. Rarely do I hear of someone using prickly pear! I love this idea!! Beautiful cupcakes!

  7. Sarahsays:

    Congrats on wimnning the tomatomania contest! I think the cupcakes are lovely, but I would personally go for the prickly pear lemon bars too!!

  8. This cupcake was delicious! Viviane and I both loved it. I particularly liked the dense, yet moist, cake itself.

    Well done!

  9. nuri36says:

    These sound so awesome but what could I substitute for the lemon juice? I’m allergic to lemon..

  10. Stefsays:

    Nuri – Just use more prickly pear juice instead of the lemon juice.

  11. nuri36says:

    Oh ok, great. What about the lemon extract? Forgot to ask about that.

  12. Anonymoussays:

    I wanted to add that the produce department of any grocery store should be able to order prickly pears if they are not commonly available. I have a Syrian friend who recommended them, so I had asked the produce manager, and he ordered a case for me! I had some things come up and I didn’t get back to pick them up, so I never tried them. My friend said the ones in Syria look different than the ones we get here, but he said the taste is amazing! Side note: I have read that the juice will stain like crazy, just fyi for anyone who is brave enough to try cutting and using one.

  13. Bethsays:

    I was hoping to make these for a Cinco de Mayo party, but I guess prickly pears are only in season during late summer. It turns out cherimoyas are in season right now, however, and a puree of cherimoya flesh worked quite well in place of the prickly pear juice in these cupcakes. I wonder what other tropical/subtropical fruits you could substitute to make these a year-round treat. . .

  14. Lilysays:

    I know this is an old post, but thanks for this recipe! There are tons of prickly pear cacti growing around our neighborhood and I’ve been looking for ways to use them, definitely gonna try this

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