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Watermelon Cupcakes – Attempt One

Update: I’ve now posted my second watermelon cupcake attempt.

I’ve been dreading writing this post. It’s torture to write about projects that don’t work. It forces me to relive the trauma.  Deep breath.  Here we go…

It started with a birthday. Our friend’s son was turning one and he was having a watermelon-themed party.  I offered to bring some cupcakes (just 24 – a much easier task than others that I’ve undertaken).  My goal was to make watermelon cupcakes that tasted (rather than looked) like watermelon.

Both the watermelon syrup and watermelon butter that I prepared as cupcake ingredients had a strong watermelon flavor.  When baked into a cake, however, any semblance of their watermelon flavor disappeared in in the oven like lost socks in the dryer.  My bright red syrup produced a cake so yellow that it may as well have come from a Duncan Hines box – no red color and no watermelon taste.  Even the watermelon glaze that I topped the cupcakes with was a bust; it vanished into the cupcakes as if it never existed.

Luckily, I found some cute watermelon candies at the oldest and most esteemed candy shop in St. Louis, Crown Candy Kitchen.  Without the watermelon candy, no one would have ever known that my cupcakes were supposed to be watermelon-flavored.  Although, perhaps not knowing would have been better – everyone loves a good yellow cake.

The Watermelon Cupcake Recipe

I’m only posting the watermelon cupcake recipe because perhaps/hopefully some of you will be able to suggest where I went wrong and advise me on how to make a better watermelon cupcake.  You’ll note that the title of this post includes the phrase “attempt one.”  I plan to have an “attempt two” sometime to try and get it right.

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5 from 1 vote

Watermelon Cupcakes – Attempt One

I'm only posting the watermelon cupcake recipe because perhaps/hopefully some of you will be able to suggest where I went wrong and advise me on how to make a better watermelon cupcake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword watermelon cupcake recipe, watermelon cupcakes, watermelon glaze
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 245kcal
Author Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/4 C watermelon syrup
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 C watermelon butter
  • 1/2 C plain yogurt

Watermelon Glaze Ingredients

  • 3/4 C powdered sugar sifted
  • 3 T watermelon syrup


Cupcake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar until light and creamy.
  • Mix in the watermelon syrup, butter, and watermelon butter.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until just integrated.
  • Mix in the milk until smooth.
  • Divide batter evenly between twelve cupcake liners.
  • Bake for twenty-five minutes or until the tops bounce back when lightly touched.

Watermelon Glaze Instructions

  • Mix the powdered sugar and watermelon syrup together until smooth.
  • Spread on cupcakes.
  • Try not to be too downtrodden when it all disappears an hour later.


Nutrition Facts
Watermelon Cupcakes – Attempt One
Amount Per Serving
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 84mg4%
Potassium 65mg2%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 285IU6%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Final Note

When I mentioned in my post on the watermelon syrup that the cupcakes were a failure, Stephanie (our 2010 Ice Cream Cupcake Roundup Finalist from 52 Kitchen Adventures) asked:

I wonder how you added the watermelon syrup to the cupcakes. In the past, when I’ve tried to flavor cupcakes with syrup, putting the syrup in the batter didn’t make much of a difference. I brushed the syrup on top of the cooked cupcakes before frosting (or skipped the frosting). It soaked into the cake and flavored it pretty well.

I’ve also used the drip-the-syrup-into-the-cupcake technique in the past (see my Shirley Temple cupcakes).  With my watermelon cupcakes, adding the syrup after baking just made them extra wet and soggy – no watermelon-flavor.  Maybe if I started with a drier cupcake with no watermelon syrup and then added the syrup, I would have had more success.

What other ideas do you have?

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