Mar 31


Lemon Cupcake Recipe + Bunny Cookie Pops

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Just in the nick of time for Easter, I’ve got a new recipe to share with you.

Being pressed for time, this recipe is semi-homemade with a bit of a twist (details in the recipe below). You’ll notice the color of the cupcakes is a bit darker on the brown liners above, as I baked them in extra large cupcake liners, and needed to bake them a bit longer than the smaller ones below. Both turned out delightfully lemony with a soft and fluffy textured cupcake.

For my Easter dessert table, I wanted to include some regular sized bunny cookie pops (you can find the mini cookie pops in this post here), hence the extra large brown cupcake liners, which you can find here.

I topped the lemon cupcake with vanilla buttercream and CakeMate Rainbow rounds for a little extra whimsy.

The cookie pops are gingerbread with royal icing (recipes below). The bunny tails and ears have fine white sanding sugar sprinkled on them (while the icing was wet). You can find the sanding sugar here.

If you’d like to make these too, the decorating technique is quite simple. You can find find some basic decorating videos here, and a post on how to make cookie pops here.

Some fun news for you… If you’re preparing your favorite Easter recipes this weekend, you might want to take some photographs of what you make (sweet or savoury), and enter this contest for a chance to take home a Le Creuset cookware set! McCormick is on the hunt for flavourful Easter recipes and is hosting the Flavour Hunt contest. Your entry will be voted on by the community and a panel of chefs. You can find out more details about the contest here, see the current entries here, and can find the contest form here. This contest is only for Canadian residents; sorry my other sweet readers! Although this post is sponsored by McCormick, all opinions are my own.

I haven’t been able to blog much this year so far, I recently realized it’s Sweetopia’s 6th anniversary (this past February). Thanks so much for visiting me here!

Happy decorating!


Lemon Cupcakes

Yield: Approx. 24 cupcakes


  • 1 box Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 -ounce) Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding, dry
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat the cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil and eggs on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners. Using an ice cream scoop or ¼ measuring cup, add one scoop of batter into each cupcake liner.
  4. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool for at least 15 minutes before removing them from the tray.
  5. Allow cupcakes to cool completely and decorate!

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

Yield: Approx. 35 medium sized cookies


  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Club House ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons Club House ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons Club House ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 800 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
  2. Mix in spices first, then eggs and molasses.
  3. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and add to bowl; mix until just combined.
  4. Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. Let it rest by refrigerating until cold, about 1 hour.
  5. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If you’re making cookie pops, slide the cookie stick about half way through the cookie.
  6. Refrigerate until firm; at least 15 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Bake cookies until crisp; 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool and decorate!

Royal Icing Recipe


  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon Club House cream of tartar
  • 1 kilogram (2.25 lbs.) powdered icing sugar


  1. In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water, vanilla extract and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the Club House cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
  3. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
  4. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
  5. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
  6. Tint with gel food colorings and thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.
  7. For instructions and tips on decorating cookies with royal icing visit



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  1. April 1, 2015 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Happy 6th blog-anniversary, Marian! These bunny cookie pops are so cutie!! Happy Easter 🙂

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Thank you, and thank you for visiting me… you’ve been commenting since the beginning. xo

  2. April 1, 2015 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Wow, sweetie, 6 years already! Crazy!
    I’ve known your blog for 4.5 years or so and I enjoy it everytime I visit 🙂

    Lovely cookie pops, Marian. What are you doing with these? 😀

    Happy Easter to youuu, wish we could celebrate together. A “He is risen” party! 🙂


    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Hi Niner,
      I’d be giving them to you if you were here hihi. Wishing you were closer too… thank you so much for your sweet comments these 4.5 years! xo

  3. Marguerite
    April 1, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Happy 6th anniversary to Sweetopia, Marian! I just LOVE reading and getting inspiration from your blog! Congratulations again for your succes!

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Aww, thanks Marguerite, I so appreciate you leaving me your comment and visiting me here! 🙂

  4. Deb Horoshok
    April 1, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Happy 6th!!!! Have missed your posts.

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Hee hee, thanks for noticing Deb. Happy Easter! xo

  5. Maria Theresia
    April 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous Easter treats! I must try your recipe. Happy 6th Sweetopia Anniversary! I love following your blog. Thank you for sharing all your talents and tricks. We all learn a lot from you!
    Happy Easter Marian!

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      And thank you Maria Theresia for visiting me and commenting here! You have commented on each and every post and, wow, I so so appreciate the support! xo

  6. Maria Theresia
    April 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I want to mention, for all the people who participate in the contest “good luck ” and happy Easter!

  7. Julie
    April 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Lovely 🙂 What did you use to hold the cookie pops up in the glass vase?

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks so much, I used sugar. 🙂

  8. Roshini
    April 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Happy anniversary and Happy Easter Marian. I’ve always enjoyed your blog 🙂

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Happy Easter to you too Roshini! Thank you so much for visiting me and commenting here. xo

  9. April 2, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Wow Marion, 6 years! I must have found you early in your blogging career, I feel like my cookie life began when I found you. You have inspired me to raise the cookie “bar” 😉 and add some polish. I’ve donated cookies for fundraisers, had cookie decorating events with friends, and made gift cookies that make people smile. I am not at your level but it is fun to try. Thank you for all you do.

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Hi Esther,
      I remember you from early on too! One of these days I’ll come and visit you out east at your bed and breakfast. 😉 Thank you so much for your continued support and comments! xo

  10. April 2, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Congrats on your 6th Anniversary! Placing those yummy cookie pops on the your lemon cupcakes is way too cute! These cupcakes would be the perfect treat to make for kids school class!

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Thanks Sommer! So glad to have been on this blogging journey with you too btw. 🙂

  11. April 3, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Happy 6th Blog Anniversary, Marian! These bunny cookie pops are darling and the perfect cupcake topper. So sweet. 🙂 Thank you for sharing. Wishing you and your family a happy and meaningful Easter! xo

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Hi Stacy,
      Wishing you and your family a happy and meaningful Easter too! (Albeit late now we can celebrate his resurrection all year). Thank you for all your blog comments – I so appreciate it! xo

  12. Karen Brown
    April 18, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Dear Marion, the bunnies are darling! Congrats on your sixth anniversary. I’ve been baking and decorating cookies for more years than I’ll admit to, but have learnt so much from your blog. I only wish someone would offer you a book deal, cause I would snap it up, even if it was just all your blogs posts. Your dark chocolate cutouts are now my favourite cookie to decorate, they are soooo good. Cheers from the edge of the world, Karen in New Zealand

  13. August 6, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Very cute ! I wish i could eat them 🙂

  14. D'aun Carter
    September 12, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    I just stumbled across your website and absolutely LOVE IT! I have been glued to my laptop for the last 2 hours looking at every tutorial you’ve posted. I have always been the baker in my family and have wanted to get into making cookies and cupcakes on the side as a hobby. My sister and I used to always say if we won the lottery, we could open a bakery and I would do the baking part and she would do the cleaning up part! (I LOVE to bake – HATE to clean up afterwards!)I live in a small town and having a small business on the side would be great! So many people I know around here make cakes but no one really specializes in cookies and cupcakes and that’s what I’d like to do. I have a homemade sugar cookie recipe that’s been handed down from my grandmother and is always a hit at the holidays when I bake them and decorate them but I want to do something different this year with the decorating part. The only thing is that I like my cookies to be “soft” and I’m worried that when I do the royal icing it won’t stay. Your thoughts?

    • marian
      September 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi D’aun,
      That’s great! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my site!
      To be clear about your question, you mean that you’d like the sugar cookie itself to stay soft right? If yes, here are a few keys to it staying soft (besides the recipe itself of course):
      * making sure the cookies aren’t baked too long. The longer the cookies are baked the crispier they will be.
      * the thickness of the cookie makes a difference. The thinner the cookie the crispier they will be (relates to baking time as well).
      * Once the royal icing has dried, make sure you bag the cookies (or package them however you’d like to as gifts or items to sell), so they stay fresh.

      I would suggest trying a batch out and seeing what you think. Please let me know if you do and how it goes, and if you do, have fun with the process! Since you’ve been on the site for two hours I’m sure you’ve seen the following tutorials, but I’d recommend checking out the cookie decorating schedule post as well as my video tutorials. Happy baking and decorating!

  15. November 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Love lemon flavor sweets. Looks adorable.

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