Summer Shandy Cupcakes

Remember last week when I boasted about my life of leisure?  Well, now I can’t sleep, I’m so overwhelmed, and OMG I’m getting married in 10 days!!  We’re on the extended forecast now (not looking good at the moment, but keep your fingers crossed) and the fact that we’re also packing up our entire apartment before the wedding is suddenly much more stressful than one week ago.  Thankfully I had a really, really great Memorial Day weekend on Martha’s Vineyard and got to clear my mind and have probably more fun than I should have.  So to celebrate the unofficial start of summer, I’m sharing these cupcakes featuring one of my favorite summer brews – Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.  With temperatures in the 90’s here this weekend it’s certainly proper weather to enjoy some beer brewed with lemonade, and better yet, with cupcakes made with beer brewed with lemonade!

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I’ve done Corona and Blue Moon Cupcakes, which were fantastic and one of the most popular cupcakes on this blog, so I figured it was about time to try another lager.  Ever since I discovered Summer Shandy last year I’ve been waiting for its appearance again for the season – it’s just so good and so refreshing!  The beer is brewed with lemonade so it’s the perfect combination for a hot summer day.  Since I did lime with the Corona cupcakes and orange with the Blue Moon ones, I opted for lemons in this recipe to bring out the lemonade flavor in the cupcakes.  I even mixed in a teaspoon of Crystal Light lemonade to give it an extra kick.  The beer flavor is not extremely overpowering, but you can definitely taste that there’s something a little different going on with them.  I highly recommend them for your next BBQ – and don’t forget the six-pack of Summer Shandy too!

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Wish me luck as I go through the next week up until the wedding!  It’s my last week living in Connecticut, which is certainly bittersweet, but there is just so much good stuff going on it’s easy to be distracted.  I’ll miss my current baking nook, our huge apartment, all of the storage space, and of course my family that won’t be making the move with us to New York.  I finished up a few recipes that were the last ones to come out of our Connecticut kitchen so soon enough you’ll see some new backdrops!  Now it’s back to the chaos that is my life – I’ll be sure to report back next week before we say our I Do’s :)

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Summer Shandy Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


for the cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room tempearture
1-3/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup Summer Shandy beer, plus more for brushing on tops
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp Crystal Light Lemonade powder (or any powdered lemonade)
Lemon wedges for garnish

for the lemon cream cheese frosting:
12 oz cream cheese, cold
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups powdered sugar


for the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs, beating after each addition, then add the vanilla and zest.
- In a medium bowl combine milk, beer, and lemonade powder and alternatively add this mixture and the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed, starting and ending with the flour.
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
- When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes with toothpicks or a fork and brush some beer on each while still warm.

for the lemon cream cheese frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer until smooth and cream, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and zest and gradually add the powdered sugar until well combined. Beat until smooth for about 2 minutes.
- Load frosting in a piping bag fit with a large star tip and pipe cupcakes tops once completely cooled. Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.



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27 Responses to “Summer Shandy Cupcakes”

  1. #
    Laura — May 31, 2013 @ 2:22 am

    What a fun idea for a summer cupcake! These look delicious.

  2. #
    Laura — May 31, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

    all the best with the wedding! and these look amazing! x

  3. #
    Sarah — May 31, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    It’s supposed to be a sign of good luck if it rains on your wedding day. (I hope that’s true — it poured on ours!)

    I made Blue Moon cupcakes once and was kind of disappointed in how they turned out. These look promising, though!

    Good luck in the coming days!

  4. #
    saravjit — May 31, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

    yummy cupcakes.. will try them soon… All the best for wedding!

  5. #
    Martina — May 31, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Perfection. Where did you find the cupcake holders?

  6. #
    Hana Sarker — May 31, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

    Best of luck with the wedding! Can’t wait to see all your upcoming blogs!!

  7. #
    TITLE Boxing Club Johns Creek — May 31, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    Summer Shandy cupcakes sound amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  8. #
    Natalie — June 1, 2013 @ 4:05 am

    Cupcakes, Lemons, and Beer! Three of my favorite things! I can’t wait to make these. You always inspire me in the kitchen!
    Natalie @The Sweetest Thing Bakery Univ of Florida

  9. #
    Dina — June 4, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

    what a great idea! i’ve never had summer shandy but i tried leinenkugel when i was in wisconsin!

  10. #
    Amanda — June 6, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    Im in the process of baking these or my sisters graduation party, the party isnt until Saturday.. today is Thursday. Do you suggest putting the summer shandy on them on Saturday before the frosting or today when they are still hot? Thanks!

    • Erica — June 7th, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

      When they are still hot! That helps the beer get saturated better :) Enjoy!!

  11. #
    Carole Urbanski — July 3, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

    I love the flavor of Summer Shandy and is a wonderful drink with many foods. I am anxious to try this recipe, it sounds delicious

  12. #
    Jourdyn — July 4, 2013 @ 1:19 am

    My roommate and I just made these for tomorrow’s 4th of July picnic. They turned out fabulous and taste just like summer! So glad I found your recipe! Now can you create a cupcake that goes with the Berry Weise? Better yet, combine the Honey Weise with the Berry Weise and you get a HoneyBear!

  13. #
    Julia — July 4, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    I just made these for an Independence Day party later today. They turned out fantastic! :)

    Also, congratulations on your wedding! I’ve been reading your blog for such a long time now, and I absolutely love it!

  14. #
    jennie — August 29, 2013 @ 12:49 am

    made these tonight for a friend’s bday. yum! the lemon cream cheese icing was to die for!

  15. #
    Holly — February 1, 2014 @ 6:17 am

    These look so good! I can’t wait for summer and this beer to come back so we can try them! Just curious where you buy your cupcake liners from? …they’re adorable and I noticed the grease doesn’t “bleed” through

  16. #
    Leanna — April 30, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

    Can you tell me a sub for the beer? Or what the beer tastes like? We don’t have that beer here.

    • Erica — May 1st, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

      It’s a beer that’s made with lemonade so it’s lemony and citrusy and very bright. So something like Blue Moon would work, or see if there are any other beers where you are that have citrus notes. Summer Shandy is generally only available in summer months, so maybe it is available near you but just not yet :)

  17. #
    Kristin — May 6, 2014 @ 1:03 am

    Loved this recipe… my friends have all come to Love Summer Shandy, so I thought a fun bithrday surpirse for my husband and his friends would be to put their new favorite into a cake! (I too love to bake as a hobby, and so it’s always expected of me to bake something new and exciting…)

    I looked at a few recipes and went with this one, but I did add a sugar/lemon/beer glaze atop the warm cupcakes that I found at

    Of course they don’t get consumed until tomorrow, but my husband has already stolen one out of the fridge and loved it. He let me taste it too – I don’t like beer, but these were pretty yummy cupcakes! Will be sure to make again sometime this summer! Can’t wait till every one trys them tomorrow!

    • Erica — May 6th, 2014 @ 1:15 am

      Hi Kristin – so glad you enjoyed the recipe! That’s a great idea to add a glaze. Maybe that gives it more beer flavor? Hope everyone likes them tomorrow too!

  18. #
    Dani — May 8, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    Cannot wait to make these this summer! This is one of my favorite summer beers!! So glad I found this recipe!

  19. #
    Sarah — May 25, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

    Is it possible to use a box cake mix for these?

    • Erica — May 27th, 2014 @ 1:36 am

      Yes, I would just swap out some of the water called for on the box (probably white or yellow cake would be best) for beer. Let me know if it works out for you!

  20. #
    Brianna — December 17, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

    I was wondering if you knew how to use the Leinenkugels Orange Shandy for the cupcakes instead of the Summer Shandy since I am now into winter I cannot get Summer Shandy anywhere. I really want to make these for my boyfriend for when he comes home this weekend! Thanks

    • Erica — December 17th, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

      Yes, Orange will work just fine! Enjoy :)

  21. #
    Katherine L — August 2, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

    Erica, I’ve had this recipe pinned for-EVER. I finally made it last night, what freaking took me so long?! It’s delish, great recipe and easy to follow. I made minis so they’d be easier at a party.

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