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Bake lemon, lime or orange flavored cupcakes to provide a refreshing flavor reminiscent of cooling summer beverages. Decorate with light green, yellow or pale orange icing to match the colors of the fruit flavors. You might even garnish the top of the cupcake with a slice of candied citrus peel or gummy citrus fruit-flavored candy for an extra visual and taste treat.
Decorate the top of cupcakes to look like sliced watermelon, a cool, refreshing summer favorite. Cut first with green frosting, then add an inner circle of pink dotted with black. You can also make cupcakes that look watermelon once cut or bit using a few drops of red food coloring in the batter, along with chocolate chips.
Take advantage of the round tops of cupcakes to create round summer flower blossom designs. Daisies and sunflowers are a simple design that you can do with lines of colored frosting extending out from a center circle. To make them even more professional-looking, freeze sheets of frosting and cut out flower shapes while it's still cold.
Decorate the surface of a cupcake to suggest a beachscape by using a sky blue color on one half and a sandy yellow on the other. Enhance the effect using colored sugar crystals over the "sand," for texture, and/or swirl some white frosting into the blue to create the effect of white, frothy sea foam.
'Ice Cream' Cakes
Cupcakes decorated to look like small ice cream sundaes will look as refreshing as the real thing and go well alongside ice cream. Frost the cakes white, then decorate as you would sundaes, drizzling with hot fudge, adding a dollop of whipped cream, and topping it off with a cherry.
Decorate the top of a cupcake to pay tribute to baseball, the summer seasonal sport. Cover the top of the cake with white frosting, then draw laces with thin lines of red icing or red licorice.