Sweet Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

 

Perfect for strawberry lovers, these light and airy cupcakes are frosted with a dreamy pink strawberry whipped cream.

Take a bite and you’ll discover true berry bliss—a fresh, juicy ripe strawberry tucked inside.

Berries cookbookThis recipe appears in my new cookbook Berries: Sweet and Savory Recipes, published by Gibbs Smith and due to be released on March 7, 2017. You can win a special signed advance copy. Just visit this post from last week for full details.

The full recipe appears below, and I’ll show you some of the easy steps to make these pretty cupcakes.

One of the most fun aspects of this recipe is that we get to do some real-life math equations! Yippee!

That’s because the recipe includes a box of white cake mix. When I developed the recipe just a year ago, most cake mixes were 18.25 ounces. Since then, manufacturers have been rapidly dropping the sizes. At my store, most standard cake mixes are now 15.25 ounces.

(I used a Duncan Hines white cake mix for this recipe, but this is not a promotion for Duncan Hines at all. In fact, I’m kind of miffed at Duncan Hines because they were one of the last holdouts but they, too, reduced the volume of their cake mix. #firstworldproblems, right?) If you use a 15.25 ounce cake mix, you’ll need to add 3 ounces or 11 level tablespoons of flour to the mix. If your box of cake mix is a different size, the formula is in the recipe below.

 

cake mix

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk together the cake mix and extra flour, if needed. Add the water, egg whites, butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. An ice cream scoop works wonderfully for this.

 

Scoop cupcake batter

 

Smooth the tops lightly. They don’t need to be perfect.

 

Bake cupcakes

 

Bake the cupcakes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Cool cupcakes

 

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and finish cooling to room temperature.

Using a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch-round by 1-inch-long core from each cupcake; reserve cores.

 

Fill cupcake

 

Quarter 1 strawberry lengthwise, which will make it easier to bite once it’s hidden in the cupcake. Reassemble it, and push it into the center of a cupcake.

 

Strawberry filled cupcake

 

Repeat with remaining strawberries and cupcakes. Trim the cupcake cores to fit over the strawberries.

 

Strawberry filled cupcake

 

Replace on top of cupcakes, covering the strawberries.

 

Strawberry stuffed cupcake

 

Put the remaining 6 strawberries in a blender and purée; reserve. In a large bowl, combine the whipping cream and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. When it’s the right consistency, the whipped cream will cling to the beaters and not drop off.

 

stiff whipped cream

 

Gently fold in the puréed strawberries.

 

strawberry puree

strawberry cream

 

Frost the cupcakes with the strawberry cream and serve. (When my son tasted the topping, which is made from fresh strawberry puree and lightly sweetened whipped cream, he said, “This is a hundred times better than frosting on cupcakes.” If you are a parent trying to help a child develop a taste for real food, you’ll appreciate the joyous victory I felt from his words.)

 

Strawberry filled cupcake

Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

From Berries: Sweet and Savory Recipes (Gibbs Smith, Publisher)

Makes 18 cupcakes

  • 1 (18.25-ounce*) box white cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 24 medium-sized fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

*If your mix contains less than 18.25 ounces, you’ll need to add additional all-purpose flour to make up for the difference. If you have a kitchen scale, simply weigh out the difference between your mix and 18.25 ounces. No scale? No problem. In volume, 1 ounce of flour equals about 3.63 tablespoons, or a scant 1 tablespoon per .25 ounce. Measure the difference, add the flour to the bowl when you add the cake mix, whisk to combine, and proceed.

Combine the cake mix, water, egg whites, butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and finish cooling to room temperature. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch-round by 1-inch-long core from each cupcake; reserve cores. Quarter 1 strawberry lengthwise, reassemble it, and carefully insert it into the center of a cupcake. Repeat with remaining strawberries and cupcakes. Trim the cupcake cores to fit over the strawberries and replace on top of cupcakes, covering the strawberries.

Put the remaining 6 strawberries in a blender and purée; reserve. In a large bowl, combine the whipping cream and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold in the puréed strawberries. Frost the cupcakes with the strawberry cream (add sprinkles if you like!) and serve immediately. Frosted, filled cupcakes are best served within 4 hours.

 

strawberry cupcake

Hugs and have a berry sweet Valentine’s Day!

The signature for Eliza Cross

 

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

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