Adrian,(or “Bubba” as our youngest grandson, 2 year old Carter, calls our newest grandson), had his own cupcake tree for the children’s table in the wedding garden. When asked what flavor of cupcakes he would like, without a moment’s hesitation he chose his MiMi’s Strawberry Cupcakes, a cake recipe her mother baked when she was a girl. (coincidentally, my mother baked a similar cake when I was a child) It is an absolutely yummy moist cupcake (or cake), and with the addition of a strawberry cream cheese frosting, it is to die for!
Since Lee, Adrian’s MiMi, made his wedding cupcakes, I had to try and re-create them for the blog.
Here’s what you need.
Confession #1: The recipe called for a white cake mix and strawberry jello. I had a strawberry cake mix and strawberry banana jello in my pantry so that’s what I used rather than making a trip to the store. There’s also an ingredient in this picture that I didn’t need at all, and I have no clue as to why I thought I would. That ingredient would be the milk. There’s no added milk in this recipe! What WAS I thinking?
Dump whichever cake mix and jello mix you want to use in the bowl of your mixer along with 3 T. flour, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, and 1/2 cup water. (You can use a hand mixer) Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine the ingredients and then beat on medium for 2 minutes.
Add in the 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons thawed frozen strawberries and beat 1 minute on medium.
Confession #2: I wasn’t thinking and dumped the strawberries in at the beginning. I beat the whole mess for 3 minutes, cursing myself profusely the entire time because I figured I’d have to re-do it, but in the end the cupcakes turned out just fine.
Fill paper-lined muffin tins 1/2 to 2/3′s full. I usually fill my tins half full when making cupcakes because I like a nice flat surface for piping the frosting. This recipe will make around 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes or up to 4 dozen mini cupcakes.
I love the minis! They are perfect for a 2 year old who doesn’t need a whole cupcake. One of these is just his size. They are perfect for older kids who can just pop them in their mouths without leaving a trail of crumbs and sticky fingerprints. And, they are perfect for adults like me who are on perpetual diets and need just a “little taste” of something sweet after a meal to feel satisfied.
The only problem I had with making these was that the liners didn’t really fit in the tins.
It was a mess trying to fill them, and the papers crinkled up on the sides. Not a very pretty sight….
…..Even after they were baked.
But, once they were iced no one noticed the imperfections, re-affirming my notion that frosting is now and will forever be my friend
Anyway, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake those little doggies for about 16 minutes for the minis and 20 to 25 minutes for the regulars or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cupcakes comes out clean. The cakes should spring back when pressed lightly with your fingertip. Do not overbake or they will be dry.
Let them cool in the pans for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
For the frosting, sift 4-6 cups powdered sugar into a large bowl. You don’t have to sift the sugar, but the frosting is much lighter if you do. I don’t use a regular sifter but prefer to use a large strainer. It holds more sugar than the sifter, is less work, and is much easier to clean. My kind of tool.
Put 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese and 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) room temperature unsalted butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) and beat on medium speed til thoroughly combined and light and creamy.
Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed after each addition.
Notice the jagged yellow-y spikes hanging down from the mixer paddle? Spooky, huh? Looks like it ought to have a skull and crossbones warning label stamped across it in black. Will frosting kill you? Ummmmm, if you eat it by the bowlful like I have been known to do in the not too distant past then….maybe!
The batter should be very stiff. Add in 1/2 tsp vanilla and some of the the remaining thawed frozen strawberries, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating between additions on medium speed until the frosting is spreadable if you are going to apply it with a spatula, and a bit thicker if you are going to pipe it. (Mince some of the strawberries before measuring or just use the juice. I used minced strawberries and juice in the regular sized cupcakes and just juice in the minis for no particular reason.)
For piping, you will need a Wilton #2110 1M Star or 4B Star Decorating tip purchased at Hobby Lobby or online HERE , a large Wilton coupler purchased at Hobby Lobby or online HERE, and a 16″ disposable decorator’s bag purchased at Hobby Lobby or online HERE. There’s an instructional page for decorating the cupcakes on the Wilton site linked HERE.
I used the #2110 1M Star tip for the regular cupcakes and the 4B Star tip for the minis. You may need to refrigerate the frosting filled bag for 10 minutes or so to thicken it up for piping.
Berry good lookin’ cupcakes if I do say so myself!
Up close and personal!
And how bout those minis? Okay, so I’m not gonna be on Top Chef anytime soon!
But you have to admit they are cute!
The best part of the mini? You can just peal the liner back and pop the whole thing in your mouth.
No fuss. No muss. And almost no guilt!
And yes, I know the frosting doesn’t look pink in this photo. I don’t know why, but it really was pink. Oh, and I also doubled the frosting recipe because I was piping it and absolutely hate running out of icing.
1 white (or strawberry flavored) cake mix
1 box strawberry jello
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons thawed frosen strawberries.
Dump cake mix, jello mix, flour, oil, water, and eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer (You can use a portable mixer) and mix on low for 30 seconds to combine ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add in the strawberries and beat 1 minute more. Fill paper-lined muffin pans 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees;, 16-18 minutes for mini-cupcakes, and 20-25 minutes for standard cupcakes or until a toothpick inserted in centers of cupcakes comes out clean.
Makes 18-24 standard sized cupcakes, or 46-48 mini-cupcakes.
4 ounces (1/2 brick) cream cheese, room-temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room-temperature
4-6 (or more) cups sifted powdered sugar
1-2 T thawed frozen strawberry juice from frozen strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
Cream the cream cheese and butter together until very smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is pretty stiff. Add in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and strawberry juice, 1 tsp at a time, mixing well after each addition until the icing is a spreadable consistency. The frosting will be a delicate pink. Add in a little red food coloring gel if you want a stronger color. If the icing isn’t firm enough to pipe, put the filled pastry bag in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to stiffen it up a bit. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. I usually double this recipe if I am piping the frosting.