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Strawberry-Filled Lemon Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

by Courtney on July 15, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, I have yet another recipe still hiding up my sleeve from my marathon baking day on Tuesday.

I promise I’ll get to it in a second, but let’s do a quick lunch recap first. ;)


Today’s lunch was super quick to prepare, which was exactly what I needed after a long morning of cleaning!

I did almost a repeat from last night’s dinner, topping a whole wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin with some roasted red pepper hommus, grilled yellow squash & zucchini, tomato slices, lettuce, and some Gouda cheese. It was so good – I can’t decide if I liked the combo better warm, panini-style, or cold. Tough call!

On the side, I also had a strawberry flavored Chobani. Yummmm. :-P

Ok, now that you’ve waited patiently through my lunch recap, here’s the “goods” on the “goods!” :)

This cupcake recipe was one that just kind of came together at the end, after seeing what I did (and didn’t) have on hand. I realized I had an extra pint of strawberries hiding in the back of the fridge that I did not want to go bad, so I knew they had to be incorporated.

Using a boxed cake mix helped keep the preparation simple, since the strawberry filling took a little bit longer to prepare. The filling is a combination of a few different recipes I found online and turned out to be a great mixture. It’s not as thick as some other fillings, so perhaps adding some cornstarch would make the filling more stable (if that’s what you’re looking for). Otherwise, it worked perfect! So may I present to you…

Strawberry-Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The cupcakes turned out incredibly moist, which I find the applesauce tends to do. The tart, lemony flavor of the cupcake, combined with the subtly sweet strawberry flavor, was the perfect combination for the smooth, creamy sweet cream cheese frosting. (now there’s so adjectives for ya!) These are the perfect cupcakes for summer — just keep them stored in a cool place so your cream cheese frosting doesn’t get too gooey!

Speaking of, I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, which comes from one of my favorite cookbooks:

This is sure to be a recipe you do not want to miss out on!

Strawberry-Filled Lemon Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

(Makes 24 Cupcakes)


-1 box Lemon cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)

-1-1/4 cup water

-1/3 cup applesauce

-3 eggs (or any combination of eggs + egg whites or egg substitute – I used 1 egg + 1/2 cup egg sub.)

-Strawberry Filling (see recipe below)

-Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix & bake according to directions on box.
  2. Once cupcakes are cooled completely, use a knife to hollow out a 1-inch hole in each cupcake, preserving only the tops.
  3. Fill cupcakes with strawberry filling and replace preserved tops back on filled cupcakes.
  4. Frost with cream cheese frosting. (*For a fancier look, snip the tip off of a corner of a sandwich bag, fill with frosting, and squeeze as you would a regular pastry bag. Quick & pretty!)
  5. If desired, top with fresh sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of nutmeg. ENJOY! :)

Strawberry Filling

-1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced in 1/2

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Puree half of the strawberries in a food processor with the honey, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla until it is a smooth sauce. Add the remaining strawberries and pulse until chopped, but not liquefied.

Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2-3 tsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3-4 cups powdered sugar

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla with electric mixer on low until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

When I was making my cupcakes, I decided I didn’t want to wait a whole baking cycle to make the 2nd half of the cupcakes. So instead, I took the other half of the batter, filled up a 9 inch round baking dish, and made a mini layer cake!

I just sliced the one cake (very carefully!) into two layers, spread the strawberry filling, and frosted it all with the remaining cream cheese frosting. It worked out perfectly!

Have I gotten any of you in the mood to do some baking yet?!? ;)

**Don’t forget to enter my Exercise TV GIVEAWAY! You have until next Tuesday to enter!**

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews July 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Yum! That sandwich looks awesome! I was looking for something to make with veggies for dinner tonight and might make something like that : )


2 Courtney @ Three Months July 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Oooh, those cupcakes (and the cake!) look delicious!


3 Jennifer July 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Wow those look amazing! I love baking. Especially cakes. I’m constantly trying to find a reason to bake. For example, if I find out someone’s birthday is coming up, I’m like can I make a cake for you? haha


4 Gabby July 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I lied…you can bring those cupcakes on Saturday!! haha…they look delish!!! Good job Court


5 Shanna, like Banana July 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Okay, I’m onboard…lemon and strawberry…kill me now! Loves it!

So pretty too!


6 Maura July 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Holy moley! Those made my mouth water! Can you send one to Boston stat, please?? haha


7 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Oh that looks heavenly. I love strawberries…..


8 Holly at Greek Yogurt and Apple Slices July 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Oh my goodness, that looks awesome. I’m now hungry again after seeing both of these.
You need to open your bakery ASAP!! :D (& one in FL too please!)


9 christina July 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

you and your cupcakes are making me drool!!!!!!!!

haha woah i worded that kinda funny.. i guess you’re making me drool too


10 Courtney July 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm

LOL!! :-P


11 Kelly July 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I don’t think you have made me want to bake but you have made me want to eat!!! haha!


12 Katie H. July 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Those cupcakes look to die for. I am definitely inspired to bake now; I’ll be bookmarking the recipe :D


13 Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

:o those cupcakes and that cake look incredible!! I love when cupcakes have a filling, YUM! So summery, perfect!



14 Autumn @ Good Eats Girl July 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Ohhhhh, these look SO good! I also have that cookbook and I love it!


15 Nichole July 15, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Go Betty or go home! Just when I thought I’d seen it all. Your cupcakes would make Strawberry Shortcake blush. Yum:)


16 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) July 16, 2010 at 6:17 am

Dude, these are BEAUTIFUL!!! Did you do the bag technique for the frosting? I love to bake but am the ugliest froster EVER. This must stop.


17 Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life July 16, 2010 at 7:57 am

Thank You! :)
Yup, I sure did! It’s probably the quickest, easiest way to do it if you don’t have a pastry bag.


18 caroline July 20, 2010 at 10:50 am



19 caroline July 20, 2010 at 10:50 am



20 Rita July 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

wow just saw the receipe for the lemon strawberry filled it made my mouth water so going to try that one, don’t really care for the cream cheese frosting but with the strawberries and nutmeg may not be bad, thanks for the receipe. keep up the good work..


21 Courtney July 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thanks, Rita!


22 Kim July 27, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I have made these TWICE since this recipe posted! They’re amazing! Thank you!


23 Courtney July 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm

YAY! I’m so glad you like them! :-D


24 Brenda July 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I did this sandwich for dinner tonight. It was amazing! I sauteed the onions. Working on the cupcakes as we speak. I love your recipes. I have been looking for new healthy recipes and stumbled upon you blog. Keep them coming!


25 Courtney July 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Thanks Brenda! Let me know how the cupcakes come out! :-D


26 Deanna March 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm

so i made these the other day, they’re amazing! so delicious! i gave some out to my co-workers and they ate them all up, i decided im going to try one of your recipes each week!


27 Courtney March 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

YAY! I think that sounds like a great idea ;)


28 Nisha May 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

You definitely caught my attention with the cupcakes. I didn’t know, what I was going to do with the rest of the batter…. A cake there is. Instead of cream cheese frosting, I used buttercream. It worked out well. They were a delicious Birthday Surprise =)


29 diet December 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your site. It appears as though some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.

Thank you
diet recently


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