This recipe came out of a marathon baking day. Do you ever have those? Where you’re just inspired to get in the kitchen and mix up a bunch of batters to see what comes out of them?
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.
A few notes:
- 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.Applesauce makes these cupcakes so moist. Fill with ripe strawberries and top with cream cheese frosting! Click To Tweet
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!
Yields 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)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix & bake according to directions on box.
- Once cupcakes are cooled completely, use a knife to hollow out a 1-inch hole in each cupcake, preserving only the tops.
- Fill cupcakes with strawberry filling and replace preserved tops back on filled cupcakes.
- 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!)
- If desired, top with fresh sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of nutmeg. ENJOY!
The strawberry filling I used here is super simple — throw the ripe strawberries and other ingredients in the food processor and you’re good to go!
-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.
And who doesn’t love a cream cheese frosting?
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?!?