Easy Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
One of the most common questions that shows up in my inbox has to do with my Doctored Up Cake Mix Recipe for chocolate cupcakes. It yields a batch of pretty stellar cupcakes, so people are always curious if they can adapt the recipe with different flavor combinations. To which I respond, why not? To me, baking is all about playing around in the kitchen, sometimes I get it right and sometimes, I get it wrong – way wrong.
However, a lot of my readers come here for recipes that have been tested in my kitchen and aren’t too keen on me advising them to head into the realm of recipe development and testing. And that’s okay too. I’ll get responses like, Well, have you tried it? What pudding did you use? What brand of cake works best? Can I use less oil? The list goes on and on.
I love hearing from you guys, and really what’s the point of this blog if people aren’t making the recipes – so I try to answer each question, even if it takes me weeks and weeks and weeks.
My point is, a lot of what I do here on MBA is trial and error and it’s okay to make mistakes and get frustrated and cuss out your cupcakes. But, I promise you that with each error, you’ll learn something. Even if that something is not to bite into a hot Rolo Cookie because it will burn your lip and leave a weird purple mark – not that I did that or anything.
When my BFF, Brittani, told me that she made Strawberry Cupcakes using the boxed mix recipe, I immediately started asking her questions to which she had very few answers. I thought her idea would be the perfect way to show you that playing around with a simple idea can have great results and there’s really nothing to be afraid of.
Boxed vanilla cake mix combines with Greek strawberry yogurt and fresh strawberries to create simple, moist cupcakes that are bursting with strawberry flavor. Add on a swirl of strawberry buttercream and you’ve got one stellar summery cupcake with minimal fuss. The world is your oyster here, folks. Try it with Peach Greek yogurt and fresh peaches, or Blueberry yogurt and fresh blueberries. I’d love to hear the combinations you come up with, and how they worked for you.
1 cup diced fresh strawberries (about 10 medium berries)
For the Strawberry Buttercream
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 pounds (24 ounces or about 5.5 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
about 8 medium fresh strawberries, pureed (you'll need 4-5 tablespoons of puree)
For the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, Greek yogurt, oil, water, eggs and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in diced strawberries
Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes. The cupcakes may develop a slight divot in the center as they cool, but no worries, you'll cover that with delicious frosting.
Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.
For the Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.
Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners' sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree, mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Gradually add in the last 2 tablespoons of strawberry puree until you reach the desired level of strawberry flavor. Please note that adding more than the recommended 5 tablespoons could result in a thinner frosting. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with fresh strawberries.
My favorite French Vanilla Cake is made by Betty Crocker - Pudding in the mix.