Monday, April 25, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing and an Easter Recap

Is this not the cutest????
Easter is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays, but in all honestly just about every holiday is soooo much better now that we have our little boy to share it with.  It's amazing how much a child can change and improve every aspect of your life.

Benjamin experienced his first Easter egg hunt after church Sunday morning.  All of the kids under 2 were given a section of the lawn to "hunt" for eggs.  The babies were more interested in the grass than the Easter eggs, so it was probably the longest egg hunt in history.  ;)
 
This Easter was really special for us because we were actually home for the entire weekend for the first time in 8 years so we could host Easter dinner in our home.  The hubs and I seriously hate eating out for holidays which is what we've done for the last 8+ Easters so to eat a home cooked Easter feast was AWEsome.  Sharing it with the hubs entire family was just the cherry on top.

Now that Easter is over, the house is clean and dishes are done, I can't wait to get caught up with blogging!  To start out I want to share my favorite strawberry cupcake/ cake recipe.  I use fresh strawberries since they're in season right now, but you could use frozen.  Since it was Easter, I used some fun Easter picks that I found at Hobby Lobby, but fresh strawberries and mint would make a lovely garnish.  
 
The icing is a light, not too sweet icing with a touch of cream cheese and fresh strawberry.  I could seriously eat just the icing by the spoonful shovelful.  Hmmm...it might even be good as a pie filling... The cake is dense with a delicate strawberry flavor.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this spring/summer treat!

Cake Recipe
1 3 oz pkg strawberry Jello
1/2 c cold water
1 pkg french vanilla cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp flour
3/4 c finely diced fresh strawberries and juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 24 muffin tins or grease and flour them if not using liners.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve Jello in the cold water.  Add cake mix, eggs, oil, flour and strawberries.  Mix for 5 minutes at medium speed.
  3. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to help divide batter into muffin tins.  
  4. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.  Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.  These are dense and do not have a huge crown.  If you want more of a crown, you might try making 18-20 cupcakes instead of 24.
Source: AllREcipes
Icing Recipe
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
2 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 - 3/4 cup finely diced strawberries
  1. Chill squeaky clean beaters and metal bowl (if you have one) in the freezer for 20ish minutes.   (Even the smallest amount of grease or shmutz on your beaters/bowl will keep your cream from getting nice and fluffy.  Once your bowl is nicely frosted, pour in your cold whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth.  If your cream cheese is nice and soft, it shouldn't take long.
  3. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until no streaks remain.  Chill for a couple of hours and fold in strawberries.  
  4. Swirl icing onto cupcakes with a piping bag and large star or round tip or you could use a ziplock bag with the corner cut off.
  5. Refrigerate until serving. 
Source: AllRecipes.com

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