I love spring. Fresh strawberries are available year these days, but I remember when their appearance in my garden and the local market was a big deal. It meant winter was over and warmer weather was on the way. When I lived in the Midwest, I had an amazing berry patch. The appearance of those first few red beauties was the highlight of the growing season. And the smell of them ripening on the vine? Heaven. There’s no way to describe it. Picking until your fingers were stained (and your mouth too). We’d gorge ourselves on strawberry shortcake, hot biscuits with homemade jam, strawberry pie. My granny made a homemade angel food cake with buttercream, topped with strawberries that would make you die from delight. You name it, if I could add berries, I probably tried it. Even strawberry margaritas. Yum. AND I just found this post on Epicurious! I must try ALL of these: 9 Gorgeous Strawberry Desserts to Try This Summer.
I can’t seem to grow berries on the south plains, so I have to settle for buying them from the grocery or in bulk from a grower in Oregon. Even with the store-bought kind, these berry-flavored cupcakes satisfied my cravings. They smell divine, perfuming the air with strawberry. Like a berry patch in my Lubbock kitchen. Enjoy!
- 3/4 tub of blueberry flavored cream cheese (I used lowfat from Einstein Brothers)
- 1 5.3 ounces container of Blueberry Yoplait Blended Greek Yogurt
- 1 large container of ripe strawberries (preferably small with stem on). Wash and dry. Use 1/3 cup chopped strawberries for the cake batter, reserve remainder for frosting and decoration)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme Cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
Beat yogurt, cream cheese and strawberries until smooth, add flour, sugar and cake mix. Pulse mixer just until blended. Add remaining ingredients, mix on low for 3 minutes, then beat on high for 1 minute. Don’t worry, the batter will be lumpy. The domes were prettier when cups were filled 3/4 full and baked in a lighter pan. They will fall slightly after baking because they are moist.
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup mashed strawberries with the juice (choose the ripest you can find and mash them with a fork)
Whip butter and cream cheese at high speed until very fluffy. Add the extract and strawberries with their juice. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth and of desired consistency. Add more berry juice to thin.
Pipe frosting on cupcakes and top with each with a petite fraise (small strawberry…it just sounds fancier in French). Chill until ready to serve.