Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect! So moist and fluffy! And they are an amazing copy of one my favorite cupcakes!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

So I think I’ve mentioned it before, but in case I haven’t here’s my little secret: Even though I bake mostly from scratch these days, I grew up on box mixes and store bought cakes.

It’s true. I know there’s a camp of people who are totally box mix haters and then there’s a camp that’s all about them. I personally love them at times when I want something easy. And you will never convince me that Funfetti Cake with Rainbow Chip Icing isn’t the best cake ever. But I also love baking from scratch. I’ve always loved cake, but I loved it even more when I started having from-scratch cakes. There’s just so much variety and I love that.

That said, my favorite besides Funfetti was always a strawberry cake mix with cream cheese frosting. There’s just something about the strawberry cake mix flavor. I know some might think it’s artificial, but whatevs. I dig it.

So I set out to replicate the flavor of that cake mix, but from scratch. I’m pretty sure I hit the nail on the head. I’m in love with these cupcakes! I even put “love” on top of them. πŸ™‚

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

The strawberry flavor in the cupcake comes from a mix of strawberry puree and strawberry extract. I love mixing the two. The extract makes the flavor a little stronger and more box-like in my opinion, while the puree adds a little of that real strawberry taste. Perfection.

And with the cute little chocolate “love” on top, these are perfect for sharing for Valentine’s Day.

To make the toppers, you just need a little bit of colored candy melts. I use the wilton ones, but if you have another brand you prefer that should be fine. They’re great because they come colored, are easy to melt and dry firmer than regular chocolate chips, which is ideal for a more delicate decoration like this one.

I did these free handed, but you could use a pattern if you prefer. You’ll just need a piping bag, icing tip with coupler (I used tip 4, but tip 3 would work too) and some parchment paper. Melt the chocolate, add it to your piping bag fitted with the icing tip and write out “love”. I also tossed a few sprinkles on, but you could leave those off if you prefer. There’s a similar method used for this cake, so if you need some pictorial guidance, there are photos in that post you can check out.

Once they are dry, just press them into the frosting and you are done! Quick and easy! Not only are these strawberry cupcakes delicious, they are so darn cute!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the love toppers make them the perfect treat for Valentine's Day!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Strawberry Cupcakes

3/4 cup (155g) sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter (86g), room temperature
6 tbsp (90ml) sour cream
2 tsp strawberry extract
3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp (75ml) milk
3 tbsp (45ml) strawberry puree
3-4 drops pink food color

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp (86g) butter, room temperature
4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppers

5 oz red Wilton Candy Melts
sprinkles

Additional Tools

Piping bag
Wilton #4 Icing tip
Ateco #844 Icing tip
Coupler
Parchment paper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add sour cream and strawberry extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined.
5. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl, then combine milk and strawberry puree in another bowl.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
7. Stir in pink color.
8. Fill cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
9. While cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
10. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add vanilla extract and remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. To make the toppers, melt candy melts in a small bowl according to package instructions.
13. Pour melted candy into your piping bag fitted with Wilton tip #3 and pipe “love” onto parchment paper. Add a few sprinkles, then allow to dry and firm.
14. Pipe the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes using Ateco tip #844, then add toppers.


Enjoy!

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Recipes from friends:
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake from Beyond Frosting
Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies from Yummy Healthy Easy
Strawberry Shortcake Pops from Lemon Tree Dwelling