It is my boss’s birthday this week and I wanted to bring in something to celebrate. I mean, you kind of have to, right?!! I wasn’t exactly sure what time we would want to break into the cupcakes, so I didn’t want to make something that was too over-the-top in case we would be eating these earlier in the day (And it was good idea too because we ate them before having lunch). I opted for vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not if you are not the best baker, like myself. These cupcakes were a labor of love for me. First, I tried to make the cupcakes from scratch and for whatever reason, they tasted like cornbread, so I threw them out and had to start again. Except, I didn’t have much time so I went for Plan B…my doctored up cake mix recipe which is still totally delicious, by the way.
Then came the frosting. Oh, the frosting. I wanted to do a strawberry meringue buttercream, but after adding my puree to the mixture, the frosting just did not come together. Luckily I had powdered sugar on hand so that I was able to to just make some simple buttercream.
Despite my difficulties with these cupcakes, I was pretty happy with how these turned out. The cake is light and is perfectly moist. The fresh strawberry buttercream is definitely my favorite part though. It’s just magical and bursts with fresh strawberry flavor.
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4-5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree (about 1 1/2 cups hulled strawberries)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- milk (to thin out if needed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
- Add the cake mix to a large bowl. Stir in the flour. Make a well in the center and add in the eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, pudding, and the vanilla extract. Mix everything together until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst each baking cup. I prefer for my cupcakes to be larger, so I fill mine to just over 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow for the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and confectioner's sugar.
- Pour in the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract and mix until the frosting is well-combined. If the frosting seems to thick, add some milk, one tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
- Spread or pipe the frosting on cooled cupcakes. If you are going to pipe the frosting, I recommend putting the frosting in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes first as this will make the piping easier.
Because I like my cupcakes to be larger, I get about 18 out of this recipe instead of the usual 24 that a box of cake mix typically yields.
Looking for a doctored chocolate cake mix recipe? Go here!