If you are poking around the internet, trying to find the perfect cupcake recipe for your Independence Day cookout tomorrow, well then, this post is right on time. If you’ve already got that covered, don’t think of this post as too late for this Fourth of July, but early for your Labor Day picnic. I have last minute-itis, please just go with it!
Anyway, a little background on this yummy creation. My husband’s favorite birthday treat is a Publix white cake with fresh strawberry filling and whipped creme frosting. Well, last year, this Army family was stationed in San Antonio and guess what they don’t have in Texas? You guessed it! Publix grocery stores. Being the awesome wife I am, I attempted to recreate his favorite cake and hit a home run. So, while I was poking around the internet and trying to find the perfect cupcake recipe to take to that Independence Day cookout, I decided to make my husband’s favorite cake into its diminutive little sister.
But wait! That filling is blue. That’s not fresh strawberry! You are very observant and very right. It’s July 4th, so I made half of the cupcakes blueberry, and half strawberry. I also changed the fresh strawberry filling to a more cupcake friendly version by using the strawberry filling created by a blogger named Sally. She’s got a great recipe there. It looks a little runny in the picture, but it’s not at all. Apparently, I just need to learn how to use a knife. To make the blueberry version, I only had to replace the berry and adjust the cooking times slightly to accommodate the blueberry’s quicker juicing time.
The white cake is a classic Better Homes and Gardens recipe. A tried and true that I deeply love. For the whipped cream frosting, I actually found a shelf stable whipped cream recipe on All Recipes that is out of this world! It is not too sweet and a perfect balance to the fruit filling. I don’t know who you are, creator of the frosting Jo-Lynn, but well done indeed.
Speaking of the fruit filling, this recipe actually makes double the amount you need. You can choose just to halve the filling recipe, just make one fruit, or make the whole recipe and have extra. What can you do with the extra? Why, use it top pancakes the next morning, of course! Or waffles. Or french toast. It would also make a sassy little topping for some buttermilk biscuits, seeing that you might have some buttermilk left over from making the cake.
If you’ve never filled a cupcake before, don’t fear the filling. All you have to do is cut out a small hole in the top of the cupcake. Some people use a large frosting tip to do that, but I picked up my favorite little cupcake gadget (pictured below) for about $3 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It cuts a hole of the perfect depth and size, and then easily plunges out the cut cake. You can cut the top of the “hole” off and cap off your filling, or you can just ice right over the filling. Works either way. The leftover bits make a yummy ice cream topping. Waste not, want not!
2 cups diced strawberries or blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1. Make the strawberry filling first. Place the strawberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 4 full minutes until the strawberry juices have been released. Add the sugar and cornstarch and continue to stir for another 2 minutes. The mixture will be much thicker. Remove from heat and allow to cool as you prepare the cupcakes.
When making the blueberry filling, It will takes about 2 minutes for the juices to release, and then 4 minutes to thicken after you add the sugar and cornstarch.
2. Make the cake next. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place 24 cupcake liners in cupcake pan. I like to spray the liners with Baker’s Joy so that they release from the paper more easily, but it’s not a necessity.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter into the prepared liners.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake. Remove from oven to cooling racks. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before filling and frosting.
5. Make the frosting last. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.
6. Now, fill, frost and enjoy!
Makes 24 cupcakes.