I attended a wedding recently where one of the appetizers served consisted of artichokes and cream cheese wrapped in delicate phyllo dough. It was absolutely heavenly! So delicious in fact, that I thought about those little artichoke and cream cheese pockets all weekend! Who am I kidding!? I’m still thinking about them!! I’m not sure how a savory cream cheese based appetizer led me to craving cream cheese frosting, the only frosting I truly love, but odder things have occurred!
After a week of heavy rain, strong winds, hail, lightning and thunder, the skies cleared. The sun came out and the temperature rose to the low 70′s. It started to feel like spring again! What better treat to make on a beautiful spring day than strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting of course!
Fact, in elementary school there was a project that I used strawberry cake to construct the structure. For the life of me, I can’t remember if I was building a Mission or some other structure, but mine (well, really ours – myself and another classmate made it together) needed to be different from the next kids. And edible. I guess I’ve always been a huge fan of food! Which also explains why one of my Science Fair projects was “How to Make Ice Cream in a Test Tube!”
My initial idea was to make basic strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Being the wheels of my mind are always turning and basic is usually just not enough for me, the cupcakes developed into strawberry cupcakes with a strawberry preserves swirl and cream cheese frosting. While on the hunt to find strawberry cake mix as Safeway was out, the idea of a strawberry mousse filling came to mind in the CVS parking lot (the second of three stops to find my cake mix!), which led me to my final creation - strawberry mousse filled strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, aka Strawberries n’ Cream Cupcakes!
1 box Strawberry cake mix – prepare per box instructions
Let cupcakes cool completely. Carefully cut the center out of the cupcakes, about an inch down, and set aside. Fill center with Strawberry Mousse Filling (recipe below) and put cut-out piece back in place. You may need to cut a bit off the bottom of the cut-out, it’s OK if it’s sticking up a bit it doesn’t have to sit flush with the top of the cupcake, it will be covered with frosting. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) and decorate to your liking. I thinned some Strawberry Preserves in the microwave for about 15 seconds and then drizzled over the top of the cupcakes.
Strawberry Mousse Filling
(Courtesy ~ cakecentral.com)
1 8 oz bar of cream cheese, softened
1 10 oz jar of Strawberry spread (I used Strawberry Preserves)
2 cups heavy cream
In one bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and then add Strawberry spread. In a second bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff. Fold cream cheese mixture into the heavy cream. Chill for about 30 minutes.
NOTE: I don’t have the exact measurement for what this recipe makes, but it makes A LOT! You’ll have a TON leftover! I’m considering freezing the leftover mousse into popsicles. Does cream cheese freeze OK??? This mousse would also make for a great fruit dip!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 3 cups
(Courtesy ~ miette)
2 cups (1 pound) cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) sifted powdered sugar
To soften the cream cheese, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 10-second intervals, until completely squishy but not at all melted, stopping to check in between every interval. Set aside. (If your butter is not fully room temperature, soften the same way.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until completely smooth and glossy.
Add the cream cheese to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed. Transfer cold frosting to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth before using, 2 or 3 minutes. Cream cheese frosting lasts for 2 weeks in the refrigerator, tightly covered. It does not freeze.