Strawberries ‘n Cream Cupcakes

Despite any “that’s what she said” or sexual double entendres this may create, I don’t really like cream filling.

Haha, see, even I am laughing at my own immature jokes. It works, so I keep doing it which subsequently encourages more lame jokes.

BUT BACK TO THE SUBJECT MATTER AT HAND, cream filling is just kind of… weird.

It’s gooey and blobby and no matter what, you’re never prepared for it. And even if you are, you aren’t. It’s just odd.

This should clear some things up: No, I don’t like Twinkies, Ho-Hos, Ding-Dongs or the like. It’s the cream filling. I don’t like Oreos because of the filling. Are you seeing a trend? It’s just not my thing. Like flip-flops. Or liking Justin Bieber. Or being normal. But you catch my drift.

And no, I’m no amateur baker. I’ve done this rodeo a few times before and know my way around the kitchen pretty decently for being a twenty-year-old, self-taught baker/cook. But still, the idea of cream-filled cupcakes is so… daunting. Scary even. That would mean I would have to touch that gooey, blobby stuff, right?

You could say I have a way with words, calling things I make “gooey” and “blobby.” Gee, how appetizing.

But since I was home today and feeling rather adventurous, I decided to take on the ever-so-daunting task of making cream-filled cupcakes. I somehow managed to concoct a non-goopy, non-blobby cream-filling mixture I am happy with, and for once, it was easier done than said.

Whuuuut? Forreal? Yep. And when you feel like being master-baker (really, Hayley?) you can give these easy but delicious cupcakes a try.

Strawberries ‘n Cream Cupcakes

1 box strawberry cake mix
4 eggs, divided
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c sugar-free strawberry syrup, mixed with 1 c water
1 box strawberry creme pudding mix
1 8-ounce package light cream cheese, softened
2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can each strawberry and vanilla frosting
Conversation hearts, if you want the decoration

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans (24) with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the cake mix, 3 eggs, the unsweetened applesauce, and the strawberry syrup/water mixture. Blend until combined. Stir in pudding mixture. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, blend together softened cream cheese, the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the egg until mixture is thoroughly combined. Portion the batter into the muffin cups, only covering the bottom of each cup (I always use the mini ice cream scoops which are perfect for this use especially). With a small cereal spoon or teaspoon, place a spoonful of cream on top of strawberry batter. Top the cream filling with remaining strawberry batter, ensuring batter covers the filling.
3. Bake approximately 16-19 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, in a piping bag, evenly spoon strawberry and vanilla frostings side by side until bag is full. (I fitted my bag with a Wilton 4B tip). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles, jimmies or conversation hearts.

And promptly realize, whether or not you liked cream filling to begin with, that you like it even more now. See, told you so.

And if you’re like me and have a little extra batter, you can make cutie patootie baby cupcakes like these. Because eating 5 of them equals one cupcake, right? Right? Justify this please.

Have a great rest of your week!

xo, Hayley

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