Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and these Pretty in Pink Cupcakes would be the perfect accompaniment to a romantic dinner or a fun school treat for your children to share. As I have been doing the last few weeks, I wanted to share with you all of the recipes and ideas we used for my daughter’s birthday party. In case you missed the earlier posts, I have a step-by-step picture tutorial for a beautiful Barbie Cake, directions for making elegant tissue paper pom poms, some easy tips & recipes for a fun winter party, and now today I am showcasing these Pretty In Pink cupcakes that were made for the adults. Tomorrow I will share with you a few of our favorite gifts and that will conclude the never-ending posting schedule of birthday posts.
These delicious cupcakes are made from the same batter as the Barbie cake that I showcased from her party. I wanted a fun treat for the adults and so I created a batch of these cupcakes with a strawberry cream cheese frosting and a fresh berry garnish topper. The cupcakes were displayed in cupcake stands for easy grabbing throughout the evening.
This cake is very moist and flavorful and the vivid pink hue comes from the addition of the strawberry gelatin dessert. While fresh strawberries are not in season this time of year, one package of berries is plenty for your garnish and to be whipped in the cupcake batter & frosting. Although they are more expensive, it is a worthy investment for such a fun and unexpected treat out of our normal berry season. The cream cheese frosting adds a hint of sweetness with even more delicious strawberry taste that takes this cupcake to the grown-up level.
I hope you will enjoy these delightful cupcakes as much as we have and consider adding them to your Valentine’s menu this year!
Pretty in Pink Cupcakes (adapted from “Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor“)
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries with juice (approximately 1 1/2 cups whole berries)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
Place your oven rack into the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 2 quart oven-safe batter bowl by greasing heavily with cooking spray. Place the cake mix, gelatin strawberries and their juice, milk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for thirty seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat two more minutes. Pour batter carefully into your prepared batter bowl. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for five minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for fifteen minutes before frosting. Meanwhile prepare the frosting. (This recipe makes approximately 22-24 cupcakes)
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
This frosting is VERY thin compared to a traditional frosting. You can thicken it up with a little extra confectioners sugar (1/2 cup at a time) if it is too thin to ice your cupcakes with. I also put the frosting in the fridge overnight and then puddle it on top of the cupcakes and then let it up set up in the fridge again. If you prefer a frosting that you can decorate with or that is thicker, may I recommend my favorite buttercream frosting?
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup mashed (and drained of the juice from the mashing) fresh strawberries
Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add three cups of the confectioners’ sugar and the drained, mashed strawberries. Blend the frosting on low until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend the frosting until fluffy, 30 to 45 seconds longer, adding up to a 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a spreadable consistency.
Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with a short metal spatula or a spoon, taking care to cover the tops completely. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, and chill until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. Sprinkle the cupcakes with sprinkles (if desired) and garnish right before serving with a sliced strawberry (Side Note- Do wait until right before serving as the berries will release their juices and cause your frosting to be runny, as mine were shortly after taking this photo!)