Who doesn’t love Strawberry Shortcake?
No, not that Strawberry Shortcake. Although, she is awfully cute!
I’m talking about this Strawberry Shortcake.
This soft, crumbly and slightly creamy biscuit “cake” filled with fresh, ripe and juicy strawberries and dreamy pillows of lightly sweetened whipped cream is the quintessential summertime dessert. Doesn’t it look fabulous? The only downside to this luscious treat is that it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to eat at a party. In fact, under those circumstances, it can be downright messy. A whipped cream mustache with strawberry juice dripping down your chin isn’t really a good look for anyone, especially if you’re over the age of six!
So, what if I told you that you could still enjoy all the deliciousness of strawberry shortcake in a neat, self-contained and incredibly delicious little package? You can – if you make these Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes. Imagine! A fluffy little vanilla cupcake, filled with a fresh strawberry gelée and topped with a decadently rich strawberry mascarpone frosting. No muss, no fuss.
Preparing these little lovelies isn’t difficult at all. Just bake yourself some vanilla cupcakes. I like the recipe from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery. The cupcakes have a light, tender crumb and very nice flavor. You can use any cupcake recipe you like. Heck, you can even buy your cupcakes premade and just fill and frost them yourself. How’s that for easy?
Here’s how you do it.
First, cut a cone-shaped chunk out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each with some strawberry gelée filling and top with a thin slice of cake to hold the filling in. Then, just frost the cupcakes and enjoy. You can’t even tell that there’s a big, honkin’ hole in the middle of these cupcakes once they’re frosted! And, they are so amazingly good!
These Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes are the perfect thing to serve at a picnic or to take to the beach. The kids will love them, and you will love me because the kids won’t make a big mess. It’s a “win win” situation for all of us!
Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
1 dozen vanilla cupcakes (recipe for Magnolia Bakery cupcakes follows)
1 cup Strawberry Gelée (Recipe follows)
Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting (recipe follows)
Cut a cut a cone-shaped piece of cake out of the center of each cupcake, taking care not to cut through the bottoms. Slice a 1/4-inch piece from the top of each cone and reserve to place back on the filled cupcakes.
Spoon about a teaspoon of strawberry gelée filling into each cupcake and top with the cone top.
Using a pastry bag or an offset spatula, frost tops of each cupcake with the strawberry mascarpone frosting.
Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. In a small bowl, combine flours; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, and scraping down sides of bowl in between each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool in tins for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins, and cool completely on rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost as desired.
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.
1 cup strawberry puree
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup diced, fresh strawberries
Heat puree and sugar in a small saucepan just until it begins to bubble, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat.
Put water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add fruit puree mixture to the bowl and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
Stir in diced strawberries and chill until set.
Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
1/4 cup softened butter
1 8 ounce container mascarpone, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, pureed
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
4-5 cups powdered sugar
Cream butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the strawberries and jam. Mix until combined.
Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until the frosting has the sweetness and consistency you desire. If your frosting is not stiff enough to pipe, add more powdered sugar.
Use right away, or refrigerate until ready to use.