Updated July 25, 2020.
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Pretty sure these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. The filling and buttercream were amazing. I can’t take any credit for a recipe for the actual cake part, so this post focuses on the filling, frosting, and putting it all together at the end. You can use a boxed mix as described in the recipe, or if you need a good vanilla cupcake recipe, try Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes (Sally’s Baking Addiction) or Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe (Natasha’s Kitchen).
Strawberries & Cream Filled Cupcakes
- Prepare cupcakes per box instructions. Allow to cool completely before filling and frosting, about 30 minutes. (You can make the filling and frosting while the cupcakes cool)
- Puree the strawberries. I used the Vitamix, but you could use any blender or food processor.
- Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook while stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add the strawberry puree, combine, cook over low for a few minutes, and put it in the fridge to cool.
- Whip heavy cream using a hand mixer or stand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Fold in the strawberry mixture. It’s OK if the strawberry mixture is not super cold.
- Put the filling in the fridge to chill. It will need to be cold for the next step. (You can make the buttercream while it’s chilling.)
- Once the filling mixture is cold (it’s very important for it to be cold!), add the package of vanilla pudding mix and beat for 2 minutes. Let set for a few minutes. It shouldn’t be runny. It’s OK if it’s looser than a normal pudding or custard, but if it’s flowing right out of your piping bag before you even squeeze, it’s too runny. It’s OK if a small amount drips out. See notes section for filling troubleshooting tips.
- Use the paddle attachment to your stand mixer – bonus if you have one with the flex edge. You can also use a hand mixer.
- Beat butter until it’s fluffy, then beat in the vanilla.
- Beat in powdered sugar and heavy cream by alternating ½ cup of powdered sugar and ½ tsp of heavy cream. Wait until the powdered sugar is fully incorporated before adding the next ½ cup. (This is a good time to use the pouring shield for your stand mixer, if you have one. The powdered sugar tends to fly.)
- Add sprinkles or food coloring at the end. I just shook the sprinkles in until the buttercream turned pink and the sprinkles were incorporated throughout.
- When the cupcakes and filling are fully cooled, use an apple corer to make a hole for the filling in the center of each cupcake.
- Add filling to a piping bag. You can also use a plastic zip-top bag with a corner cut off if you don’t have a piping bag.