I love 2nd trimester energy! I’ve been tackling things on my to-do list lately like it’s nobody’s business – and I’m even posting here more, too! It’s been delightful and well deserved after an awful 20 weeks. One of the things on my to-do list from way back around February or March was to make Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes. Unfortunately, after I went out and bought all the ingredients, my food aversions and nausea prevented me from actually making them. This week as I was searching through my cupboard for dinner ideas, I saw that I still had the ingredients and decided to give it a whirl. While the recipe for the cake is my creation (with help of a box mix, of course), I borrowed the strawberry buttercream recipe from here. It looked quick and easy (which it was), but most importantly it didn’t require pureeing fresh fruit, something I couldn’t do because it seems my food processor blade is, um, missing. [gulp] Gotta find that.You will need:
1 box lemon cake mix + ingredients required on the box
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package lemon pudding mix
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup strawberry jelly, strained
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan or coat with nonstick spray.
Step 3 - Spoon mixture into cupcake tins and bake for 22 minutes. Typically, I bake things on the lower end of the recommended baking time (for this box mix that was 18-22 minutes); however, in this case, I had to bake it a bit longer due to the pudding and extra juice being added in. Remove from oven and cool.
As a side note, don’t you wish that cupcakes stayed this way after they’re out of the oven for a few minutes? Mine always sink a little in the middle.
Step 4 - In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add in strained jelly and mix well using electric mixer. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, until you reach your desired consistency. You can always add 1-2 tablespoons of milk if you want the frosting to be softer, or add confectioner’s sugar to make it stiffer.
Although this is hands down the best strawberry frosting I’ve ever tasted, there’s no denying that it came out a little pale in color. It’s pink, but very pale pink…and a far cry from the bright pink can variety. If you want to make it pinker, you could always add a little red food coloring. I’m sure just a few drops would perk it up a bit. I would have done this, but I didn’t have any.
Step 5 - Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost. I couldn’t find my fancy icing gun when I was making these, so I had to frost these “high school bake sale” style. Although not as pretty, they were still delicious and the strawberry and lemon tastes complimented each other very well. So light and refreshing – these cupcakes are perfect for summer!