Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Berries, Cake, Desserts, Southern / Thursday, February 19th, 2009


If we were hanging out today, I’d try to bribe you with a Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake to tell me how you really feel about all of these Best Food Blog lists.

I used to get paid to write lists. Writers love lists. No interviews to schedule and reschedule, not much outside research. You pick the Top 10 Beach Books for People Who Hate to Read or the 37 Most Annoying Lines in the History of “CSI: Miami,” do a little Googling, ask some friends for their opinions, and you’re done. That’s not to knock the food bloggers who’ve made these lists. But, when the same ones are mentioned again and again, that creates a very exclusive club and bloggers who feel pressured to copy [Insert successful blogger’s name here] or drop out. Maybe it’s time for a new list, something like “The 25 Best Food Blogs You’ve Probably Never Heard Of,” to shake things up a little.

What about your blogroll? Is it your personal “Best Food Blog” list or a patchwork of blogs you visit, link-exchange buddies and bloggers everyone else lists? Do you leave off bloggers who are “too” famous? I hadn’t given mine too much thought, but it’s time for an overhaul. I read, admire and rip off way more blogs than are on my list.

P.S. Everyone’s making strawberry cupcakes right now, but these are the best I’ve tried. Moist, bright pink cakes topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Cream. Cheese. The cream cheese cuts the sweet and gives these cupcakes a more balanced flavor than the typical butter-and-powdered sugar icing. Pink and powerful. Like the Raging Pink Hulk.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Adapted From Paula Deen’s “The Lady & Sons Just Desserts”

Makes 36 cupcakes

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed (I wound up buying two 10 oz. packages and using some of the leftover strawberry puree in the frosting.)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree (Measure it from the leftover puree you made for the batter.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Up to 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
    Garnish (optional):

  • Freshly sliced strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 (12-cup) muffins pans with cupcake papers.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. (The batter might seem runny. Just roll with it.)
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the pans once, halfway through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  4. For the Frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
  5. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or spatula, or pipe on the frosting with a big star tip.  Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.


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38 thoughts on “Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

  1. Those look delicious. It seems like a lot of powdered sugar, how much did you end up using?

    My bloglist is kind of a hodge podge that I keep meaning to actually list but haven’t. I keep adding more to my reader usually when I find that there are at least two recipes listed that I would actually try. I have so much to read sometimes that posting in my own blog ends up taking a back seat!

  2. Holy crap. I’d tell you anything if you gave me one of those cupcakes. Strawberry + cream cheese = me trying not to drool on my keyboard (my computer has had enough unfortunate spills already, poor thing). Go figure this is a Paula Deen recipe. That makes me totally confident that it’s a) unhealthy and b) so delicious that I couldn’t care less about the nutritional value.
    In response to the food blogs list, I agree that we hear the same names batted around a lot in the food blog world. While I was pleased to see that Smitten Kitchen and Baking Bites were listed, since I frequent those two and find them really useful, I’m not a fan of some of the other ones. Some food blogs are just too foodie-oriented for me to enjoy; I like food/baking blogs that make me feel like I can recreate anything on them and it’ll be awesome. (Which is why I frequent this blog.)

  3. i read you. cause i know you. and if you’re full of doo doo i can speak up and know you’ll delete my comment with the same crass love in which i offer it up. Others wouldn’t get my hateful loving comments.

  4. Mine’s a combination of the blogs I want to visit most often (it’s the easiest way for me to get to them) and the blogs of people who have visited me and/orde me feel welcome as new blogger. Oh, and the people who have seriously good blog names. Sometimes all three. Which reminds me, um, you’re on it. Hope that’s okay, and now may I have a cupcake?

  5. I’ve been looking to replace a recipe I used to have for a strawberry bundt cake that used jello as an ingredient. I think this closely resembles it so I’ll have to try to make this into a bundt. Thanks!

    BTW, I agree about the same old food blogs being on the list; we really need to mix it up a bit.

  6. Ha, you have me bribed with those pictures alone!! Many of the blogs I read weren’t featured on the top 50 list that just came out, but I must admit that I love all of the blogs I read (which is probably why it takes me hours sometimes to get through them all) and all of them deserved to be on a list whose title starts with “Best”!

    By the way, these cupcakes look heavenly. Strawberry and creamcheese are a match made in heaven. YUM!

  7. What a perfect looking strawberry on your cupcake! Love the look and can’t wait to have local strawberries again someday in the distant, warmer future!

    As for your blog list question, I fear tht these kinds of ‘best of’ lists create self perpetuating results: name something as the best and everyone will go check it out and it will, at the very lest, be the most popular. That said, if I’d been on the list I would be pretty proud of myself!

  8. The cupcake is gorgeous! Loving your photo!

    My blog lists on my blog are the blogs I frequent the most. I also follow a number of blogs. I’ve been thinking about this myself too. I’m wanting to find a way to list all the blogs I check out on a regular basis. I just need the time to figure out how to do it without having a terribly long mess on the sidebar of my blog. I’d like to clean the whole sidebar up myself!

  9. I don’t know you and I read you and I often mention you on my blog. I might very soon be in a position to make my own damn list and when I do you will be on it. Now give me a bloody cupcake!!

  10. Rebecca,

    Don’t take the 50 blogs to heart! I think you’re FABULOUSLY funny! Who else would know about the pound of manure quote???

    Also, I am delighted to see your strawberry cupcake recipe and want to give it a try–I made the big pink cake on the cover of this issue of “Taste of the South” and was quite disappointed. They were just ho-hum.

  11. i don’t cook but i read your blog religiously for the photos. the banana pancakes from last month is my screensaver.

  12. Karen Beth: Ha! I’m putting it in an envelope right now.

    Amy: I know what you mean about getting overwhelmed by the reading. Paula’s recipe calls for 7 cups of powdered sugar for a layer cake, but I think I wound up using about 5 cups for the cupcakes. I added a half cup at a time.

    Karen: Peabody at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody wrote a blog about someone suggesting she copy the PW formula last month. Have you read it? It’s great:

    Keetha: I read SK and Cake Wrecks, too. Before every wedding cake, I have Cake Wrecks nightmares.

    Monet: A healthy cupcake is just a muffin in drag. I love a lot of the blogs on the list, but most of my favorites never get any recognition. There must be some way to change that. And I’m so glad you find some recipes you can use on this blog. That’s what it’s about.

    Sister Jenn: “Sistah, you’ve been on my mind. My sistah. We’re two of a kind…”

    Eileen: Thanks! Come on over before I eat them all.

    TnTrash: Do you remember the shakedown when they found out I was writing the horoscopes? Whew!

    Audrey: I’m on your blogroll? Cool! Mine has been horribly neglected, but I’m going to remedy that ASAP.

    patonthis: Give it a go! Just be sure to really spray your bundt pan with something like Baker’s Joy, since the cake will be extremely soft.

    Elyse: I thought strawberries and cream cheese were a no-brainer, too. Yum. I lurk around on so many blogs that never get mentioned by anyone. Gotta fix that.

    Tracey: Thanks! I like seeing the little bits of strawberry in the cream cheese. Then I can fool myself into thinking I’m eating something healthier than a cupcake.

    Dana: Agreed, the lists create self-perpetuating results. I’m worried that people will feel like they have to copy one of the “bests” to get noticed. Who wants thousands of clones out there? And, you should be on one of those “best” lists. I always learn something from your blog.

    HoneyB: Thanks! I know what you mean about the sidebar. I don’t want people to have to scroll forever, either. I’ve been thinking about creating a separate page just for the blogroll.

    The Duo Dishes: Thanks! It’s hard to eat just one. Paula might be Satan’s minion.

    finsmom: Thanks! I’ve got such Spring Fever. Can you tell?

    Beth: Make your own list! And, thanks! I’ll fax your cupcake right over.

    Heidi: Oh, I wasn’t fishing for compliments. Really. But I’ll take them. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the cupcakes. They are VERY strawberry.

    Denise: Thanks! It’s easy, because I’m surrounded by funny people.

    Rabecca: I’m still getting my feet wet with the photos, so thanks! Photography is way out of my comfort zone. And the pancakes! That’s the only recipe my mom has ever given me hell about. This was her reaction: “Pancakes? Did you run out of things to make? What’s next week – French toast?”

  13. I’ve actually made this recipe. I bought her magazine last year just for it now you tell me it was in her cookbook that I have sitting on my bookshelf? Oops.

    It was very good though I don’t recall making a strawberry cream cheese frosting for it.

    With regards to my blogroll all of the blogs on there are ones that I read & comment on regularly. More than half of them have probably never commented on my blog & another quarter hardly comment at all AND I’m totally fine with that. They’re there for me, I follow the links when I see that they’ve posted something new. Take you for instance I read your blog fairly regularly and have made a few of your recipes. I comment now & again but you’ve never commented on my blog, should I stop reading because you haven’t? Nope, you have a great blog. It’s no big deal that you don’t read mine.

  14. Funny. I feel like I’ve been shunned by the military community for doing something silly like food blogging. Whatever. I have an eclectic mix of people on my blogroll.. because I’m pretty darn eclectic in my interests. You, of course, have been there for forever.

  15. Obviously this struck a nerve with me because here I am again. You know what really pisses me off about people shunning you? There’s no reason for it. If I could put out some of the emails I’ve received it would SHOCK you. It’s insane… and the twerps! Haven’t they ever heard of SITE MONITORING? I KNOW who was there!!! Ugh. *end rant* sorry.

  16. ingrid: OH, you’ve got me. I read tons of blogs, including yours, but I rarely comment. OMG, I’m a lurker. Ewwwwww. Need to fix that.

    Cat: You’ve been shunned for writing a food blog? What kinds of comments do you get? That’s ridiculous, but people will say anything when they think they’re anonymous. You deserve better.

  17. These cupcakes look to die for! I’ve just recently started checking your blog and love all of your creations. My blog link list is comprised of mainly friend’s and a few others that I really enjoy. I do hope you’ll check my site out sometime! Thanks for all your baking and recipe sharing!

  18. I’m trying to figure out how much of the 15 ounce pkg of pureed strawberries do you actually put in the cake batter? Yum, I’m craving these so bad!

  19. The cupcakes look great! I started my blog list before I figured out how to use google reader. It contains blogs I like, bloggers who visit my blog, blogs I want to remember to visit, some are bloggy friends. There is a lot of overlap there, but the common denominator is that I like the blog. I love the variety in the food blogging community, (which is probably why my list is so long!) some bloggers are amazing photographers, some are talented food stylists, some offer up great food ideas, some are great writers, some just plain entertain me. Some do all of the above!

  20. since i’m a scrapbooker (eep! should i be admitting that here?) your blog is the only food-y one that i read. and while i’ve made several things *inspired* by your stuff, i haven’t actually followed one of your recipes to the letter (although i think there was a cinnamon bun recipe that got really close).

    these cupcakes might just be my first! (you know, since this is my first comment and all!)


  21. Oh, heaven in a cupcake wrapper….this one was for me, right? Lover of strawberries, lover of cheesecake, lover of I want my whole little entire portion of little cake, lover of most recipes on this blog! Thank you…going here as soon as the strawberries start looking better in the markets.

    Oh, and I am officially caught up over here! And, it was so worth the hour! Thank you!

  22. I tried this recipe and it was absolutely delicious! My family loved it. I gave one to a co-worker and he offered to pay me to make some more for him! Thanks for the great recipe. =)

  23. Batter was extremely runny even before I added the strawberry puree, so I added a small box of vanilla pudding and only added about half of the puree. Cupcakes rose perfectly, and still had a yummy strawberry flavor!

  24. […] is a Sprinkles original from Martha Stewart , while the frosting was from a favorite blog of mine, Ezra Pound Cake The end result is a moist, strawberry cake with a frosting that is similar to strawberry cheesecake […]

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