Celebrate this coming Fourth of July with classic vanilla cupcakes that have a sweet strawberry surprise center and rich buttery frosting! The cupcakes themselves are low-fat and the strawberry center is just a simple strawberry reduction with no added sugar.. That means guilt-free indulging! Well.. almost guilt-free! ; ) Bonus tutorial on how to create the ‘sparkler’ toppers as well!
(makes 12 cupcakes)
½ cup sugar
½ cup Stevia (sugar substitute)
1 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
For Vanilla Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
For Strawberry Filling:
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries – rinsed, hulled, and sliced
**To see how to make the ‘sparkler’ cupcake toppers click here to skip to the bottom.**
Prepare your strawberry filling first so it has time to cool.
(1.) Place sliced strawberries in a blender or food processor. Puree for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. (2.) Place strawberry puree in a small sauce pan and heat on low-medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until puree has reduced by about half. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Next get the cupcakes rolling!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
(3.) In a large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, and eggs with an electric mixer. (4.) Slowly stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Add vanilla extract last and mix until smooth. (5.) Distribute batter evenly among cupcake tins and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (6.) Let them cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes. Pop cupcakes out and let them cool another 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack.
(7.) When cupcakes have cooled, take a small knife and cut out a cone shape from the center of each cupcake. (8.) Cut the tip off of the cone and discard.. and by discard I mean eat them! (9.) Spoon strawberry filling into the well you created in the cupcake and (10.) place the top back on.
(11.) In a medium sized bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract and slowly mix in powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time. (12.) Scrape down the sides and mix again until smooth.
Spoon frosting into a pastry bag or if yours has gone missing like mine has, you can do the good ole’ zip-lock bag method and cut the corner off.
Frost cupcakes, making sure you cover the seam on top where you cut out the center. Add sprinkles and cupcake toppers (tutorial below). Be sure to also check out the Red and Blue Velvet Cupcakes I made for Memorial Day!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Sparkly yarn or thread (I found this kind from the Martha Stewart line!)
4 inch toothpicks or skewers
Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
(1.) Wrap yarn around 3-4 fingers about 20-30 times. (2.) Slip yarn off of your fingers and (3.) using the loose ends, tie a knot in the center around the bundle. (4.) Wrap them around to the other side and tie again until knot is tight and secure.
(5.) Snip off excess yarn, cut the end loops that you created, and (6.) fluff out yarn. (7.) Add a dab of hot glue to the blunt end of your pick and place into the center of your yarn until secure. (8.) Allow glue to set up for a few minutes. Repeat until you have the desired number of cupcake toppers.
These are perfect for Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve themed cupcakes!