Cupcakes! (Que the heavenly music) Or, as I like to refer to them, Little Carb Cups of Joy! They make me… SO happy! I love, love, love to make cupcakes! ( Did I mention I love to make cupcakes?) Anywho… last week I signed up to make a bake good for a bake sale some girls at our church were having. I knew right away I would make cupcakes. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. You make a cake and you have to turn over all the “goods!”. It’d look kind of silly to hand over a cake with a couple of slices missing! (Not that I wouldn’t! Which is really pathetic when you think about it!) You make cupcakes…well…you can keep a few out for yourself! Which I did! I mean for crying out loud you HAVE to taste test the goods you are donating! It’s the considerate thing to do!
With Mother’s Day right around the corner I knew I wanted to do something special! So, I started concocting my dream cupcake! My mind exploded with the idea of a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake! (You heard right and… You’re welcome! Hee, hee! ) I had it! I’d do a chocolate cupcake with a fresh strawberry “compote” filling. I’d dip the top of the cupcake in my favorite satiny chocolate frosting and top it off with a strawberry whip cream frosting, drizzled with…you guessed it… more chocolate! I wasn’t sure I could pull it off but, I was really excited to give it a try! Well….ShaaaaZam! When they were finished, and I took my first bite…choirs of angels descended into my kitchen! I kid you not! Right there, singing praises of Joy!
First is the “cake” portion of the cupcake. I tried to keep it simple and used a cake mix that I modified. Please, I beg you, only use a Duncan Hines cake mix! If you are going to use a cake mix, use the best! That’s just how I feel. No offense to the dough boy or Betty! Also, be careful not to overcook these cupcakes. They rise beautifully with nice rounded tops! Be sure to check them, sooner than you think you should, by lightly pressing down. If the cake springs back, even slightly, take them out, place them on a rack and let them cool!
Tip: Have you seen all those pictures of cupcakes in their cute wrappers where they are double lined? Do you ever wonder how in the world they get the second liner to line up with the first and look so “professional”? You double them BEFORE baking! Yep, do it before baking! With all the cute liners out there you want that liner to stand out. Double lining them will allow the design to be seen and they come out perfect! Even with chocolate cupcakes.
After they are completely cool, you are going to dip the tops of your cupcakes into the Chocolate Satin Frosting. Some of that deep dark rich chocolate may end up on you fingers! Oh dear! You may have to lick your fingers off! Ohhh…the sacrifice! Once dipped you will need to allow the frosting to “set”! The chocolate will “soft” set! It will look just like the picture below when it is set. You should have a little left over frosting, and that is perfect! You will use it later to drizzle on top of the whipped frosting!
Once the frosting has set and is not longer “wet” you can make your holes for the filling. I used the fat circle end of a large frosting tip! (As in the photo above) It works perfectly! Gently push the tip into the cupcake and slowly twist. Remove the tip from the cupcake. Carefully use a sharp knife to pull out the cake centers and place them on a plate. You are going to use them again. I know…you’re tempted to eat one of those centers! Refrain, refrain!
Once you have completed removing all the centers of the cupcakes, it’s time to fill them with your cooled fresh strawberry filling. I added a little cornstarch to the fresh mashed strawberries so, in the true sense of the word, it isn’t a “compote” but, it is a fresh fruit filling. Compote just sounds so gourmet! Once the cupcakes are filled with the fresh strawberry filling, place the reserved centers back into the holes, and gently push down. It is okay if they poke up a bit. That will be covered up with the frosting!
Once the holes are filled you can now whip up that strawberry whip cream frosting. I’d like to share a couple of tips. One, the best tip I ever found for making strawberry frosting, whether it’s a buttercream or a whipped cream, like we are using in this recipe, is to use ground up freeze dried strawberries! This is going to seriously knock your socks off! Trying to deal with the juices from fresh berries is a nightmare. Grinding up dried berries gives you a frosting that tastes like fresh strawberries without the nightmares of fresh strawberries. Plus, the longer it sits, the better it gets! Can you see the flecks of berry pieces in my frosting?
The second tip is this, you can use heavy whip cream for a frosting that will hold it’s shape, will not melt, and can be left out, if… you add powder sugar to it! Simple as that!
Once you have made your whipped cream frosting you will pipe that on top of the chocolate satin frosting! I know! Two types of frosting on one cupcake! Like they say…Go Big or Go Home! We’re going big this time! When pipping your frosting start in the middle. Push down, then go around and up! Just like if you were filling and ice cream cone! This way you won’t have a hole in the center of your “frosting tower”! (“Frosting tower” I’m pretty sure that is a culinary term!) Once you have all your cupcakes frosted with the whip cream go find that bowl with the left over chocolate satin frosting. Pop it back into the Microwave for about 20 seconds! You just want it warm and slightly melted, not super hot! Stir it around, then using a spoon, drizzle it on top of your whipped topping. Guess what? You’re done! Hooray! Now for the best part! You get to eat them! Let the drooling begin!
I realize this isn’t a “simple” recipe! There are a lot of different elements involved! However, like my grandma used to tell me… “Anything worthwhile is worth doing!” Which is SO true of these cupcakes. The first bite and you’ll hear those choirs singing! I honestly couldn’t believe how YUMMY these are! I stood at the counter drooling with each bite! Sad, but true!
If you love to bake, and you have a Mom, Sister, or friend who loves Chocolate Covered Strawberries, then have some fun and make these amazing cupcakes! I promise you won’t be disappointed! The recipe is right below for you to print off. Happy Baking. Be sure to steal a few for yourself. You deserve it! Happy Mother’s Day!