Would it be rude of me to demand that you make the recipe I'm posting tonight? Because from where I'm sitting, it seems like I might be doing you a favor. I think these might be my most favoritest cupcakes I've ever made. And, you guys, I have made a LOT of cupcakes. Nothing even comes close to these little guys.
The thing about these cupcakes is that they have a little secret peeking out from under that whipped cream icing.
A perfect little pocket of absolutely amazing strawberry filling is delicately sandwiched between angel food cake cupcakes and whip cream frosting.
They. Are. Amazing. Light and fluffy and sweet and just ... WOW. It's possible that I've eaten a dozen of them in the past two days because they are THAT good.
I cheated a bit when I made these and used a box mix for the angel food cake cupcakes. I hope you'll forgive me. I was making them to share with some of my favorite people, so I didn't want to risk a cake-from-scratch disaster.
It's hard to have a disaster when you follow the directions on the box.
Once the angel food had cooled, I cut a little "X" on the top of each cupcake and gently pushed back the points so that I had a little pocket for the strawberry filling.
Speaking of the strawberry filling, it is a simple strawberry sauce. I chopped up an entire container of strawberries and threw half of them in a saucepan with some sugar. I added a little water and some corn starch and cooked everything until I had a nice thick sauce that wouldn't be instantly absorbed by the angel food cake.
I let it cool and then threw the other half of the chopped strawberries into the bowl.
After mixing it all up, I had a thick strawberry sauce that would be amazing on pancakes, ice cream . . . really ANYTHING.
But it is most especially amazing in these cupcakes.
The last step was to top them with a whipped cream icing.
I used a standard whipped cream icing recipe that had cream cheese in it because cream cheese makes everything better. It definitely helps to create a more stable and less melty (it's totally a word) whip cream icing. The goal was to create a stable strawberry shortcake that would travel well and hold up during an outdoor party.
Make these. You won't regret it.
1 box Angel Food Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1. Prepare according to the directions on the box. Allow to cool before adding the filling or icing.
1 quart fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons white cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1. Divide the diced strawberries into two mostly equal piles. Place half aside and place the other half into a medium saucepan.
2. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add to the saucepan.
3. Add 1 cup sugar to the saucepan and stir everything up. (If your strawberries are super sweet, feel free to reduce the quantity of sugar in the sauce.)
4. Heat on medium heat until the strawberries are soft. Use a immersion blender or potato masher to mash the larger pieces of strawberry. It's OK if there are some chunks of strawberry in the end, but you don't want it to be super lumpy.
5. Allow the strawberry sauce to cool. Add the remaining (raw) chopped strawberries to it and mix.
Whip Cream Icing
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream
1. Throw your creamed cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract into a large mixing bowl.
2. Use an electric mixer on low speed to mix everything up. Once the sugar is well dissolved, begin adding the heavy cream a little at a time. Increase to medium speed. Keep mixing and adding heavy cream until you have "peaks" of icing.
1. Cut a small "X" into the top of each of your cupcakes (it should be about 1/2" across). Push back the edges until you have a small hole in the center.
2. Fill that little hole with approximately one teaspoon of strawberry sauce. Feel free to jab it in there. The cupcakes can handle a little bit of abuse.
3. A pastry bag works really well for spreading the whip cream icing over the top of each cupcake, but you could use a rubber spatula in a pinch. It won't be as pretty, but it'll still taste really fantastic.
4. Verify that you have the proper cake-to-filling-to-icing ratio by testing at least three cupcakes before serving to anyone else. OK, you can have four. I won't tell.