Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

These cupcakes are bursting with an abundance of strawberry flavor. This recipe was originally for a regular cake and not for cupcakes, but almost any cake can be converted to cupcakes. When the recipe was first written, cake mixes were still sold in 18.25 ounce boxes. Because cake mixes now come in smaller boxes, it takes extra cake mix to bring the size back up to match the recipe. It might not seem important, but the cake will be different if the smaller size mix is used. One way to adjust a recipe like this one is to take the extra needed from a second cake mix. The remainder of the second cake mix can be stored in the freezer until the next time an older recipe needs that extra boost.

Another adjustment I made was in the packages of frozen strawberries required for the recipe. Strawberry puree is needed in both the cake and the frosting. The cake calls for a 15 ounce package and the frosting calls for a 10 ounce package, although only 1/4 cup of puree is used in the frosting. I found it to be easier to buy one larger package of sweetened strawberries, puree all of them, then measure out 15 ounces for the cupcakes. Of the remaining puree, I used 1/4 cup for the frosting.

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Strawberry Cupcakes

1 (18.25 oz.) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) box strawberry gelatin
1 (15 oz.) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pans for 24 cupcakes with paper liners. 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. Spoon into prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz.) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The remaining strawberry puree is not used in this recipe. It can be saved to use in smoothies or as a topping on ice cream.) Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth. Spread frosting on tops of cooled cupcakes.

These cupcakes were made to wish myself a happy birthday. Making recipe adjustments is a lot easier than adjusting to all these birthdays.