Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

Pinterest is my favorite social media network. By far. In an effort to legitimize the time I spend on Pinterest, I’ve committed to be a doer, not just a pinner. I want to be crafty, save moneyhave fun with my kiddo, and make delicious food, not just pin those things.

Since I need (and love) to feed my family, making that delicious food I’ve been pinning has been an easy way for me to do, not just pin. I have quite the cookbook collection, but when I meal plan at the beginning of the week, I purposefully choose a recipe or two from one of my food boards to include. My favorite is when our small group needs dessert and I have an excuse to scour my cookies and sweets boards.

Though you can control the visual quality of your Pinterest boards, you can’t always control the quality of the finished product. Not everything I’ve pinned has been as good as it’s looked. I recently pinned a boxed cake cheat (how to make a boxed cake taste like a bakery cake) and made a mental note to test the claim ASAP. I got the chance a week or so later when Tim needed treats for a co-worker’s birthday celebration.

Pinterest testedI made the suggested additions and substitutions – with a few tweaks of my own – and was super pleased with the results.

  • I buy cake mix when it’s on sale and usually have one or two in my pantry. I had one left – a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White Premium Cake Mix.
  • I used 4 whole eggs instead of 3.
  • I didn’t double the amount of oil, but substituted 1/3 cup melted butter.
  • I used unsweetened almond milk instead of water. (Don’t be weirded out by the brown spots in my milk in the photo below. I dipped my teaspoon in the milk to get the excess vanilla off.)
  • Amen to the vanilla extract addition.
  • I had frozen strawberries on hand so I chopped up a few, tossed them in flour, and added them to the batter.
  • My oven is a bit unreliable, but I made an effort to preheat then reduce. Not sure if that actually happened.

boxed mix - bakery cake

There was still a hint of cake mix flavor (which doesn’t bother me), but the crumb was tighter and the cake itself was sturdier. Overall, this was a great way to amp up a pantry staple in a hurry. Pinterest success!

Beyond the method, these cupcakes were a flavor success, too. I’m a rule follower when it comes to baking, but I’m glad I threw in the strawberries on a whim. The butter makes these cakes quite moist and the fruit just adds a little burst of sweetness. I made a simple vanilla buttercream to top the cupcakes (not pictured), but they look so pretty unfrosted and taste delicious plain.

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes 2

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Author: Emily C. Gardner
A simple way to amp up boxed cake mix transforms classic white into strawberries and cream perfection.
  • 1 White Cake mix (Yellow or Devils Food would be delicious, too)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you have on hand)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place contents of cake mix in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, and melted butter. Whisk until no (or very few) lumps remain.
  3. Sprinkle diced strawberries with a tablespoon of flour. Mix until all berries are lightly coated.
  4. Add coated berries and fold into cake batter.
  5. Scoop batter into muffin pan. Fill 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan before removing.
  8. Serve plain or with vanilla buttercream frosting.

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Primitive Pleasures: July


Between house guests and getting past first trimester nausea, there hasn’t been much interwebbing for me (aside from Pinterest) this month. Despite the brevity of my list, I hope you find something enjoyable.

Happy Summer!


One benefit of feeling less than perky is that I’ve had tons of time to read. I decided to reread the Harry Potter series and am now on book 6. One of my favorite bloggers (Katie from Cardigan Way) shares my affinity for Harry Potter and created one of her Lovely Lines with a quote from HP and the Order Of the Phoenix which I just finished.

I also read all three of Tessa Afshar’s novels. So good. I explain why here.


Tim (my youth pastor hubs) preached in main service a couple weeks ago on Psalm 13. He weaves much of our personal journey into David’s own lament. I may be biased, but it’s well worth a listen. You can also watch it on CDA Bible Church’s Vimeo account.


Berry picking is one of my favorite summer activities. A couple weeks ago I got to add strawberries to my list of berries picked. Some wonderful friends took me to Carver Farms and we picked over 60 pounds of strawberries. We made several batches of freezer jam (with the trusty recipe found inside boxes of Sure Jell pectin).


Three delicious ways to use extra strawberries:

  • Fresh Strawberry Bars I clipped this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens a few years ago. The base is a dense peanut buttery bar topped with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries.
  • You can’t go wrong with classic Strawberry Shortcake. My mom’s a wizard with biscuits and generally whips up a batch of lightly sweetened cream biscuits for the shortcake part. Martha Stewart has a good video tutorial on sweet biscuits. When I studied abroad in Italy, my host mom served strawberries macerated in both sugar AND a bit of lemon juice. Heavenly. The crowning glory of any strawberry shortcake is the whipped cream. Clouds of REAL whipped cream – heavy cream whipped with a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar.
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cake Yes, I’ve mentioned this Pioneer Woman recipe before. It’s that good.

For Fun

This could be the burrito I ate for dinner, but I’d like to think Baby Gardner is beginning to make an appearance.