The Best Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

David turned Still Younger Than I Am last month, and he requested strawberry shortcake for dessert, but not actually a cake, but maybe cupcakes, or something like cupcakes, he said.

He’s so lucky I can speak David.

I went with strawberry shortcake cupcakes, which was the best decision I’ve made in a really long time, and–if you make these for yourself, which you should, right now–you’ll see what what I mean. I have absolutely no good pictures of these cupcakes because I didn’t think about it until the nighttime, and our kitchen has terrible light. If I were smart, I’d have waited till daylight to grab a photo of one of them for you, but, um, my supply had greatly dwindled by then.

It had dwindled into my stomach, if you know what I mean.

These cupcakes are delicious, so ignore the picture and just trust me. I found the recipe on the site of a blog I really like, Sally’s Baking Addiction (anything I’ve ever made of Sally’s is guaranteed no-fail. It’s ridiculous in all the good ways), and these will be the Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes I make for every single holiday/birthday/Wednesday for here to eternity. They are just perfect. 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Yield: a dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites (I threw in a whole yolk, too, so no worries about keeping separation perfect–the whites just keep the cupcakes from turning yellow)
  • 1/4 cup Greek or regular yogurt, vanilla or plain (I used plain whole Greek)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: seeds scraped from half a split vanilla bean

For the filling:

  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch mixed well with 2 tsp warm water

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

For the filling, cook the strawberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for four minutes or until the strawberries’ juices have released. Add the sugar and cornstarch/water mixture and stir for another two minutes (the mixture will thicken). Remove from the heat and let cool.

For the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Melt the butter in a microwave or over the stove in a small saucepan, then stir in the sugar. Let cool slightly, then stir in the egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape the seeds from the halved, split vanilla bean and stir them into the wet ingredients. Carefully, slowly, mix the wet ingredients into the dry until there are no lumps left in the batter. The batter will be quite thick.

Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

To finish the cupcakes: Using a paring knife or melon baller, cut a circle or hole into the center of each cupcake (try to make this as deep as you can without hitting bottom). Place about a teaspoon of the strawberry filling into each hole. It’s okay if the filling spills up a bit over the top of the cupcake–you’ll cover this later with the frosting. Repeat with all 12 cupcakes. (Save any leftover filling to mix into the frosting or freeze to later use in pancake or waffle batter).

In a large mixer, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks begin to form. This will take four or five minutes. (You know it’s finished when you can turn the bowl upside down and the whipped cream stays in place.*) If you’re adding the strawberry filling, add this now and whip for another 30 seconds. Frost the cooled cupcakes, using as much or little frosting as you want.** Keep in the fridge until ready to serve (if you’re serving these the next day, store the cupcakes separately from the filling and frosting in the refridgerator, and assemble the day of).

*If you do this and it’s not ready, a) I’m sorry, and b) I sure hope you have a dog who likes whipped cream.

**You could pipe this on, but I just spooned it on all pretty because #lazy.

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