Strawberry & Cream Cupcakes

I’ve only used one pre-packaged cake mix in the last year.  It happened to be King Arthur’s Deliciously Simple Chocolate Cake Mix which they sent me in celebration of my blog turning a year old.  The cake was chocolate flavored, and was absolutely delicious.  It tasted as if it were made from scratch, but only took a few minutes to throw together.  People who I shared the cupcakes with raved about them.  I imagine they would have never suspected they were a mix if I hadn’t said anything, and the fact that they were a mix didn’t seem to detour anyone from chowing them down.

I have never made a strawberry flavored cake mix before.  I’ve always been a little worried that a strawberry cake would have an artificial strawberry taste to it.    As I was strolling through the grocery store recently I happened upon a display of Pillsbury cake mixes.   Feeling a bit creative, but not overly ambitious, I bought the strawberry flavored mix to experiment with.

I made the cake batter according to the directions on the box.  I tasted the batter just before pouring it into the cupcake tins, it was then, that I decided to add a teaspoon of my Madagascar Vanilla Extract to the batter.  I really liked the results that adding the vanilla yielded – I think it toned down the strawberry flavor just a bit.  I also decided to add a dollop of homemade strawberry jam into the center of each cupcake before  I baked them.   As the cupcakes baked, the jam settled into the bottom of each cupcake leaving a super moist, and flavorful bottom.

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To save calories, and keep the cupcakes lighter, I topped them off with light whipped cream just prior to serving.

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My opinion, the  Pillsbury’s cake mix yielded delicious, moist cupcakes too.   These would make  great, happy endings at a picnics or barbeques this summer.  What is your favorite cake flavor, and how do you feel about using cake mixes?