Being put in charge of a dessert was a bit nerve-racking. I’m not a dessert person! Although, with the amount of baking I’ve done lately I’m starting to think that is changing. Originally I was going to go with a tiramisu to go along with the Italian-themed dinner, but when I came across this recipe from Giada, there was no question as to what I would bring.
I could have eaten the mascarpone filling by the spoonful, but I resisted, knowing full well that those cupcakes just wouldn’t be the same. Next time I will double the filling and use it as a frosting too. Unfortunately the glaze just can’t live up to its counterpart.
The cupcakes went over very well at the dinner and it was the guys who were going back for seconds. And thirds.
While some may be disappointed with the use of boxed cake mix, this recipe may not have been do-able on a weeknight if I had to make the cupcakes from scratch along with the fillings and glaze. But it worked out well, no one even notices that the cupcakes come from a box because the filling steals the show.
Strawberry & Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 1 (8 oz) container mascarpone cheese, chilled
- 1/2 cup thawed and drained frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (I didn’t use this)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. Lightly grease the muffin tin and fill the batter almost to the rim of each muffin cup. Bake according to package directions and let cool.
In a food processor combine the mascarpone cheese, strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Plush the tip gently into the bottom of a cupcake and squeeze in the strawberry mixture until the cupcake plumps. Continue with the remaining cupcakes.
In a small saucepan bring the 1/2 cup sugar, water and vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl combine the vanilla extract with the confectioner’s sugar. Stir until smooth. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula spread the icing on the top of the cupcakes. If the icing begins to firm up, place in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up again.