Every time Friday rolls around two things inevitably happen:
- The chorus of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” gets stuck in my head on repeat for the better part of the day : “It’s Friday, Friday…”
- I crave something sweet.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a typically have the sweet tooth like a 5-year-old on Halloween everyday – but Friday is my designated “free” day. You know, that day when you get to eat whatever I want and not feel bad about it? Frozen yogurt topped with assorted sugary condiments? You betcha. I have a rewards card for that shit (only $87.00 more to go until a free bowl!).Pies, cupcakes, cookies, and candy don’t stand a chance if they come within a 3 foot radius of me.
I promise you, typically I do try to stay within some sort of caloric guidelines so that I don’t feel like crap for my runs (running when you feel crappy is, well, crappy) and so I can fit into my sassy pants come Monday. But Friday also happens to be my ‘rest’ day from training so all bets are off.
In honor of this great Friday, I am going to bestow upon you a scrumptiously sweet recipe for a batch of cupcakes I baked for my lucky co-workers on Valentine’s Day. This recipe is a brainchild of several different recipes I discovered while perusing Pinterest (no surprise there). I really liked this recipe from Your Cup of Cake, but it called for raspberry pie filling and I wasn’t feeling that. I decided to go a “chocolate covered strawberry” route in honor of the holiday and made a couple of ingredient tweaks to both the cake and icing. Then, I found these little chocolate doo-dads on Martha Stewart and decided to throw those on top. Very festive indeed.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing
Yeilds: 24 cupcakes
Level: Slightly difficult and time consuming (but so worth it!)
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
- 21 oz can Strawberry pie filling
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners (yield=24).
- Puree strawberry pie filling and sour cream with a hand blender or a regular blender if you don’t have a hand one.
- In large bowl, lightly beat eggs with vanilla and add strawberry/sour cream mixture.
- Add cake mix, cinnamon, and baking soda. (To prevent lumps, sift cake mix before adding.)
- Fill liners ¾ full and bake for 14-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Like so:
- Allow to cool before frosting.
Ingredients for the buttercream:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed pureed
- Beat cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla and strawberry puree. If the buttercream is too thin, add more sugar, ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Be careful, the sugar will fly!
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Someday I will get fancy and perhaps invest in some legit piping bags…Until then, a good old fashioned Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off works fine:
Directions for the Chocolate Filigree Hearts:
- Melt 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. I took the easy route and used the microwave at 20 second intervals (heat 20 sec., stir, repeat until melted).
- Put melted chocolate in a bag (see above cake bag) and pipe the chocolate into hearts filling in with squiggles (be sure squiggles are at least 1/4 inch thick so hearts won’t break when removed). Or write out sayings (ex. ‘Love’ in cursive).
- Freeze hearts until set, about 15 minutes. You should be able to just lift them off the wax paper, if not, use a spatula but be careful, as they break pretty easily.
- Top your frosted cupcakes with chocolate hearts.
When all is said and done, you should have a spread that looks similar to this:
This recipe is pretty stellar because although it is time consuming, you can switch up the cake mix, and/or pie filling, and make a completely different cake/frosting combo. Also, these things are ridiculously moist and soooo tasty. Feel free to leave the chocolate hearts off, although they taste good, they were really only for presentation purposes and to designate them “Valentine’s Day” cupcakes (but they do look pretty sweet!)
No calorie count for this one…Ignorance is bliss on Fridays. If you do want to find out however, this is a super site to check out (just keep the results to yourself ).
I hope everyone has a wonderful, fun-filled weekend!