You know what makes these raspberries and cream cupcakes easy? They start with a box mix. Yes, even people who bake things from scratch use box mixes sometimes. I used to have people order my doctored up box mix cupcakes from me, knowing they were not completely scratch. Save yourself some time and headache, I promise you, you won’t regret it.
Like with my Easy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, we make a simple swap with our box mix, and then make the frosting from scratch. People will be shocked at both how delicious the cake is, and that it’s also not completely from scratch. I think these are a perfect Valentine’s Day treat because they are cute and pink and red, and are strawberries and cream adjacent. However, I might also recommend my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake, Heart Shaped Raspberry Rolls, or my Red Velvet M&M Cookies which are also all good cupid day treats.
Most box cake mixes, I personally use this one for this recipe, call for water as the main liquid. Simply swapping it for milk at the same amount, does a lot of heavy lifting in the flavor of your cake. It will elevate it, and make it more moist and tender. Usually they also use oil vs egg. I personally don’t swap them out, but you could probably go 50/50 oil and melted butter.
For example, my box mix said 1/2 cup of oil. You could swap 1/4 cup melted butter in, and only use 1/4 cup oil if you want to add more buttery flavor but not change the texture too much. Personally, I think it’s fine with just the oil as you are adding flavor elsewhere.
For bake time, I always rely on two things. Smell, and the look. You want them to be just lightly golden and the smell of the vanilla cake will be just hitting you. This will ensure no dry cake.
Raspberries and Cream Cupcakes Key Ingredients
- Milk – Use whole or 2%, warmed up to at least room temperature in lieu of the water in your cake mix.
- Raspberry jam – For the raspberry cream filling we are going to add jam to whipped cream, and pipe into the center of the cupcake.
- Freeze dried raspberries – For the buttercream frosting, using freeze dried over fresh allows us to get tons of raspberry flavor without adding a bunch of liquid and changing the structure of the frosting. It will be beautifully colored and super flavorful. Target is a great option for freeze dried fruits and where I usually get mine.
- 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla Cake Mix
- Milk room temperature
- Large eggs room temperature
- Neutral oil
Whipped Raspberry Filling
- 120 g Heavy cream ½ cup, cold
- 2½ tbsp Raspberry jam or preserves
- 15 g Powdered sugar 2 tbsp
- 170 g Unsalted butter 12 tbsp, room temperature
- 360 g Powdered sugar 3 cups, sifted
- 2-4 tbsp Heavy cream room temperature
- 6 g Freeze dried raspberries ¼ cup
- 1 pint Raspberries for garnishing
- Preheat your oven to what your box stipulates for cupcakes. Line your tin with liners and set aside.
- Follow the directions of your cake mix, with the exception of swapping your water for milk. Cake mixes vary from brand to brand, as well as with shrinkflation older boxes of cake mix may have different amounts than the same brand just a newer box. Mixing everything in a large bowl by hand.
- Fill your cupcake wells about 80-90% full. They should not come to the very top of the liner but leaving about ¼ inch at the top.
- Bake for about 22 minutes. This was within the range for my cake directions, so yours may need more or less depending on brand. The edges of your cupcake should be lightly golden and you should be smelling the vanilla in the cake.
- Remove from oven and transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool immediately.
- While your cupcake cool, in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attached, pour your heavy cream and powdered sugar and whip on medium to medium high until you have stiff peaks.
- Spoon in your jam to the whipped cream and use a spatula to fold in gently.
- Chill your whipped filling in the fridge while you make the frosting.
- In another large bowl of the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attached, add your softened butter and mix on medium for about 2-4 minutes until smooth. Add your powdered sugar and beat for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add 2 tbsp of heavy cream and mix. If you'd like to thin your frosting out more, add another 1-2 tbsp of heavy cream.
- Add your freeze dried raspberries. I personally don't crush them beforehand, and let the mixer crush while they are mixed in which allows you to have a chunkier frosting. If you want it to be smoother and less rustic looking, process the raspberries in a food processor to a fine dust first. Mix into the frosting until well combined.
- Once your cupcakes have cooled completely, using a coring tool- like this – or a knife, and remove the center of the cupcake creating a well that goes down about half way into the cupcake and is less than an inch wide. Repeat on all cupcakes.
- Transfer your chilled whipped cream to piping bag or ziplock bag with the corner snipped off. Fill the centers of the cupcakes with your whipped cream filling.
- Frost the cupcakes. Either with a knife or transferring the frosting to a piping bag. Use raspberries to garnish the tops.
- Cake will keep for about 2-3 days at room temperature in an airtight container. If intending to keep longer, store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!