After having so much fun helping me make filled cupcakes for her daddy’s birthday in July, granddaughter Bella wanted filled cupcakes for her birthday too. She decided on having pink cake, pink frosting and chocolate filling. She loved the idea of the filling being a chocolate “surprise”. She told everyone at the party at least twice that they were a surprise and giggled.
I chose a box of strawberry cake mix and a box of cheesecake flavored pudding. Modifying the cake with a pudding mix had turned out such wonderfully moist cupcakes in our previous attempt that I stuck with the same recipe. I purchased strawberry frosting in a tub as well, again feeling super guilty. I used to decorate cakes and can make my own frostings in minutes. When I’m not being lazy…
I mixed the cake batter following the recipe directions below and scooped it into 12 cupcake liners. Then I cursed when I realized I was out of liners. Not a huge problem; I had a bunch of cute little pink decorated liners for the mini tins. We would have 12 filled cupcakes and 24 minis to munch on. That worked well as we had 11 party guests.
I baked the regular sized cupcakes first to give them time to cool before scooping. The mini cupcakes would take much less time anyway. Both pans done, cooling on racks, I made the filling.
This time I changed up the filling a bit. The filling for the chocolate cupcakes had been a little looser than I’d liked. I beat the 4 ounces of cream cheese, added ½ cup milk and beat it again until smooth, then beat in the pudding mix and espresso powder. The filling was quite stiff and had a nice strong chocolate taste. I skipped the peanut butter, thinking it might clash with the strawberry cake and frosting.
When the cupcakes had cooled I used my small cookie scoop and scooped out a portion about 1” deep from each. I set the tops aside for later.
Filling a piping bag with the chocolate mixture, I piped a good amount of filling into each cupcake. I put the leftover filling into a container in the fridge to make fudgesicles later. I cut the removed pieces ½” thick and put a lid back on each cupcake to even them out.
I spread strawberry frosting over the tops, sprinkled pink sugar over them and packed them up for travelling. The miniatures were even easier to frost and pack for travel. They’d be seconds and thirds after the filled ones were devoured.
They were welcomed with open mouths at the birthday party. The strawberry cake and cheesecake pudding combo was so tasty and moist we definitely wanted more. The chocolate cream cheese filling was a fun surprise. I got teased that I should have filled the little ones with smaller amounts of filling. I suppose that is possible, but someone else can do that. I’ve made regular ones for two different parties and have satisfied my curiosity. Next!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 small box cheesecake flavor instant pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil (I used canola oil)
1 cup sour cream (optional, I didn’t use)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix and pudding mix with a spoon. Add eggs, water, oil and sour cream if used and beat with a mixer until combined. It will be a very thick mixture.
Pour or scoop batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Mine took 18 minutes.
Let cool on rack before frosting.
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Note: the sour cream makes the cake much more dense, similar to a pound cake.
Recipe adapted from Just A Pinch