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RECIPE: Strawberry Surprise Valentine Cupcakes

Photo courtesy


“I absolutely love surprises,” says Lauryn Cohen of “Imagine a cupcake surprise…biting into an already delicious cupcake and finding a second delicious surprise inside.”

So she created Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes, a lovely treat for Valentine’s Day.

The cake is tender and light and gets its strawberry flavor puréed fresh strawberries added to the batter. The surprise is fresh, sweet strawberry jam that provides a burst of strawberry goodness. Strawberry cream cheese icing brings a bit of tang for contrast.

“So make these cupcakes and shhhh, don’t tell anyone about the jam in the middle.” says Lauryn. “Make it a surprise that’s sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.”





  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and puréed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red liquid food coloring
  • Homemade or quality store-bought strawberry jam

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves or purée
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Optional garnish: heart-shaped candies, red sprinkles, dried or fresh strawberries

    A delicious surprise. Photo courtesy



    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. BEAT butter at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat about 3 minutes, until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. Add 1 1/2 cups of strawberry puree.

    2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in food coloring.

    3. PLACE in mini baking cups and bake 10-12 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool completely.

    4. FILL the cupcakes: Cut cone shapes out of the top dome of each cupcake. Fill a Ziplock-type bag with fresh strawberry jam and snip the corner. Fill the hole in the cupcake to the top with jam then place the cone shape back on top.

    5. MAKE THE ICING: In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth. Add strawberry preserves and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt, beating until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Garnish as desired.


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