Inspiration really can one from anywhere. Like cake stands. I really should probably tell you that I made these cupcakes because I love banana and strawberry together, or that my kiddos requested them, or because it’s my favorite smoothie combo ever…but that would be a total fib. See that pretty little cake stand? I found it at our local PX (military post exchange) and it was like THE perfect cupcake size guys, perfect. I am constantly on the hunt for small white stands to photograph cupcakes on and believe me it’s not easy! I’m almost positive when found this little lovely I embarrassed my whole family with my uber happiness…my husband probably would have been happy to buy ten just to get me out of there! Oh and it was five dollar, did I say perfect?
So while you might think I’m crazy, that’s the truth these cupcakes were inspired by this cake stand. Because once I brought it home I just had to play with it! It’s been a long week full of life (sick kids, traveling hubby, sick hubby, holiday weekend, party clean up) and I was really just needing a little creative time in the kitchen. I went to my pantry and dreamed up these little cuties so my new cake stand wouldn’t be so sad and lonely…really it’s prefect basic logic here.
Plus strawberry banana smoothie really is my favorite smoothie flavor. And with summer so close, bring on the smoothies! And cupcakes…and cute cake stands..
These cupcakes start with my FAVORITE strawberry cake, from a cake mix! Then we fill them up with banana pudding, and top off with layers of both strawberry and banana frosting! Super easy, super yummy. The only hard part is spending the last 12 hours convincing myself I don’t even like strawberry and banana…(somebody please come remove these from my fridge).
Here’s what you’re going to need:
STRAWBERRY CREME CUPCAKES
1 Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake Mix
4 Tablespoons Instant Strawberry Pudding Mix (dry)
4 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Strawberry Yogurt
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Melted Butter (slightly cooled)
STRAWBERRY & BANANA FROSTING
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Shortening (or substitute for additional butter)
1 Tablespoon Strawberry Extract
1 Tablespoon Banana Extract
8 Cups Powdered Sugar
4-6 Tablespoons Milk
Pink Gel Coloring
Yellow Gel Coloring
1 3.4 oz Package Of Instant Banana Pudding
2 Cups Milk
Makes 24-30 Cupcakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake mix and pudding and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) using the paddle attachment, beat together eggs, yogurt, and milk. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Beat in melted butter just until combined. Once all ingredients are incorporated, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and turn mixer up to medium – high and beat once more for 15-20 seconds.
Step 3: Spoon 3 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner and bake on middle oven rack, for 16 minutes (or until tops spring back), baking up to 24 cupcakes side by side at a time. (for best results bake cupcakes 1 pan at a time or side by side on the same rack) Once a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and allow cupcakes to rest in pan for 2-4 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack. Prepare pan and repeat this step with any remaining batter.
Step 4: While cupcakes are baking prepare pudding filling. In a medium mixing bowl whip together pudding mix and milk. Place in fridge to chill while cupcakes finish baking.
Step 5: While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) using the paddle attachment, cream butter at medium speed until soft and smooth. Add shortening and beat together until soft and smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar beating slightly between each addition. Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time beating in between additions until desired consistency. Turn mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Remove 2 cups of frosting from the mixer and set aside.
Step 6: Add banana extract and a small amount of yellow coloring to the frosting remaining in the bowl. Beat until combined. Add strawberry extract and a small amount of pink gel coloring to the frosting in the bowl you set aside. Use a spatula to hand mix the frosting until combined.
Step 7: Once cupcakes have completely cooled core and fill cupcakes with banana pudding. Frost cupcakes with both banana frosting and strawberry frosting using the ruffle-topped method here. Store in the refrigerator until severed.
Now that your oven are ready…you’re going to need a few more cupcake recipes!