Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling

The delicious filling comes from roasted strawberries. To make, toss diced fresh strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a bowl before spreading berries out onto a baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 375°F.

Let the roasted fruit cool before adding them to cupcakes, which should also be room temperature. You can use a cupcake corer or do what I did and make a hole in each cupcake using the wider opening of a piping tip.

Make a hole that goes roughly 3/4 of the way to the cupcake's bottom. Then scoop about 2 teaspoons of cooled, diced and roasted strawberries into the hole of each cupcake. Firmly pack it down for more strawberry flavor!

So I mean it when I say these cupcakes are literally packed with strawberry flavor! But there's also a fruity frosting on top that strawberry lovers will enjoy.

If you haven't used freeze dried fruit in frosting, you're in for a treat. Freeze dried strawberries have a concentrated, more intense flavor than fresh or even dried fruits. Their powder works well in frosting because it doesn't add excess moisture.

To make the marbled frosting, beat cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and mix for another 1 minute or until fully combined.

Turn off mixer and add salt, powdered sugar, and almond and vanilla extracts to bowl. Mix for another 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice if needed to cut sweetness.

To marble frosting, remove half of it and set aside in another bowl. Then add finely ground freeze dried strawberries to mixing bowl and mix until well-combined.

Spread out the white and pink frostings in two lines on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll into log shape and place frosting into piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice.

Cover each hole of strawberry filling with your strawberry and cream cheese buttercream. Use your piping bag, fitted with your favorite piping tip, to swirl frosting directly onto tops of cupcakes. Garnish with white sprinkles, fresh strawberry slices, or leave as is.

So much strawberry flavor!

Visit my blog for all the tips and tricks to make this easy strawberry cupcake recipe!