Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Red Velvet Strawberry Short-Cupcakes

 I tell my hubby not to waste money buying me flowers on Valentine's Day because they are all over priced and "expected".  I would much rather get a few flowers on an ordinary day "just because" than on a day it's expected.   The things that excite me about Valentine's Day now (as a mother) are writing Valentine's Cards with my kids, helping out with their school parties and making sweet and delicious desserts to celebrate the day.  Last year it was my chocolate covered strawberries and whoopie pie fake-outs so I had to top that this year and I was stumped.  All my local grocery stores have strawberries on sale so I decided a strawberry shortcake would be a fun dessert, but I didn't want it to look like a summer-time treat.  I decided to swap out the traditional biscuit style shortcake for a red velvet cupcake.  Red velvet cake is perfect since it's goes with the red theme of Valentine's Day.  These Red Velvet Strawberry Short-cupcakes came out better than I even expected and my kids and hubby were thrilled by them.  I hope you try them out to make your Valentine's Day extra sweet.  Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day full of love and friendship.

1 box of your favorite red velvet cake mix or substitute a scratch red velvet cake recipe (see note)
2 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese
1 (7 1/2oz) jar of marshmallow fluff
1 tub of cool whip
1 pint of strawberries

Notes:  I decided to use a box cake mix because it was easy and convenient.  I don't like the really dark almost "black" color the box cake mix comes out so I actually baked a box of red velvet cake with a box of yellow cake mix.  It gave me a more of a Valentine's "red" color and not so much a "black" one. If you do not have access to prepared cake mix you can substitute Paula Deen's Recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Bake your cupcakes as directed.  I actually use Paula Deen's advice when it comes to baking from a box cake mix to make it richer: 
1. Add an extra egg to to the box cake mix (for example if the box calls for 3 eggs, use 4)  
2. Add butter in place of the vegetable oil  that is called for on the cake box.
3.  Add milk in place of the water that is called for on the cake box.

To prepare your cream cheese whipped topping: Bring the bricks of cream cheese to room temperature.  Then take an electric mixer and whip the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy.  Next add your marshmallow fluff to the cream cheese and mix well.  Finally fold in the cool whip topping until it forms a nice fluffy topping.
Note:  The marshmallow fluff is very sweet and was enough sugar for my whipped topping.  If you desire more sweetness just add some sugar when you are whipping the ingredients together (remember the whip topping will add sweetness too).

Here is a tip to pipping the topping onto the cupcakes:  Put your topping mixture into a pastry bag or a zip-loc bag. Push all the topping to one corner and snip off a small corner off the bag so you pipe your topping neatly.

Cut your cupcake in half and pipe the topping in the middle and load it with some fresh sliced strawberries.  Then add the top of the cupcake and top it again with the whip topping and strawberries. Serve and Enjoy!

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