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I am sharing a scrumptious recipe for Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with a strawberry mousse center and sweet M&M’s® Strawberry frosting.
Everyone knows that it can be tough when you or someone in the family has a birthday close to a holiday. Holiday birthdays can really stink. I should know my birthday is January 2nd. Not only is everyone exhausted from gift giving by January 2nd they are also over the partying and want to get back to their routine. Often times even my own husband has forgotten to do something special to celebrate my day. It just so happens that my oldest sister also has a holiday birthday. Her birthday is 4 days after Valentine’s Day on February 18th. I know she can sympathize with my holiday birthday blues but this year I am going to make sure she is celebrated! I have a special surprise for my sister. I am making her special birthday cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes, but cupcakes made with lots of love since I am making them from scratch. No boxed cake mix, no frosting out of a can!
I am making Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with strawberry mousse and topped with strawberry buttercream frosting. The strawberry buttercream frosting has chunks of Cand and strawberries mixed in. These cupcakes are divine! The cake is fluffy and light. The strawberry mousse is smooth and creamy with fresh strawberries. The chunks of M&M’s® Strawberry in the frosting add a surprise chocolate and strawberry flavor that makes this one seriously amazing cupcake.
Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes Recipe
2 1/4 cups cake flour (use cake flour – it makes a difference in cake texture)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds scraped from one Madagascar vanilla bean pod
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light.
Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full. I use an ice cream scoop because it really makes the job easier.
Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting with M&M’s® Strawberry Ingredients:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1/2 9oz bag of M&M’s® Strawberry, chopped
Tip: Use the side of a knife with a big blade to smash the M&M’s®. I tried to chop them up in the food processor and I was left with naked M&M’s® and candy dust. Using the knife blade to smash them worked really well.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Fold in the chopped M&M’s® Strawberry. Note: Make sure all the pieces are chopped small enough to fit through the opening in your frosting tip.
Now for the strawberry mousse filling. I found the best Strawberry Mousse Recipe and decided to use it as a filling in my cupcakes. This recipe only has three ingredients and can be whipped up in your mixer in just a few minutes. The tricky part is getting the mousse inside the cupcakes.
How to fill cupcakes with strawberry mousse:
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. Then remove the center of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer.
Put the strawberry mousse in a pastry bag with a filling tip and use it to squeeze the mousse into the cupcakes.
Final Step: Add the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting with M&M’s® Strawberry
Use a pastry bag and a large round tip to frost the cupcakes with a simple round swirl. Then I added a DOVE® heart-shaped chocolate for decoration.
Voila! A delicious birthday cupcake for my sister to help remind her how special she is too me and how much I love her. I hope she notices that I made her birthday cupcakes with her favorite flavors – vanilla bean, strawberry, and of course, a bit of chocolate.
More dessert ideas
Recipes with Strawberries