Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Strawberry Mousse Filling and M&M’s® Strawberry frosting

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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 every one 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!

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with Strawberry Mousse

I am making Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with strawberry mousse and topped with strawberry buttercream frosting. The strawberry buttercream frosting has chunks of M&M’s® Strawberry 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

Madgascar Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are so delicious with frosting and chocolates

Cupcake Ingredients:

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

Beautiful Valentine's Day cupcake


Cupcake Directions: 

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.

Madagascar Vanilla Beans butter and sugar

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.

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cupcake batter scoop into cupcake pan

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

Madagascar vanilla bean cupcake with strawberry buttercream and MnMs Strawberry

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.

MnMs Strawberry smashed for strawberry buttercream frosting recipe

Buttercream Directions:

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.

Madagascar Vanilla bean cupcakes strawberry buttercream

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.

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Frosting with strawberry mnms

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.

Madagascar vanilla bean cupcakes remove center with 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.

Fill a pastry bag with the strawberry mousse and fill 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.

Madagascar Vanilla Bean cupcakes with a frosting swirl and chocolate

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.

A plate of Valentine's Day cupcakes

Pssssttt: Please don’t tell my sister but while I was shopping at Walmart for all the ingredients for her cupcakes I also did my Valentine’s Day shopping for my sweetheart.  No Valentine’s Day is complete without a meaningful card and a tin full of chocolates. I found a DOVE® Valentine’s Day tin and great selection of American Greetings® Valentine’s Day greeting cards. I can never pick out just one card;  I love to get a serious one and a silly one just for laughs.

Valentine's Day gifts for my sweetheart

Valentine's Day chocolates at Walmart

Don’t forget the bag of M&M’s® Strawberry so you can make your frosting. And as a sweet treat for you be sure to print out a coupon to Save $1.00 on ANY TWO (2) M&M’s® Brand Chocolate Candies, 8oz or larger. A big shout out to all those whose birthday falls in the shadows of a big holiday! You are loved and you are special regardless of where your birthday falls on the calendar! Happy Birthday!

Valentine's Day cupcakes

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