If you are anything like me, you love this time of year because of the berries!  They are fresh, colorful and affordable.  I could eat my weight in strawberries; love the sweet, bright fruit!  I have seen so many blueberry, blackberry and strawberry recipes flying around the blog world lately and just have so many recipes that I want to try but they get eaten so quickly at my house that I can’t ever seem to get them into a dessert fast enough.

Enter: boxed cake mix.  I know it seems strange to use a packaged mix, especially while strawberries are so good.  But let me tell you, it works!  The cake mix doctored up a bit and is light and fluffy and I love the bright pink color that the mix produces!  I’m sure it would be wonderful with fresh berries in the mix but I would almost rather enjoy them myself.  It is super simple and totally worth the help from the store.  There is no pureeing the strawberries, no sifting, it pulls together in one bowl and is in the oven in minutes.  And if nothing else, it’s a quick go-to recipe for a last minute cookout, birthday or celebration.

Buttercream is so versatile too.  The almond compliments the strawberry so well.  This buttercream recipe frosts 24 cupcakes with the Wilton 1M tip shown.  …great for your Memorial Day cookout! 

PrintPrint Recipe

Strawberry Almond Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 (18.25 ounce box) Strawberry cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Buttercream:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsps. Almond extract
1 Tbs. milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine cake mix, eggs, buttermilk, oil and extracts in a mixing bowl, mix with a whisk attachment on high for 1 minute, until all clumps are broken up. Pour into tins or cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops spring back after being touched.

Allow cakes to cool on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the buttercream: using a paddle attachment beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on high until fluffy. Add powdered sugar in small batches, fully incorporating into the butter after each addition until the desired consistency is reached. Whip in the extract and milk. Add more powdered sugar to increase the thickness, more milk to thin it out.

Cupcake recipe slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven