Strawberry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

I have a pretty early memory of cupcakes. They were my birthday treat in kindergarten, store-bought, with little plastic Halloween picks. My birthday is in October and the choice in decoration was made for us. They weren’t scary, just cute ghosts, scarecrows and pumpkins. I gave a scarecrow cupcake to the boy I liked. Interesting what you remember, huh?

Fancy cupcakes have been “a thing” for a few years now and while I can appreciate the hard work put into them, I haven’t been inspired to jump on that bandwagon. Last summer, I saw these gorgeous cupcakes over at Ele’s blog and they have been in the back of my mind ever since. I was asked to bring a dessert to my foodie friend Nancy’s house and these popped into my head again.

You know how cream cheese frosting is the best? Well, mascarpone frosting is like that times 10. I loved these little beauties immensely. The cupcake itself is studded with pieces of soft strawberry flesh and when you allow the frosted cupcake to come up to room temperature, it is the perfect treat.

16 Notes Leave a Note

  1. Beautiful sweet little cupcakes. The mascarpone frosting sounds and look delicious. My mom was recently raving about a frosting she made with, I believe, cream cheese, mascarpone and creme fraiche, which is on my “to try” list.

    • Naomi – So nice to hear from you! I hope all is well 🙂 Your mom’s frosting sounds fantastic. I’d love to hear how it goes!

      Kimberley – What a sweet thing to say, thank you very much! You must try this frosting! The mascarpone gives it an unbelievable fresh cream taste.

  2. Oh my, Nicole! Mascarpone frosting sounds unbelievably good. And congrats on your Foodzie win! You totally deserved it – the palmiers were so creative and inspired. 🙂

  3. I’m not a big frosted cupcake or similar type frosted cake person (overload from five years working at a grocery store bakery), but these might sway me, if only momentarily. I do love the idea of using fresh berries and mascarpone. Perhaps a dash of lemon or orange zest added for some extra brightness. Did the boy like your cupcake??!

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

    • Heather – I’m sure your time in a grocery store bakery has heavily influenced your baked goods preferences! I think a touch of lemon or orange would be lovely. I can’t remember if the boy appreciated my scarecrow cupcake, ha. I’m sure he had no idea I gave him a special one 🙂

  4. I made these last night and they were gorgeous. I was uncertain if the ‘butter-chunk’ method was necessary or would be successful, but the result was really delicate but rich little cakes. Now I want to make a full size cake version, but I am not sure the strawberries would hold up to the longer backing time. Any thoughts on how to adapt for a birthday cake recipe?

    On a side note: I have worked with mascarpone frosting before and I can not emphasize enough how little you should work it. I have even taken to folding in the powdered sugar with a butter knife to avoid separation.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Rowan – I’m very glad you enjoyed these! As you mentioned, the end result is a tender and delicate cake which makes a full-sized cake challenging. I think your best option would be to use a 9″ round (or square) cake pan, fill almost half-way and bake until firm and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. I don’t think the crumb would allow this to be a good layer cake unless substituting in cake flour, however, this would compromise the delicate crumb we both love. I hope this is helpful. I’d love to hear how it goes!

  5. Found this recipe and I was super excited to try it. I am a little disappointed, because they turned out to be more like a muffin than a cupcake. I must have over worked the frosting as it tasted like plain butter. Not a bad attempt for a novice baker! I would say a fairly difficult recipe.

    • Jen – I’m sorry that these didn’t blow you away. I can see what you mean about the cupcakes being a bit muffin-like. They need a touch more sturdiness to hold up to the fruit in the batter. I don’t think you overworked the frosting, unless you had a problem with separation. I personally like my frostings on the less-sweet side and I wanted the richness of mascarpone and butter to be the star. These are not traditional cupcakes and I am sorry you were disappointed. Thanks for giving them a try!

  6. These cupcakes are awesome!! My friends and husband totally enjoyed them too…my husband who is not into strawberries. Now that’s saying a lot!

    • Hi Lori. Sorry if these weren’t what you were expecting. The cupcake in this recipe needs to be sturdy enough to hold the strawberry pieces and a delicate cupcake wouldn’t quite work.

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