Friday, October 11, 2013

Brandi's 1,000,000 Calorie Strawberry Cupcakes...Darn these are good!

We have a theme going on at my school on Fridays and a little guilting along the way!  Our principal loves chips with nacho cheese and beef as a treat for lunch on this last day of the school week.  The rest of us after today, also totally caloried out on Brandi's rendition of Paula Deen's Strawberry Cupcakes!  Oh least a million calories for one, but on a Friday in a middle school calories don't count at all.  We've all earned it and my sugar level hasn't been this high since Christmas! 

As an Academic Coordinator, I love getting to work with teachers and especially new teachers.  Brandi is in her second year and first at my school as a fifth grade teacher and doing a marvelous job!  She and our other teachers get me excited about education all the time.  I feel, in some ways like I get to see my daughters who live off every day by watching these young ladies take on their first years of teaching.  It's fun and humbling at the same time.  I hope they know how much faith and gratitude we have in them for trying new things and being as passionate about education as they are!

These cupcakes were definitely a hit and since Brandi was 'guilted' by our principal into making them....she will next time be guilted as well by the rest of the staff, because they were just not good...but darn good! 

Thanks Brandi...keep making and bringing those cupcakes!  We also thank your husband for not keeping them at home!  ;o)

You can find the original recipe at

Brandi's Strawberry Cupcakes via Paula Deen

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water


Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners’ sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.
***A Ranch Kitchen note on cake pans.  For years I have had a hard time finding 8 inch cake pans.  My original set I got when at my wedding shower have long been rusted out.  I do use 9 inch pans, but prefer the 8 inch because the cakes are more compact and do not look as spread out.  Call me picky...but I am a cake pan collector.  So recently I found the perfect cake pans at Williams and Sonoma in their store, but you can easily find them on their site at
Call it my 'hint' of the day.  You'll like this one - promise!  As my mom would warn you and I've learned from trial and error...ALWAYS place your pans in 250 degree oven after you wash them to totally dry them out from the heat.  If not and you allow water to stand in them they will rust before long and no one wants to cook a cake on rusty pans.
Get cooking!
Alise and Brandi @ The Ranch Kitchen!

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