I was so pleased with how these turned out and darned proud to serve them too. Everything about them was right. At first glance, they're pretty and inviting, just tempting you to pick one up and take a bite. The top of the cupcake has a slight crispiness to it, similar to a pound cake. The cake is moist and full of fresh flavor, tho' I did my best to ensure that by eliminating the lemon zest and adding 1/2 tsp. of strawberry extract. I did use the pudding mix and I swear it makes a difference in terms of moistness (and it's a much cheaper alternative to the cake enhancer King Arthur Flour sells). I did alter the frosting as I wanted something sweeter and not quite as tangy as I knew only 1/2 cup of powdered sugar would make this. I also wanted more of it. So - I used a full package of cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. strawberry extract and a tablespoon or two of pureed strawberries which gave it a delicate strawberry flavor and a pretty pink blush. Rather than garnishing with sliced strawberries I used whole strawberries so they wouldn't bleed into the frosting. Simply loved 'em - nothing about these not to like, particularly with the modifications I made for extra strawberry flavor.
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I was so pleased with how these turned out and darned proud to serve them too. Everything...