Blake Lovelace with LISD culinary arts instructor Vicki Tramel
Longview High School junior Blake Lovelace has won some baking competitions here in the East Texas region, competing against other high school culinary arts students. He's the East Texas region's cupcake baking champion, and will move on to the Statewide Cupcake Competition in May.
Though he can't yet share the recipe he created for that competition, he gladly shared this delicious recipe for strawberry cupcakes with lemonade-cream cheese icing. He made the batter from scratch, but suggests using a box of cake mix at home for a quick recipe.
Strawberry Cupcakes with lemon-cream cheese frosting
By Blake Lovelace
1 White cake recipe, or one box white cake mix, such as Betty Crocker
1 3 oz. package of strawberry jello
1 cup mashed fresh strawberries (1-1/2 whole berries yields 1 cup mashed)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and jello mix. Make a well in the center and pour in the mashed strawberries, oil, milk and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended.
Scrape bowl and beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans or cupcake liners in pans.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cupcakes are done. Do the ol' toothpick test to ensure they're ready. Place on cooking rack until completely cool to the touch.
For lemonade cream cheese frosting:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 drop yellow food coloring
1 tablespoon milk, if needed
Cream together shortening, butter, and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and combine. Sift together powdered sugar and salt and slowly add to creamed mixture. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and coloring, and mix well. If the frosting is too stiff, add milk.
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