Ingredients
Serves: 12 

  • 8 large fresh strawberries or as needed
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder (optional)
  • 1 drop red food colouring (optional)
  • Cream cheese icing
  • 175g cream cheese, softened
  • 30g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large fresh strawberries, sliced

Method
Prep:40min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:10min cooling  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease 12 holes of a cupcake tin with oil or line with cupcake cases.
  2. Place 8 strawberries into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the puree through a sieve to remove seeds. Puree should equal about 175ml. Set the puree aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, caster sugar, vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, lemon zest and strawberry puree until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla dessert mix and red food colouring to reach a desired shade of pink. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cupcake tin, filling each about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cupcakes have risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool at least 10 minutes before icing.
  5. To make cream cheese icing, beat cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and mix in icing sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to make a lump-free icing. Ice each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons of icing and top each cupcake with a strawberry slice.