April 21, 2010

Spring is in the air

Me and mom planted a garden a month or so ago, and the herbs and berries are starting to fragrance the whole yard. There is something about fresh herbs that makes me want to go gourmet. Up until a year ago herbs scared me a bit. I don't know if it was the insecurity of knowing when and where to use what, or the fact that I was afraid my palate would feel the use of herbs as foreign. Man was I wrong! It is amazing how far fresh herbs can take a dish. Our basil plant is growing like crazy, so last week I made a pasta filled with fresh veggies, and tossed with a homemade pesto. The pesto was out of this world! I love pesto, but I often times find it too pungent, and overpowering. I made mine with 1/2 basil, and 1/2 spinach leaves. Then cut the garlic in half, and I was more than pleasantly surprised with how delicious it turned out.
Anyways, pesto and herbs aside, spring is here which means I have baking fever...and when I get baking fever, I get it bad...As you can guess there is only one cure for this, and I am trying to take in in small batches, as there is not enough mouths to even partially consume all of the treats I want to whip up. So the other day I created a recipe (with the help of my sister), that is absolutely out of this world. I approached this recipe in a Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade kind of way because I was pressed for time, but I did not regret my shortcut. With the help of a boxed Lemon Supreme cake, I made a cupcake you will dream about. The cupcake was the perfect burst of lemon, and then to take it up a notch, it was filled with raspberry cheesecake, and then topped off with a homemade vanilla whipped cream. It sounds decadent, and it was, and nobody will know how ridiculously easy they are to make.

Raspberry Cheesecake-Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla spiked Whipped Cream
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 box Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
1 package of Lemon Instant Pudding Mix
2 (8 oz) packages of Cream Cheese, at room temp
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 Egg Whites
3 tbsp Seedless Raspberry Jam, at room temp
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
For the Vanilla spiked Whipped Cream
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp good quality Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp Powdered Sugar
Raspberries and Lemon zest for garnish

1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and position rack in lower third of oven. Mix Lemon cake according to package directions, and add in the package of dry pudding mix. Set aside, and make cheesecake filling.
2: To make filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, the 1 cup of powdered sugar, egg whites, lemon zest, and jam, until fully incorporated and no lumps occur in batter. Do not over-mix. Set aside and prepare muffin pan with cupcake liners.
3: Use an ice cream scooper, or rounded tablespoon and fill cupcake liners with 1 tbsp cake mix, 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp cheesecake mix, then finish with cake mix until cupcake liner is 3/4 full. Continue this process for all cupcakes.
4: Place cupcakes in the preheated oven for 25-27 minutes until slightly browned. Take out of oven and place on cooling rack until cool. While cupcakes cool, make vanilla whipped cream.
5: In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in powdered sugar, and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Place in a bowl, and place in fridge to chill while cupcakes cool. Once cupcakes are cooled, top with whipped cream, raspberries and lemon zest. Enjoy!


  1. Can't wait to attempt these Miss! Sounds like they are just as good to eat as they are beautiful! I am so glad you're blogging--really look forward to all that you plan to share.

  2. Sounds absolutely amazing! So glad that you decided to blog your journey! thanks for sharing....

  3. looks yummy! i bet they are delicious too, i'll have to try them!

  4. Missy, i made these for our Ladies Spring at our Church, we fed 62 ladies and well lets just say it was a great hit!!!! more than half of the ladies requested the recipe!!!! Thanks again, what a refreshing delight. I created my own from this idea using chocolate cake & making a peanut butter cheese cake filling! wow they were delightful as well. thanks so much for sharing!!!