Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until it is incorporated with no large lumps, small lumps are ok. Batter will be thick.
Pour the espresso, coffee or hot water into the batter. Mix in with a whisk until it is just completely mixed in and smooth - do not overmix.
Pour batter into muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Pour no more then ½-⅔ full in each liner to prevent spilling over when baking.
Bake for 16-18 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.Allow to cool in pan on a cooling rack until cooled to room temperature.
Puree the strawberries in a chopper, smoothie maker, food processor or you can use a potato masher to mash them if needed.
1½ cups sliced strawberries
Pour the puree, sugar, water and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Stir until combined.Using a whisk, stir in the cornstarch.
⅓ cup sugar, ¼ cup water, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Turn the burner onto medium and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes until it is starting to thicken.Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before filling cupcakes.
Whipped Strawberry Icing - use a hand or stand mixer
Puree (preferred) or mash the strawberries.
1 cup sliced strawberries
Cream the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in mixing bowl. Turn mixer on low until the powdered sugar is mixed enough to not make a mess, turn to medium high and mix until smooth - about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar
Add in the puree, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Mix on high for about 2-3 minutes, until it is thick enough to keep it's shape on a spoon. If it doesn't thicken enough, add either powdered sugar or more heavy cream (depends on how sweet you want it) 1-2 tablespoons at a time and continue mixing until it is thickened. It will be very soft but can pipe in a bag.Put in fridge until ready to use.
1 cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
After cupcakes cooled, fill them with the strawberry filling. Be sure filling is cooled to room temperature. There are 2 ways to do it:Either a dropper or squeeze bottle - squeeze filling directly into the center of the cupcakes by placing the tip of the bottle or dropper into the center of the cupcake. Add until it starts to come out up top. Do not use this method if using jam or you have a lot of strawberry chunks in your filling.Cutting a hole - cut deep hole in the center of the cupcake and spoon in filling. Place the cut piece back on top of the center.
Place icing in a piping bag with the tip of your choice and swirl the icing on top of the cupcakes. Can use a large plastic storage bag if needed with a small hole cut out of a corner to control the amount of icing coming out.
Nutritional values are estimated based on 12 cupcakes. This makes between 12-14 cupcakes and you can stretch it out to 16 if needed by filling the cups no more then half way.For the yogurt - You are using the yogurt in place of your fat. It needs to be whole milk Greek yogurt or you can substitute with sour cream, but do not use a low fat yogurt or low fat sour cream.For espresso and water - You are using it to make an instant espresso. Alternately you use hot strong coffee. The espresso or coffee adds a nice richness to the chocolate, but you can leave it out and use plain hot water if you prefer to leave out the caffeine.For the filling - You can use your favorite jam instead of making the filling or make it without cornstarch if you prefer. We prefer to cook our filling a minimum amount of time to keep the strawberries fresh tasting (why we add the cornstarch.) You can make it without cornstarch by leaving out the water and increasing the lemon juice to 1 and a half teaspoons. You would add the pureed (or mashed) strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-7 minutes stirring often. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.For the icing - It is a soft whipped strawberry icing. You can pipe it out onto cupcakes, but it is very soft. If you prefer buttercream, Sally has a great strawberry buttercream frosting.