Monday, April 22, 2013

strawberry mascarpone dream filled cupcakes




Feeling like I'm visiting a farmer's market as I enter my grocery store these days, mounds of containers full of beautiful, succulent, red strawberries from California greet me.  I pick up several containers looking for the reddest, sweetest berries.  The grocery store fruit/produce stocker never gets mad that I'm disrupting his beautiful display, in fact, usually helps me, pointing out "here's a good one!"  He's aware of A Cup of Mascarpone, and is always eager to assist.  Love his customer service!

Now for the exciting news that will include strawberries, and my favorite disposable bakeware!  Welcome Home brands contacted me recently, asking if I would like to work with them on a giveaway of their fabulous, free standing, paper bakeware products...did they even have to ask?!!!  I love these things!  Beautifully decorated bake and serve pieces, no pre-greasing or pans to clean up, oven safe to 400 degrees, and a delightful way to gift your baked goods!  I can't tell you how many of my Starbucks Copycat Gingerbread Loaves I gave as gifts last Christmas...all so lovingly baked and received!

Brainstorming what to create, my thoughts went directly to strawberries.  Readily available from now through early summer, I thought they would be the perfect lovely ingredient to use in a recipe.  Ironically, after perusing and testing many recipes to select the best one ever for my very first giveaway, the recipe I eagerly decided on uses frozen strawberries.  So, you can buy fresh strawberries and freeze them first, or use already frozen whole strawberries...your choice.






A Strawberry Dream Cake recipe from the June/July 2011 issue of Cook's Country Magazine was what I decided on.  You can never go wrong Christopher Kimball!  Instead of making the two layer cake, I baked up scrumptious cupcakes utilizing the beautiful, pink and ecru designed cupcake baking cups from Welcome Home brands.  I adore their accordion style pull apart cups, that don't leave the normal indentations in the cake, visible from regular baking cups!  Plus, the paper decor doesn't disappear in the baking process!

The strawberry dream cupcakes may literally be the moistest, lightest, wonderful strawberry flavored cupcakes I have ever tasted!  A tender crumb, undoubtedly from using cake flour over all-purpose flour, with no artificial colors or flavors, I can't express enough how scrumptious they are.  I have to admit, you can actually view their deliciousness by looking in to the center of the cupcake in my photos!

Also changing things up a bit, I created my own strawberry mascarpone frosting which is absolutely divine, in place of Cook's Country cream cheese frosting.  My frosting turned out so incredibly decadent, with the whipped strawberry essence, butter, and creamy mascarpone, it required more than just frosting the dream cupcakes alone.  That's how the filling came about!






In addition to my Strawberry Mascarpone Dream Filled Cupcakes, A Cup of Mascarpone has three previous posts using the fantastic oven safe paper bakeware from Welcome Home brands. If you've missed them, click the post name below the following photos and it will take you directly to the recipes.  ...and, you will be able to create any of these recipes using the paper bakeware in either of the two giveaways!





I would love to hear from you if you create the glorious strawberry mascarpone filled dream cupcakes!  Enjoy the following 2 giveaways from Welcome Home brands and A cup of Mascarpone, as much as I have enjoyed presenting them to you!

Until next time...mangia! xox

Carol



GIVEAWAY #1 and #2 DETAILS (2 ways to win! - enter both giveaways):
Open to the US only.  Giveaway ends on Monday, April 29th, at 12:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Giveaway #1 - first photo below:
Enter through Rafflecopter below.
Randomly selected winner will receive 1 pkg. of 6 loaf baking pans from the Festive Collection, 1 pkg. of 12 baking cups from the Blossom Collection, and 1 pkg. of 12 mini loaf baking pans from the Fine Check Collection.  Winner will receive an email.  If no response is received in 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

Giveaway #2 - second photo below:
Enter by becoming a follower of A Cup of Mascarpone's blog (join this site with google friend connect - top right section of blog), and leave a comment below with your follower name (current followers just indicate your current follower name).
Randomly selected winner will receive 4 pkgs. of 12 mini loaf pans, 1 pkg. of 12 baking cups, and 1 pkg. of 30 baking cups, colors and designs as shown in photo.  This will come directly from A Cup of Mascarpone, and winner will be announced on my next blog post, and also on my Facebook page.  If no response is received within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

Top photo:  Giveaway #1 - entering with Rafflecopter (giveaway from Welcome Home brands)
Bottom photo:  Giveaway #2 - enter by becoming a follower of A Cup of Mascarpone's blog, and leave a comment below with your user name.  (giveaway from A Cup of Mascarpone)
Disclosure:  This giveaway is sponsored by Welcome Home brands.  All opinions expressed are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Strawberry Mascarpone Dream Filled Cupcakes
Yield:  11 cupcakes (with Welcome Home Brand Stand Alone Cupcake Papers)

Ingredients:

for the cupcakes:
10 ounces frozen whole strawberries (2 cups)
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (see Carol's notes below on how to make your own)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened (1 1/2 sticks)

for the strawberry mascarpone buttercream filling and frosting:
reserved strawberry solids from cupcakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese (drained of any liquid in container)
2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar (a little extra, if needed, for frosting to reach a good consistency)

for the garnish:
11 tops from whole fresh strawberries

Create the Strawberry Mascarpone Dream Filled Cupcakes:

create the cupcakes:
1.  Place oven rack in middle position and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place 11 Welcome Home Brands Stand Alone Cupcake Liners on a large rimmed cookie sheet, set aside.

2.  Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Place in fine-mesh strainer set over a small saucepan.  Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least 3/4 cup); reserve the strawberry solids for the filling/frosting.  Bring juice to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup.  This will take approximately 6 - 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk milk into juice until combined.

3.  Whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl.  Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined.  Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute.  Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Give batter a final stir by hand with a rubber spatula.

4.  Divide equal amounts of batter into each cupcake paper and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.  Cool cupcakes on pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan to wire rack, and cool completely, at least 2 hours.  The cooled cupcakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  I prefer keeping mine in the fridge, since they become easier to core out centers and frost.

create the filling/frosting:
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix butter and sugar on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add mascarpone, and beat until combined, about 1 minute.  Add reserved strawberry solids and pinch of salt and mix on low until combined, about 30 seconds.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until ready to use, up to 2 days.

fill, frost, and garnish the cupcakes:
1.  Remove the top 1/4, with greens and stems, of each fresh strawberry and set on paper towels to dry.  This is done so the strawberries won't leak juice on the frosting.  Set aside.

2.  Using a cupcake corer/or apple corer, gently press and remove the center of the cupcake, push out the round from the corer, and repeat with each cupcake.  It's perfectly ok to eat the rounds as you continue. ;)

3.  Fill a disposable pastry bag with about 1/3 of the frosting and pipe in each hollowed out cupcake center.  It's fine if it comes out the cored center, since you will be frosting the top in the next step.

4.  Frost each cupcake with a small bent icing knife, or desired frosting utensil.  Set a strawberry top on each cupcake for garnish.  Serve.  You can also refrigerate cupcakes for 2 days, and serve chilled or at room temperature.  I prefer this delicious strawberry cupcake chilled.

Carol's notes:

If you don't have cake flour, or don't want to buy a whole bag of it, here is how to make your own, (which is what I always do):  for each 1 level cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of the flour, and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.  For the 1/4 cup flour, remove 1 1/2 teaspoons flour, and add 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch.  Put the 2 1/4 cups cake flour you have just made in a bowl and whisk to mix together.  The primary difference in cake flour and all-purpose flour is the protein content.  Cake flour is about 8% protein, where AP flour is about 10-11%.  PLEASE use cake flour, and not AP flour for this recipe, for the excellent results it provides.

If you prefer, you can make approximately 12-14 regular cupcakes, or 2 cake layers.  If so, prepare a regular size cupcake pan with paper liners, or 2 - 9" cake pans, and follow directions above adjusting cooking times as needed. The frosting recipe will be enough to frost the additional cupcakes, or the two layer cake.

Cupcakes adapted from a cake recipe from Cook's Country Magazine (June/July 2011 issue).
Filling/Frosting is a cup of mascarpone's own creation.





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110 comments:

  1. I love these wrappers! I went out and bought some after your chocolate muffin post. I especially love these pink ones. Regular muffin papers just seem to disappear after they're baked, I like that these keep their color and crispness. Great giveaway!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sue! You're spot on about the muffin papers. I'm so happy you like it the giveaway!

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  2. I am soo in love with these wrappers, and even possibly more in love with these cupcakes. They just look so darling and perfect!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jocelyn! I have to admit, they were probably the most delicious cupcake I have ever eaten!

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  3. Just gorgeous! All I'm going to think about are these cupcakes until I make them myself! And thanks for the awesome giveaway - I'd honestly make these cupcakes in those wrappers!

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    1. Hi Chung-Ah! Thanks so much for stopping by, and your sweet comment!

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  4. Love everything about these cupcakes!!! from the flavor, to the filling, to those adorable wrappers!!!

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    1. Good morning, Mr. & Mrs. P! Thank you for your kind words!

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  5. These cupcakes look dreamy, I love the name! Such a great giveaway, I'd make cupcakes or mini blueberry loaves :).

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    1. Thanks, Laura! They truly are dreamy...the kind you savor every bite! So happy you like the giveaway...I wound up using Rafflecopter even though I was apprehensive something would go wrong on my first giveaway! :)

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  6. These cupcakes look SO beautiful!!!!! I absolutely love the shot where we can see the inside. This excited me about having a strawberry season!

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    1. Good morning, Nami! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! That is my favorite photo too!. I thought it truly showed how delicious the cupcake was!

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  7. These cupcakes look so yummy! I can't wait to make them!

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  8. Gorgeous cupcakes, Carol! (I'd probably follow suit and make cupcakes with Welcome Home Brands too.)

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  9. WOW Carol - these look amazing! (Gorgeous photography too!)

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    1. Thanks so much, Martha! Thanks for stopping by too!!!

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  10. These look so yumm! And you take such wonderful photographs!

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  11. I am so excited for strawberry season! These cupcakes look simply amazing and just wish I had one right now to nosh on. Smile.

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    1. You and me both, Lisa! I have literally been buying a two pound container every other day! They seem to be absolutely delicious this year! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. i feel like there's no need to tell you how incredible these look! strawberries? and marscapone? together in a cupcake? plus i LOVE the liners! so so much! great giveaway!

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    1. Marissa, you are so sweet! Thank you for the kind words!

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  13. I am going to attempt to run an extra mile during my morning run just so I can eat more than 1 of these when I make them! They look unbelievable :)

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    1. Your comment has me smiling, Tracy! I have to do the exact same thing! :)

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  14. they truly are DREAM FILLED! They look like little floating cakes from heaven...seriously, so light and airy and just perfect, Carol!

    Pinned!

    Nice giveaway...and I would make these cupcakes!

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    1. Oh Averie! What a lovely way to describe them...thank you so much!!! So happy you like the giveaway, too!

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  15. I'd be making cupcakes for sure! I have a feeling they'd have to be chocolate :)

    PS...I am already a GFC follower (Liz Berg)

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    1. I had a feeling your cupcakes would be chocolate! ;) Thanks, Liz! ...and thank you also, for being a follower, I so appreciate it!

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  16. I've been patiently waiting for you to post these cupcakes & it was worth the wait! They're beautiful!! All the liners are so pretty! I think I'd make these cupcakes with them! Thanks for the great giveaway, Carol!

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    1. What a sweet comment, Meghan! Thank you so very much!!!

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  17. So beautiful! I'll definitely be making these this summer during strawberry season <3

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    1. So happy you like them, Rebecca...thanks so much for your kind words, and for stopping by!!!

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  18. Oh, and I follow your blog now, yay!

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  19. These cupcakes are just darling! And omg, they look so seductive with all that mascarpone buttercream oozing out. I'm totally in awe of these, friend!

    Also, I think I'd be baking these cupcakes if I won ;)

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    1. I love your description of the cupcakes, Ashley! Thank you so much for your kind words, and for stopping by! So appreciated!

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  20. I just made mascarpone stuffed strawberries and I love the flavors together...I KNOW I would absolutely love these.

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    1. Thanks so much, Val! Oh, I hope that will be an upcoming post of yours, Val! I've been wanting to make them...can't wait!

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  21. Beautiful cupcakes, I am collecting recipes with strawberries, very soon we will have a lot of them here. Very inviting for a cup of tea-))

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    1. Perfect with a cup of tea, Yelena! The photos almost had a tea party feeling...I used my hand-crocheted handkerchieves from my Great Grandmother she made me long ago.

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  22. This is sin on a plate, as always simply beautiful.
    Sophia

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    1. Smiling, Sophia! You are so right, they are sinful! :)

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  23. Beautiful cupcakes Carol! I love anything with strawberries. My youngest daughter adores cakes with strawberries so I will make her these. I also love the pretty liners.

    Nazneen

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    1. Good morning, Nazneen! Thanks so much! This cake is absolutely wonderful, no artificial colors either...I hope you try it for her!

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  24. Beautiful cupcakes !
    I really like this give-away !

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    1. Thank you very much!!! So happy you like the giveaway!

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  25. I want to make some banana muffins! Great giveaway!

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    1. Sounds like a delicious choice, Jackie! Thanks so much!

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  26. Carol, wowsers! These cupcakes DO look dreamy - they're so incredibly soft, fluffy and moist looking! That strawberry mascarpone filling is to die for. I love these adorable liners too. If I won, I'd want to make this recipe. The cupcake and the liner are the perfect match!

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    1. LOL, Thanks Nancy!!! Best cupcake ever to make, if you're the winner! Good Luck, and thanks so much for coming by for the giveaway!

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  27. Fantastic, I love your place, I would have to bake cookies if I was a winner :)

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    1. Good evening, Gerry! Thanks so much for stopping by, and your kind comment!! You can never go wrong with cookies! :)

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  28. Carol, These photographs are beautiful!! If I won I would make some muffins!!!

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    1. You're so sweet, Sarah! Thank you so much! Muffins are my favorite too!!!

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  29. First of all, your photos are gorgeous!! That first on has me wanting to reach out and have a plate of my own, beautiful styling.
    Second, I'm loving the strawberries too! And how lucky am I to have a field of luscious, red California berries just down the road? (Darn lucky!) And third... LOVE the paper bakeware! I've always been envious of a neighbor who seems to find the most adorable cupcake wrappers, etc, and now I have a new source. I will have to make something to make her envious!

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    1. Kim, thank you for you kind words...you're always so sweet! AND, you are soooo lucky to have a field of strawberries close to you. I'm so envious of all you wonderful bloggers in CA with so many fresh resources. Thank goodness you share them with us on the east coast! It's funny what makes a fruit better over a previous year - rain, sun, temperatures? Whatever, they're great! Thanks for stopping by, and also, I just saw you shared my cupcakes on your FB page...thank you so much!!! xox

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  30. I love berry season and can't wait for Virginia strawberries to be available. Somehow lately i didn't have much luck finding good strawberries at my local Wegmans.
    The cupcakes sound so good Carol! and those pink paper liner ADORABLE!!!

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    1. I'm sorry you haven't had luck with the strawberries at your Wegmans, Roxana! The strawberries at the Wegmans here in Gainesville have been fabulous...you'll have to come to my Wegmans! :) In fact, just got home from buying more...I'm going to turn into a strawberry! Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

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  31. I've been perfecting this marvelous almond and cranberry muffin/cake stuff. I would make some to give away.

    I am Margot Core on the Rafflecopter

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    1. So happy you like my Cranberry Almond Streusel Coffee Cake! It's such a delicious recipe! It would make the perfect recipe to put in the mini bread pans! Love the idea, Margot!!!

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  32. I follow you on GFC as 'Marguerite'

    I am Margot Core on the Rafflecopter

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    1. Thanks so much for becoming a follower, Margot! So happy to have you!!!

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  33. I'd love to use those wrappers to make my Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins look as special as they taste so I'd be able to give them as a "special thinking of you" gift.

    Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

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    1. What a lovely gift they would be, Robin!! How very special! Thank you for sharing, and stopping by to join in the giveaway!

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  34. New follower ... looking forward to reading your lovely blog and being inspired in my kitchen.

    Robin @ happilyhomeafter
    (happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com)

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    1. I'm honored to have you as my newest follower, Robin! Thank you very much!!!

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  35. Those cupcakes look soooo pretty!!! They would have been my dream birthday cupcakes when I was a little girl (and obsessed with strawberries and pink ;) Beautiful post Carol :)
    xox

    Amy @ swissmissinthekitchen

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  36. I would try out your cupcakes, of course! This is an awesome baker's giveaway. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks so much, T!! Your name makes me smile. My grandson called his Nanny Katie, T, because he couldn't talk well yet. As he got older, the name stuck with her! :)

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  37. Those smooth sides after you open the liners are gorgeous Carol, and I can just imagine how good strawberries are with mascarpone! Beautiful cupcakes for this time of year.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Paula! I'm so happy to read you're doing better on your latest post! Have a great weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by!

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  38. hi! I don't know whether you agree with me or not putting strawberry on top of cupcakes or other desserts will always somehow make them more adorable.So combine with those great wrapping you have makes them more than adorable...

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    1. I totally agree with you, thank you! This was the first time I just cut off the top to use, and thought it wound up being the perfect touch...suited the cupcakes very well! Thanks for your sweet comment!

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  39. Oh...Your strawberry mascarpone dream filled cupcakes are so dreamy and beautiful. I love the soft and smooth cream inside. And of course, that bright red strawberries. I agree with you, I love walking into the market so much lately seeing all those strawberries. I can't wait to try out your cupcakes.

    I'm your follower now (amy tong). Thank you for hosting the giveaway. These paper cake pans are beautiful.

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Amy! Isn't it the greatest walking in now? I made a huge fruit salad yesterday from all those piled high fruits, I could literally just live on that alone. Thank you also for following a cup of mascarpone. I am so honored to have you!!!

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  40. These baking products are gorgeous. I would use them to try out your strawberry mascarpone dream filled cupcakes recipe. I also have a Meyer Lemon loaf cake recipe that everyone loves and these products are perfect to bake and gift! :)

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    1. Amy, a meyer lemon loaf cake in the mini bread pans sounds wonderful! That would be my choice! Thanks so much!

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  41. These cupcakes look like a dream, Carol and I bet they taste amazing with the buttercream filling! I am hosting a bridal shower soon and want to make these for dessert! I have no doubt that they will wow the guests (provided that I can make them as well as you)!

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    1. Happy Friday, Lisa! Thank you so much for your kind words. First of all, they will come out more beautiful if you make them! I've seen your work!!! With all sincerity, this strawberry cake and buttercream is phenomenal! It would be PERFECT for a bridal shower! It takes a little longer than normal...but SO worth it! Have a great weekend, Lisa!

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  42. Carol, when I saw these I was in love, they look beautiful and delicious. The cupcake liners are so lovely too. Wonderful job on your cupcakes and nice giveaway too, I'd love to win :). Have a nice weekend.

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    1. Hi Suzanne! Thank you so much for your kind words! It's an exciting giveaway for my first one...a bit nervous, but everything seems to be going very smoothly...knock on wood! You have a nice weekend, too!

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  43. The liners are so so cute! Most importantly, I can't stop drooling over those dreamy strawberry cakes :D

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  44. Cupcakes look delish!

    I am entering giveaway #2 and signed up as Jenn Bick!

    Thank you!

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    1. Jenn, thank you so very much! Honored to have you following a cup of mascarpone!!!

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  45. Giveaway #1... What would I bake? Cupcakes and muffins and breads... A lot of cupcakes!

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    1. Sounds perfect! Thanks so much for entering the Welcome Home brands giveaway, Jenn!

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  46. I have a troublesome weakness for buttercream and these photos don't help one bit! If I won, I would not be able to bake in public!! :-)
    Thanks for the opportunity (and the recipes!)
    ***
    I'm a new follower and found you via Averie Cooks.

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    1. Happy Saturday, Sharon! I'm so happy you found me through Averie's spectacular blog! I'm so honored to have you come by, and become a follower! Thank you for your kind words, and for entering the contest! Enjoy the weekend!!!

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  47. Hi Carol! I'm glad I found your blog :-) These cupcakes do look heavenly. I have loved seeing the strawberries at the market, and I know I'll be making a batch of these soon. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and kind words, Monet! I'm so happy you found me too, it is such a pleasure seeing you stop by! Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

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  48. Carol, your cupcakes are beyond gorgeous!!! Dreamy, indeed.

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    1. Morning, Kate! Thanks so much! Have a wonderful week!!!

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  49. WOW these are gorgeous!!
    thanks for visiting my blog!

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    1. Thanks, Katherine! My pleasure, loved that chicken!!!

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  50. Carol, love, love, love those papers, I am a cupcake paper junkie! I haven't seen these lovely papers but will have to keep my eye out for them. Your cupcake looks and sounds amazing! Beautiful photos, so enticing!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Chris! You're too sweet! PS: Your pink lemonade cupcakes were gorgeous, speaking about cupcake papers!!!

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  51. I am not usually a cupcake person but these are irresistible! It must have been such fun researching this recipe(and trying out the competitors). :) I love the combination of mascarpone and strawberries. Thanks for a perfect spring time recipe. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Wendy! I think these cupcakes could change your mind! The combination is wonderful...mascarpone and strawberries were made for one another!!! :)

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  52. Carol, The combination of strawberries and sweet mascarpone cheese is just amazing! I've never thought of combining the two in cupcakes. What a great idea!!!!! Happy Mother's Day!
    xo
    Roz

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Roz! So happy to see you stop by!

      The combo was delicious! I've created four different mascarpone frostings now on my blog, and although I love them all, this is my second favorite to the chocolate. Thank you for the Mother's Day wishes...same to you! xox

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  53. Hi, any idea where can I buy the welcome home brand? The page doesn't lead me to anything shop related... Thanks!

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    1. Hi Susana, Welcome Home Brands Facebook page lists availability as follows: products available online at Amazon.com, and select styles are available at The Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sur La Table, Michael's and local grocery stores.

      I have also found them at Home Goods and Wegmans Grocery Store.

      Hope this helps!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol