Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
June 18, 2018 by Nicole Collins
Sugar free doesn’t have to equal flavor free.
I feel like sugar free foods can get a bad rep sometimes. They get accused of not tasting very good or having a funny aftertaste. And, just like everything else in this world these days, the artificial sweeteners are going to kill us all some day.
As if we were going to live forever if we didn’t eat all the bad things…
I am very blessed to not have any food intolerances. Accept for my extreme hatred of anything orange, I don’t have any food restrictions. There are not any foods out there that would betray me and hinder my health. And, I thank my lucky stars for that every day.
But, that’s not the case for all of the loved ones in my life.
At first, I wasn’t planning on sharing this recipe. I thought it was a little too simple. But then, I thought about it. And, I think there’s a need for it. This recipe was inspired by a couple of diabetics in my life. And, they like dessert too. So, here we go today.
The first time I made these was for the bestie’s gender revel party a couple of months ago. With both of her kids, things got a little scary thanks to that rude ol’ Mr. Diabetes. So, I wanted her to be able to have a sweet bite without putting everyone in complete danger.
The second time I made these was for a former employee’s retirement party. I’ve been trying to get creative for years making her sugar free or natural desserts, but I could never figure out how to make a sugar free cupcake icing. ‘Til now…
So today, we’re making Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes!
As I tend to do with my cupcake recipes, we’re using help from the grocery store on this recipe. This time, we’re not doctoring up the boxed cake mix, at all. We’re just going to leave it as is. But, once we strawberry shortcake-ify it, you’ll never even remember we used a store bought sugar free cake mix.
Once we bake the cupcakes according to package directions and let them cool down, we’ve got to get them ready to stuff with some sweetened strawberries. So, we carefully carve out little pockets in each cupcake with a small knife so that we can have somewhere to store our strawberries.
For the strawberries, we dice them in to small pieces so that we can fit them in our cupcake wells, and we sweeten them with a little agave syrup. We don’t need much agave, because that stuff is sweet! But, it helps to macerate the strawberries which gets them to release their juices while taking the tart bite out of them.
For our frosting, we’re making a vanilla whipped cream. Generally, you’d use powdered sugar to help stabilize and sweeten whipped cream. However, we’re going to use some sugar free vanilla pudding mix to play the same role that powdered sugar would play. It makes a nice, firm in texture, light in flavor whipped frosting to pipe on top of our strawberry stuffed cupcakes. Talk about yummy!
These cupcakes are perfectly sweet without the weird aftertaste, but they’re also so light and fresh thanks to the sweet fruit and the airy whipped cream. The sugar lovers that ate these didn’t even know they were sugar free!
Though, I wouldn’t recommend someone with sugar restrictions eating a whole pan of these cupcakes, you definitely wouldn’t have to feel guilty eating one here and there. So, Sultan and Ms. Mary, this one’s for you!
Enjoy, and let’s eat!
Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
Serves: 24 cupcakes Print
1 box sugar free yellow cake mix + water, oil, and eggs required (I use Pillsbury brand)
1 cup diced strawberries
½ tsp agave syrup
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 box (1 oz) sugar free vanilla instant pudding mix (I use Jello brand)
Bake cupcakes according to package directions. Set aside to cool completely. Using a sharp knife (I used a steak knife), carve a circle in the center of each cupcake to create a well for the strawberries, being careful not to cut all the way to the bottom.
In a small bowl, combine strawberries and agave. Stir to coat, and let the strawberries sit for 15-20 mins. After the strawberries have macerated, use a teaspoon to fill the center of each cupcake with strawberries.
Pour heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat cream on medium high until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes. Add pudding mix, and beat until stiff peaks form, about another minute. Fill a piping bag with whipped cream, and decorate your cupcakes, as desired. I used a Wilton 1M star tip. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
*I put my whisk attachment in the freezer for about 15 mins before whipping cream to help it whip faster.
*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can beat the cream with a hand mixer. It will just take a little longer to whip.
*Soft peaks means the cream doesn't stand up firm and straight when you remove the whisk. It'll fold over itself. When you have stiff peaks, it'll stand up straight on its own when you remove the whisk.
*Make sure your strawberries are diced small so they can fit inside of the cupcakes.
*If you cut too far down in to the cupcakes, it's ok! Just take a little piece of the cake top that you cut off and press it down in to the hole to fill it. It's like it never happened!