Gluten Free Cupcakes: Strawberry Cream

Let’s celebrate the first day of spring with these cute gluten free cupcakes.
***I know, it may not seem like spring yet where you are, we even had a cold storm move in the last two days and it’s raining (I live in the know DRY) and in the northern part of the state they got snow. 
Even if doesn’t “feel” like spring, these gluten free cupcakes will cheer you right up.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

1 box yellow gluten free cupcake mix (it’s just cake mix that we turn into cupcakes, I know you know)
8 oz. container of sour cream
1/3 cup oil, your choice
1/3 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract
3 Tbs. gluten free strawberry preserves (I used Knott’s berry farm brand ..really good)
3 oz. cream cheese cut into 24 cubes
1 can of gluten free frosting (I used Betty Crocker cream cheese kind)
Fresh strawberry slices to decorate the tops
Now, before you get started, if you don’t want 24 cupcakes like this recipe makes, divide everything in half. Dump the cake mix in a measuring bowl and take out half and put it in a zip type bag. Stick it back in the cake mix box and write on the box “Half of a cake mix” so you remember next time.
Then just reduce all the ingredients by half. The other thing you can do is go ahead and make the whole box, just make half the cupcakes into Strawberry Cream Cheese ones and make the other half plain.
These really don’t freeze well and should be eaten with 2 to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers in 24 muffin tins and set aside.
Grab a large bowl and pour in your cake mix. Get your hand held electric mixer out and beat the sour cream into the cake mix. Beat in the eggs and then mix in the oil, water and vanilla extract.
Divide the batter between the cupcake papers. Place 1 cube of cream cheese in the center of the cupcake batter and push in slightly.
gluten free cupcakes
Then top the cream cheese cube with a ¼ tsp. of strawberry preserves.
gluten free cupcakes
Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until the tops spring back when you push it with your finger. You can use a toothpick to check but you will need to aim carefully and miss the cream cheese cube in the center.
Remove from the oven, cool in the pans for 5 minutes, take out and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread with the frosting. When you are ready to serve, top with strawberry slices.
You can store these in the frig frosted without strawberry slices for up to 2 days. They really do taste better fresh. 
These would make a lovely bridal shower dessert or to serve with tea for Mother’s Day.
You can also make these into Raspberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes by using raspberry preserves and topping with three fresh raspberries.
P.s. Remember, if you use dark colored pans, reduce the oven temp by 25 degrees. They absorb more heat than shiny ones and will brown your cupcakes faster.

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