10 ounce package frozen halved strawberries in syrup or one 16-ounce container sliced strawberries in sugar, thawed
package white cake mix (2-layer size)
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
cup butter, softened
cups powdered sugar
Red food coloring (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups; set aside. Drain packaged strawberries, reserving syrup. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the syrup for frosting. Add enough water to the remaining syrup to measure 3/4 cup total liquid. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, substituting the syrup-water mixture for the liquid called for on the package. Stir in the drained strawberries. (Batter will be thick.)
2.Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
3.Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
4.For frosting, allow cream cheese and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and the reserved syrup with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. If desired, beat in 1 or 2 drops red food coloring. Pipe or spread frosting over cooled cupcakes. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator. Before serving, top each cupcake with a whole strawberry. Makes 24 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.