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I made these a few weeks ago for a gathering with my girlfriends.  Now, you may think that making a filled cupcake is complicated or too fancy for you to pull off.  I’m here to tell you, it’s actually quite easy – no fancy pants required! 

Especially when these cupcakes start with a boxed cake mix.  This recipe simply boosts that box mix with some really good vanilla and almond extract…and the raspberry filling of course (which is just store-bought raspberry preserves).  Top it with a cream cheese frosting and you’ve got something that looks and tastes fancy (without the added hassle of finding a pair of fancy pants).

I’ve been making this recipe for years as a full-size cake.  I believe the original inspiration was a Williams-Sonoma recipe.  However, it had you making the white cake from scratch.  Having just picked up a copy of The Cake Mix Doctor, I realized I could simply use a box mix as my base to save time and simply add all the other ingredients to it. 

This recipe won me the Thanksgiving bake-off at work a few years ago.  It’s been made for plenty of wedding and baby showers, too.  I think it makes a great holiday dessert with the red raspberry preserves…I was pretty lame with how I decorated these (ahem, there is no decoration) so you could really dress these up for the season if you’re into that.

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes (Print Recipe)

  • 1 box white cake mix (which will call for eggs and oil)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ¾ c. raspberry preserves
  • Fresh raspberries (optional)
  • Toasted slivered almonds (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, make the cake according to the directions on the box.  Beat in the vanilla and almond extract.  Divide the batter amongst your muffin cups.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (or according to the cupcake directions on the back of the box) until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool.

Fill a pastry bag (fitted with a small tip) with the raspberry preserves.  Note:  you can buy a pastry bag and tips for super cheap at most major grocery stores in the baking supplies or kitchen gadget aisle.

Insert the tip of the bag into the top of each cupcake and squeeze to fill.  You may need to wipe some of the excess preserves off the top of each cupcake before frosting. 

Make the frosting:  combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl.  Beat until smooth (I use an electric mixer).  Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla and almond extract and stir until blended.

Frost your cupcakes and top with fresh raspberries or toasted almonds (optional).