These are probably John's favorite dessert. He requested these for his birthday "cake" and I was just as happy because the cupcakes can be made in advance and just topped with the raspberry cream before serving. These are very easy to make and are a great summer dessert.
Raspberry Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 1/3 cups water
3 large eggs whites
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line 18 muffin cups with muffin papers. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each cupcake, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a cooling rack.
Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 ½ containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream, vanilla and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.
Remove the muffin papers from the cupcakes and cut the tops off of each cupcake. Spoon the raspberry whipped cream atop the cupcake bottoms. Place the cupcake tops on the cupcakes. Dust with more powdered sugar and serve with the remaining berries.