1 box white cake mix
1 box strawberry jello (4 servings size)
⅔ cup oil
⅔ cup milk
1 pound fresh strawberries or 1 cup freeze-dried
1 cup unsalted butter softened
4 – 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all cupcake ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on low for 1 minute. Mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Line 24 cupcake wells with liners or grease very well. Divide the batter evenly between the wells. Bake according to box directions.
Fresh strawberry frosting:
Puree fresh strawberries in a food processor until smooth *see notes for freeze-dried strawberries. Place in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to ⅓ cup (approximately 15 minutes) while stirring. Cool completely.
Cream butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the cooled strawberry puree and mix well.
Add powdered sugar a bit at a time until the frosting is thick and fluffy. If the mixture is too thick, heavy cream can be added 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.