Strawberry Mascarpone Cupcakes (for Bunny)

Many of you are familiar with the tragic accident that took my dear, dear friend and sister-in-law, Bunny last month. I can't tell you how much I miss her.

She was my go-to girl when I wanted to talk baking. I loved working out a recipe idea with her. I loved getting random emails and phone calls from her telling me about a foodie blog that I had to check out. I loved to hear about what she had planned for her weekly "baking Thursday". I admired her ability to eat just one treat every Thursday and pass the rest out to her neighbors. That's why she was able to bake like she baked, and look like she looked!

She was a favorite running partner. She could push me up a hill better than anyone (I should say pull--she was always in the lead).
If you were lucky enough to know her, you loved her. If you didn't know her, well, I wish you had.

She left behind a sweet and good husband, and two adorable little girls. Boy, do they miss her.
I have learned so much this past four weeks.

I have learned the power of service. As a family, we have been utterly humbled by the incredible outpouring of love and support that we have felt. I can't count how many times we came home to a plate of cookies on the front porch, or a sweet note in the mail. Phone calls, drop-by's, flowers, hugs, prayers...people were inspired.  

I have learned the value of having people to mourn with you as you mourn, to help you bear your burden. I hope that I have become a more empathetic person.  We have been surrounded by so many good people.  

I have learned that I need to live every day so that I don't have any regrets. That's how Bunny lived. Everything she did, she did her best. She was a wonderful wife, mother and friend...someone who will never be forgotten.

These cupcakes were brought to us by a kind cousin. They were so delicious, I had to make them and share the recipe.
It is based on a Giada recipe, but Giada used a cake mix. Cousin Katelyn went above and beyond with this fantastic homemade cupcake batter. (Seriously, if any of you are batter lovers, don't even lick the spoon, or you'll find yourself making only 12 cupcakes, because you've eaten half the batter like it was pudding. Not that I did that.)

Strawberry Mascarpone filled Cupcakes
makes 2 dozen
1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl. Pour in butter and water and mix with mixer on slow speed. Pour in muffin cups/tin and bake for 13-15 min. Wait til cupcakes cool to fill and frost.

(8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese, chilled
1/2 cup thawed and drained frozen strawberries (if using fresh strawberries, use 4-5 large berries, sliced)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a food processor combine the mascarpone cheese, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Push the tip gently into the bottom of a cupcake and squeeze in the strawberry mixture until the cupcake plumps. (I baked mine in cupcake cups, so I filled from the top of the cakes. They are probably prettier if you fill from the bottom.)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a small saucepan make a vanilla syrup by bringing the 1/2 cup sugar, water, and vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl combine the vanilla syrup with the confectioner's sugar. Stir until smooth. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula spread the icing on the top of the cupcakes. If the icing begins to firm up, place in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up again.

Bunny would have loved these cupcakes. And if she made them, they would have tasted better and looked prettier than mine. I promise.

P.S. Thank you all for indulging me in a long, and personal post.


Courtney said...

I just saw this recipe yesterday on a different blog but with a boxed cake mix - this looks even better.

I have thought of you all frequently this past month and wish we were closer to be able to help with more than just prayers. If anyone needs a vacation in San Diego, our home is always open - unfortunately, it also comes with five very loud kids.

laura said...

these look delicious...and beautiful. i could never make them look that good. what a great post - Cortney and I have been thinking about all of you and have admired your strength during this time. we're keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. much love and respect - Laura xoxo.

Lisa Marie Trent said...

Beautifully written. They look so good- it's like a treat from a cartoon or something. I will definitely be trying these. Thank you for sharing..

Joanne said...

Oh sweetie my thoughts go out to you and your family. Bunny sounds like one fantastic person and I'm sure she is reading this post from heaven as we speak.

The cupcakes look marvelous.

Heather said...

This post is so sweet Meg. I'll never forget the opening prayer you gave at the funeral. It was so touching and perfect, and I think every person in the chapel felt the spirit so strong! Bunny was such an amazing girl. I left the funeral feeling inspired to live life to the fullest... as she did.

I always wondered how the heck she could eat JUST one treat. What in the world is my problem! haha.

Love ya lots, and thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!!

Jill said...

Loved this post Megan. I've thought about you a lot the last four weeks and have worried over you and wondered how you were holding up. We keep the entire Bradley family in our prayers, and will be thinking especially of Matt this weekend.

Morgan@LittleHouseofVeggies said...

This was such a sweet post! I didn't know Bunny personally, but from what I have heard, she was an amazing and sweet girl. amy thoughts and prayers are with all of you!
Your cupcakes llok soooo good!

Kuppy said...

I am so sorry for your families loss. I just found your blog through Cupcakes Take The Cake. I adore it already, I am your newest follower. By the way, your cupcakes look delish, no worries.

Jen said...

Just became a follower of your blog...your recipes look seriously delish!

I am sorry for your family's loss. As I am as close with my own SIL, your words struck a chord. God Bless.

Just Cake Girl said...

I am sorry for your family's loss :((

the cupcakes look delicious and cute :)

angelabarton said...

I am so sorry for you family's lost. I live in NC and I stumbled about your food blog and have read up on your sister in law's death. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time. Bunny sounded like an amazing and wonderful person who was only 6 months younger than myself. I will say an extra special prayer for her two little ones that they find the strength and understanding to know where mommy has gone. She is angel watching over them everyday!

Christensens said...

These look fabulous! I am a follower of your blog and Bunny was my pilates instructor. I remember what a cute pregnant girl she was and what dedication she had! It was fun to watch her little belly grow during her pregnancy. I too have two girls and was so sad to hear the news. I cried for days and you've all been in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post Megan; you are an inspiring individual and I thank you for being so open to your readers. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. I'm so grateful that Ryan showed me your blog.

Erin Gilbert said...

Your post brought me to tears. Bunny was beautiful inside and out. I feel blessed to have known her. I will strive to life to the fullest every day as she did. You are beautiful and so are these cupcakes. Love ya sis.

Jacqui said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sweet Bunny. Talk about a lump in the throat! Lovely post, Megan. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the yummy recipe. My girls and McQueen seriously pray every day for the Bradley family and "for Luke, so that he won't be sad."

dreamingmama said...

My heart goes out to you and your family! You inspire me with all your wonderful recipes. Take care and you'll be in our prayers!

Abby said...

Megan - I've been stalking your blog for awhile now. Love your recipes. I have thought of you often over the last month often. I didn't know Bunny but went to school with Luke and my heart goes out to all of you. Especially Luke and his girls. This was a great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. (I like a personal blog!)

Julie said...

What a beautiful post about your sweet friend and sister in law Bunny! I love hearing Erin talking about her. Much love to you...

Julie Burton

Shug said...

As I read your post, I felt the many chill bumps on my arms. I know all too well about the loss of someone so close. Your words were so sweet and I recognize the closeness that the two of you had. Thankfully, we serve a God that brings us comfort. I pray this comfort for you, your family, her husband and her precious little girls.
Thanks for taking the time to share this recipe.

Our Prayers,