Special equipment: 1 muffin tin
Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. Lightly grease
the muffin tin
and fill the batter
almost to the rim of each muffin cup. Bake according to package directions and let cool.
In a food processor
combine the mascarpone cheese
, strawberries, 1/4 cup 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. Continue with the remaining cupcakes.
In a small saucepan
bring 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.