These cupcakes make the perfect accompaniment to the hugely popular Strawberry Cheesecake Jelly Belly jelly beans, combining the deliciousness of strawberries and cream.

Instead of buttercream these are decorated with a fresh mascarpone cream, flavoured with strawberry jam (out of season strawberries are not worth eating). Decorate with crushed meringue shells and romantic pink Strawberry Cheesecake Jelly Belly jelly beans and give them to the ones you love.

Makes 12

For the cakes:
125g softened butter or baking margarine
125g caster sugar
2 eggs – beaten
125g self-raising flour – or plain flour with a tsp of baking powder
pinch salt
1 – 2 tbs milk

Add the butter or margerine to a bowl, add the sugar and beat well on high speed until light and fluffy. This can take several minutes. Reduce the speed and add the eggs, and a spoon of the flour (this prevents the mixture curdling), once mixed gently fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add some milk to thin the mixture if needed. Spoon the mixture into cases in a cupcake pan, so each is about two thirds full. Pop into  pre heated oven (GM5/190C/375F) and bake for about 14 minutes – check after 12 -  until done. When cooked they will be risen, springy to touch and if you poke a cocktail stick into them it will come out dry and clean.

For the frosting:

180g Mascarpone
180g Icing Sugar
2 heaped  Tbs Strawberry Jam
Place all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. 

Use a star tip and fill your piping bag with the buttercream. 
Place the cupcakes on a non slip surface – I find the cooling tray works well.    
Holding the bag upright, start in the middle of each cake and gently squeeze the bag and pipe a spiral onto each cake.
Decorate with the crushed meringue and Jelly Belly jelly beans. 
Keep in a cool place and eat within a day.
The frosting will keep for several days in the fridge. 

Recipe, styling and photography by Helen Best-Shaw, Fuss Free Flavours for Jelly Belly UK