Total Time: 1 Hour
Yield: Serves 11 (serving size: 1 sandwich cookie)
No one will believe these impressive (yet low-effort) spring treats start with a boxed cake mix. The strawberry buttercream filling for these sandwich cookies uses both fresh and freeze-dried berries in order to deliver a potent punch of vibrant strawberry flavor. While it’s the perfect accompaniment to these pillowy vanilla cake mix cookies, you’ll likely find yourself returning to the recipe again and again for icing layer cakes and cupcakes. Freeze dried strawberries can be found at many grocery stores and online. Pro tip: Don’t skip chilling the dough; this allows the coconut oil to solidify and helps the cookies maintain their shape while baking.
- 1(15.25-oz.) pkg. vanilla cake mix (such as Duncan Hines)
- 2large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups (about 1 lb.) unsifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries, crushed, plus more for garnish
How to Make It
Prepare the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir together cake mix, eggs, oil, freeze-dried strawberries, and baking powder in a large bowl.
Shape dough into 22 (1-inch) balls; place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Freeze 10 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven, until just before turning golden, about 9 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack; cool cookies on baking sheets, 5 minutes. Transfer cookies directly to wire rack; let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Prepare the Frosting: Process chopped strawberries in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
Beat butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar until well incorporated. Add vanilla, salt, and pureed strawberries, beating on medium speed until mixture is creamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Fold in the crushed freeze-dried strawberries.
Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe Strawberry Frosting on 11 of the cooled Vanilla Cookies; top with remaining cookies. Garnish with crushed freeze-dried strawberries.
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