Makes: 24 cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3 egg whites
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1 1/4 teaspoons strawberry extract, divided
2 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted Purple food coloring
For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper lines.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, combine cake mix, milk, oil, and egg whites and beat for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Stir in strawberry preserves and 1/4 teaspoon strawberry extract.
Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove from muffin tin and cool on wire racks.
For frosting: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat on low until light and fluffy. Remove 1 cup of frosting and place in a small bowl. Use the rest to frost cupcakes.
Tint the remaining 1 cup frosting using purple food coloring until desired shade is reached. Fill a zip-top plastic bag with purple icing, snip a teeny bit off the corner with scissors, and pipe initials on each cupcake.