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French Vanilla Cupcakes with Dreamscicle Filling recipe

French Vanilla Cupcakes with Dreamsicle Filling

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword filled-cupcake-recipes, french-vanilla-cupcakes, vanilla-cupcakes-with-dreamsicle-filling
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 211kcal
Author Melissa Sperka


  • 1 15.25 oz package french vanilla cake mix plus eggs, oil water to prepare
  • 1 8 oz block softened neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups whole milk or half & half
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped Clementines with seeds and pith removed
  • 1 8 oz container frozen vanilla or french vanilla whipped topping thawed
  • 1 tablespoon Clementine zest plus additional for garnishing


  • To prepare the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 16 cup muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
  • Prepare cake mix per the instructions on the box. (Pro tip: Use buttermilk in place of the water for a richer flavor). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Set aside to cool completely.
  • To prepare the filling: In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese. Add instant vanilla pudding and milk. Whip on medium-high speed for at least 2 minutes or until thickened and the mixture is smooth.
  • Fold in chopped clementines, 1 cup of vanilla whipped topping and zest by hand.
  • To assemble: Using a sharp knife, cut out a portion of the center of each cupcake leaving approximately a ½ inch border around the edge. Be careful not to cut all the way to the bottom of the cake shell.
  • Divide filling between cupcakes.. Using a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe a dollop of whipped topping onto each cupcake, and garnish with additional zest.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours to allow the filling to set-up before serving.


  • If you prefer to make the cupcakes from scratch, use the recipe for my Old Fashioned Butter Cake. Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, to give it the creamy French vanilla flavor.
  • If you are unable to find Clementines you can use equivalent amount of tangerines. 


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg