These delicate, rather feminine, cupcakes with their pretty swirl of pink strawberry butter cream are simply perfect for a princess themed birthday party or a baby shower. The recipe from Cooking Classy rightly describes these gorgeous cupcakes as “overflowing with strawberry flavor” since it uses both strawberry puree and chopped fresh strawberries, which gives a slight pinkish tinge to the batter. I chose to omit the food coloring entirely but you can add few drops if you want a more vibrant shade of pink. The super creamy frosting holds a fair amount of reduced fruit puree such that you can almost call it healthy and it is so good that you might end up liking the bowl, and maybe the beaters as well!

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Strawberry Cupcakes

1 2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg + 2 large egg whites

1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree

1/4 cup cultured buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 drops red food coloring

3/4 cup diced strawberries

For the Strawberry Frosting

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons strawberry puree

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature

2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 drops red or pink food coloring

Whole strawberries for topping

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour into a mixing bowl, add baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Whisk for 20 seconds and set it aside. Whip butter and granulated sugar until it turns pale and fluffy.

  • Add egg and egg whites, 1 at a time. Whisk together buttermilk, 1/3 cup strawberry puree and vanilla.
  • Working in 3 separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture.

  • Alternate flour with half of the buttermilk mixture and mix it just until combined after each addition.
  • Fold in the diced strawberries. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each to 3/4 full.

  • Bake in preheated oven 20 to 23 minutes till toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the muffin tin several minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely before frosting.

  • For the Strawberry buttercream frosting, add 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons strawberry puree to a saucepan.
  • Heat mixture over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced to about 2/3 to 3 tablespoons.

  • Pour the reduced puree into a small bowl, then freeze until cool and stir occasionally for even chilling.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip unsalted and salted butter till it turns very pale and fluffy.

  • Add 1 cup powdered sugar and fold in reduced strawberry puree, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
  • Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until frosting is pale and fluffy, adding extra sugar if required.

  • To assemble cupcakes, place a small mound of small diced strawberries on top over center of cupcakes.
  • Pipe frosting around and over berries then decorate with a whole small strawberry. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Strawberry Cupcakes

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