My Emma has a summer birthday but has been talking about bringing in cupcakes for her birthday at school all year so when the “summer birthday party” coincided with my potential hospital stay with baby #2 I asked if we could bring in cupcakes another day. Luckily Emma’s teachers are awesome and said yes:).
Emma is a big strawberry fan (she even has a strawberry umbrella, rain coat and boots!) so naturally she wanted strawberry cupcakes… so strawberry cupcakes it was! Interestingly enough, when I was Emma’s age I too was obsessed with strawberries…strawberry ice cream, milkshakes, strawberry shortcake and of course, strawberries with sugar were my fav. I also loved the show Strawberry Shortcake! And I still love strawberries…especially fresh strawberries and strawberry shortcake. YUM! I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree:).
ANYWAYS…I took my vanilla cupcake and buttercream recipe and strawberry-ed it up! I made the custard cream as I always do and kept that the same but when it came time to make the cupcakes, I pureed 2/3 cup of fresh strawberries and added that to the batter. Then at the end I added ¾ cup of freshly diced strawberries. Next time I will be sure to add 1 full cup just to have a little extra as towards the end the last few cupcakes were a little low on diced strawberries. I also added 5 drops of the “Watermelon “ Americolor red food gel to the cupcake batter to give the cupcakes that nice pink color.
Then after they are baked they come out looking like this…
For the buttercream, I thawed 1 cup of frozen strawberries and pureed them my small food processor and added them to the frosting after I creamed the shortening and butter. Since the strawberries add liquid to the mixture I did not add in water like I normally do with my buttercream recipe. I also added an additional ½ teaspoon of salt from my traditional buttercream recipe as I felt like it needed a little bit more of a salt kick to balance out the strawberries nicely. I loved the color pink that the frosting became so I did not add any additional food coloring.
The combination of the cupcakes and frosting together were amazing and I had to show severe restraint to only have 1.5 of them for breakfast. They are truly fantastic and if you are looking for a dessert to make for Mother’s Day tomorrow or just a summery berry cupcake…. look no further…this do not disappoint! I mean just look at my happy honorary birthday girl!
Happy early Mother’s Day!
- 1/3 cup pureed strawberries (from 2/3 cup of fresh strawberries)
- 1 cup of freshly diced strawberries
- 2 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups Italian Custard Cream (see recipe below)
- 3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature – Note – EXTRA-LARGE eggs…most baking recipes use large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 30 - 32 cupcake liners
- 1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- 2. Put the flour, sugar, custard cream, if using, vegetable oil, baking powder, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can put the ingredients in a bowl, and use a hand mixer with the blending attachments, but take extra care to not overmix.) Mix on slow just until the ingredients are blended together, a few seconds, then raise the speed to low-medium and continue to mix until smooth, approximately 1 additional minute.
- 3. With the motor running, add 1 egg at a time, adding the next one after the previous one has been absorbed into the mixture. Stop the motor periodically and scrape the bowl from the bottom with a rubber spatula to integrate the ingredients, and return the mixer to low-medium speed. After all the eggs are added, continue to mix for an additional minute to ensure the eggs have been thoroughly mixed in. This will help guarantee that the sugar is dissolved and that the flour has been thoroughly mixed in.
- 4. Add pureed strawberries. Mix until incorporated.
- 5. With the motor running, add the milk, 1⁄2 cup at a time, stopping the motor to scrape the sides and bottom between the two additions. Continue to mix for another minute or until the mixture appears smooth.
- 6. Add in 5 drops of red food coloring (I used the red "Watermelon Americolor food gel"). Mix until the color is incorporated.
- 7. Fold in half of the diced strawberries.
- 8. Put cupcake liners in cupcake tin.
- 9. Fill cupcake liners with the cake batter. I use an ice cream scoop and put 2 scoops of batter in each cupcake liner until each cupcake is 3/4 way full.
- 10. Once have scooped 1/2 of the cupcake batter, add the additional 1/2 cup of strawberries, fold in and then scoop out.
- 11. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes.
- 12. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to decorate.
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup cake flour, sifted
- 5 extra-large egg yolks – note the extra-large eggs as most baking recipes use large eggs
- 2 teaspoons of salted butter- note the salted butter as a lot of baking recipes use unsalted butter
- 1. Put the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- 2. In a bowl, whip together the sugar, flour and egg yolks with a hand mixer. Ladle the cup of milk-vanilla mixture into the bowl and beat to temper the yolks.
- 3. Add the yolk mixture to the pot and beat over medium heat with the hand mixer until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. As you are beating, move the pot on and off the flame so you don’t scramble the eggs.
- 4. Remove the pot from the heat, add the butter and whip for 2 minutes to thicken the cream.
- 5. Transfer to a bowl. Let cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- Will keep for one week.
- 1 lb unsalted butter at room temperature
- 8 oz hi-ratio shortening
- 1 slightly heaping cup of frozen strawberries thawed
- 3 tablespoons of clear vanilla extract
- 3 pounds of confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons of meringue powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1. Cream the shortening and butter with a paddle-whip in the stand mixer for 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Stop and scrap the bowl.
- 2. Add the strawberry puree. Mix for another minute or two until fully combined.
- 3. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix until combined.
- 4. Gradually add the sugar.
- 5. Add the meringue powder.
- 6. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy – 5 to 8 minutes.
- 7. Add frosting to the top of the cupcakes with an offset spatula.