Tuesday, February 23, 2010

strawberry cupcakes with vanilla frosting

Now that all the kids are healthy and back to school, it was time for my postponed cupcake job: strawberry mini cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles. I wanted to use real strawberries in the cupcakes, not strawberry flavoring. The first recipe I tried, misfired, and they ended up in the trash. (You know I hate wasting food, but they just weren't good and I couldn't serve them - especially to a new client.) Though the cupcakes tested as done, the batter around the strawberry pieces just wasn't baked all the way through, and they had almost a muffin texture. I'm not a fan of strawberry muffins. No-go.

Then I came across Sprinkles' recipe, via Martha Stewart. I've never tasted their strawberry cupcakes, because who would, when you could eat chocolate?, but Sprinkles is so insanely popular, chances were good the recipe would work. This one also used real strawberries, but instead of cutting them in chunks, I whirred them into a puree in the food processor. They weren't the sweetest berries, but the sugar in the recipe compensated well. They rose and domed perfectly, the crumb was nice and light, and the cupcakes themselves tasted good. They also made excellent dinosaurs. My only complaint is that the strawberry taste didn't come through that strongly. Next time, I'd consider upping the puree just a bit and putting in one or two drops of pink food coloring to get the point across visually. If requested, I would definitely make this recipe again.

Isn't the dish adorable? A gifty from my mom for Valentine's Day. It holds shrimp just as nicely as it does cupcakes.I just got a 1M piping tip after seeing so many beautifully frosted cupcakes that looked like roses. I love how sharply it pipes, though I haven't quite figured out how to disguise where I stop piping. (In this picture, I turned the cupcake around. Ha! Clever!) I really like how the sanding sugar sank into the grooves of the frosting, letting the white ridges show through.
Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes
(Makes 1 dozen cupcakes or 2 dozen mini cupcakes)

2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) flour, sifted (I am nearly certain I skipped this - maybe I whisked it around)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature (or straight outta the fridge, if you forget)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 egg, room temperature (again, skipped - but you can give it a bath in some lukewarm water to take the chill off)
2 egg whites, room temperature (see above)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line tin with cupcake liners.

Process strawberries in food processor (or blender) until pureed. You'll have about 1/3 of a cup, which is all you need. Any extra can be saved for the frosting or to add to a smoothie.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree. Set aside.

Cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat until well-combined and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the whole egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk/strawberry mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add the rest of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until just blended.

Scoop batter into prepared liners. Bake until the tops are just dry to the touch. That's about 22-25 minutes for big cupcakes and probably closer to 15 for mini cupcakes. Sprinkles says you can let the cupcakes cool right in the tin, but I like to remove them to a wire rack after 5-10 minutes so they don't sweat and get tough. Cool completely, then frost. I used my standard bakery icing with red sanding sugar. Eat.

3 comments:

Sandra Dee said...

Gorgeous.

Amanda said...

That dish IS adorable... but those cupcakes look AMAZING!!! Way to go! LOVE LOVE LOVE the recipe. I will be trying it soon!

Blessings-
Amanda

justJENN said...

Aw man, you shoulda tried mine too. I get a lot of compliments on that one actually!
http://justjennrecipes.com/real-strawberry-cupcakes/2008/04/28/