Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

It is real hard to ignore the bright pink and red aisles at the grocery store.  Yes, Valentine's day is right around the corner. However, I did I not follow in the color tradition with a recipe for pink strawberry cupcakes. You could say fresh ingredients beat out the color pink

The use of real strawberries in baking does not make things "pink".  The acid in the strawberries actually makes things a brown color.  If you are looking for a pretty pink cupcake or cake, you are looking for something artificial-either something with food coloring or a boxed mix.  Also, the "pink" recipe or mix most likely will not have fresh strawberries in it.  So for those seeking a truly fresh strawberry taste (even though brown in color) in a cupcake, the recipe is below.

This recipe makes 20-24 cupcakes. The original recipe was for a sheet cake and the frosting was way too much for the cupcakes, so it was scaled down.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
adapted from homesick texan blog

1 tsp vanilla
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
10 oz or 2 1/2 cups of stemmed chopped strawberries
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups plus 1 3/4 teaspoons of sugar (separated)
2 cups flour
3 tbs and 1 tsp water

The equipment needed for this recipe is four bowls, a saucepan and a food processor or blender.

In the first bowl, put in the chopped strawberries. Add water and sprinkle with 1 3/4 tsp of sugar.  Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature to release the juices. Then place the chopped strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times.  Transfer 1/4 cup of the strawberry mixture to a small bowl for the frosting. Set aside.

In the next bowl, mix buttermilk, vanilla, eggs and baking soda. Set aside. Then in the last bowl, sift together the flour and sugar.

Take out the saucepan and melt the butter on low heat. While this is melting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the muffin tin(s) by greasing the top edges of the holes and placing paper liners in them.

Once the butter is completely melted, pour and whisk into the buttermilk batter. Then pour this liquid into your flour/sugar mixture.  Fold ingredients with a wooden spoon until all is blended. Lastly, add all but 1/4 of the strawberries to the batter.

Scoop out batter with a spoon and fill each muffin cavity 3/4 full. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes, using a toothpick to test exactly when done.  Once baked, let cool for 2 minutes in pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Frost cupcakes after completely cool.

Fresh Strawberry Frosting

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup crushed strawberries
1/2 stick or 4 tbs butter (room temp)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese

Place butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.  Batter should be smooth with no lumps.  Then sift in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup stages. Blend all the powdered sugar in with a wooden spoon after each stage.  Lastly, mix in strawberries, vanilla, lime zest and lime juice. Should you want a thicker frosting, add more cream cheese until desired consistency is achieved.  Frost cupcakes accordingly.