Strawberries have always been a summer staple in my house. The kids all love them and at the peak of strawberry season in the summer, you can find numerous containers in my refrigerator filled with them and kids snacking on them. I prefer my strawberries to be organic. Now, I’m not one of those people who has to have only organic but with strawberries the taste difference really does come through with the organic ones. I used some to make my favorite strawberry cupcakes and I like to think of them as a sweet farewell to summer or a reminder of summer in the cold months.
These cupcakes start off with a simple one bowl yellow cake but the addition of the strawberries really makes this cake recipe something spectacular. I used my yellow cake mix recipe for the base and that can be found here.
What makes these cupcakes out of this world is the light, fluffy, utterly decadent frosting that tops them. It is a Swiss Meringue frosting so the base of it is cooked sugar and egg whites that are whipped until they form, glossy, stiff peaks. Then the strawberries and butter give the cupcakes their flavor and richness.
- 2 c. self-rising flour
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1 c. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 lrg. eggs
- 1 1/2 c. strawberries, finely chopped
- 1 c. strawberries, pureed (may add 1-2 tsp. water if needed to puree)
- 4 lg, egg whites
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 1/2 c. butter, room temperature and cut into 1 tbsp. pieces
- Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pan with liners or grease and flour or spray with baking spray cake pan(s).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment sift together the self-rising flour and sugar. Add the butter, milk and vanilla. Beat on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs. Once incorporated, beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped strawberries.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes for cupcakes, 30-40 minutes 9" round cake pans. Cool for ten minutes in pan and then remove and cool on rack the rest of the way and frost.
- Place your metal or glass mixing bowl into the freezer for it to get good and cold. Chill it for at least half an hour.
- Puree the strawberries and set aside. You do not need to strain the puree but you can press it through a fine sieve if you want to do so.
- Using a double boiler or a pot that can hold your bowl bring some water to a simmer. Combine the egg whites and sugar together using a whisk to combine in a heat safe bowl or top of double boiler. Then place the bowl or double boiler top with the egg mixture on top of the pot. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently. Place a thermometer in the mixture and continue to whisk and heat until the mixture reached a temperature of 160°-165° F.
- Remove the chilled mixing bowl from the freezer and transfer the egg mixture to the cold bowl. Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk at high speed until stiff peaks form. (It's usually about 8-12 minutes depending on how cold the bowl is when starting.) Lower the speed to medium an add 2 tbsp. of the butter at a time. Be sure to mix completely before adding the next batch of butter. The frosting may thin out. Do not worry about this. Just continue beating the mixture and increase the speed to medium-high. It will thicken up. Finally, you will blend in the strawberry puree once the frosting has thickened up. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure that all of the butter and puree is fully incorporated.
- Place the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with your favorite tip and then pipe onto the cupcakes. Garnish with a strawberry.
- You will get better flavor using organic strawberries.
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