I usually don't like to be so definitive on things. I like to keep my options open. But I'm going to make an exception this time. These strawberry cupcakes are the best cupcakes ever. Period.
I broke a couple of my cardinal baking rules (no baking on a weeknight, allow at least two tries to get a Martha frosting recipe right) to bake these babies, but I had purchased three beautiful baskets of strawberries at the farmer's market the day before and didn't want them to go to waste. I love strawberries but I know my limits and there were too many strawberries for my little self to eat.
These cupcakes are slightly reminiscent of strawberry shortcake and I'm sure they would be just as delicious with a little sprinkling of turbinado sugar before they bake and some whipped cream after they've cooled. But the strawberry buttercream set up so beautifully and isn't overly sweet. It really does add just enough of an extra punch of strawberry.
These cupcakes were another accomplishment for me in that it was the first (well really, it took two tries) buttercream that I made successfully. Reading through the directions, it can easily be construed as a complicated process involving steam and hot bowls and whipping egg whites. Very daunting. But it really is a simple recipe to make and one that is so basic with endless variations. I love how the piped frosting looks like the stripes from a candy stripers uniform.
Strawberries make me incredibly happy and thus, by extension, these cupcakes make me incredibly happy.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 whole large eggs and 1 egg white
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with liners.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla using a stand mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy. One at a time, add the whole eggs and the egg white, beating each until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Beat until fully combined. Then fold in the chopped strawberries using a rubber spatula.
Fill each muffin tin with batter three-quarters of the way full. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in muffin pan for 15 minutes and then turn out cupcakes and let cool entirely. Cupcakes can keep up to one day, stored in an airtight container.
This really is a simple recipe. Don't let the fancy-schmany directions intimidate you. Just remember to mix the eggs and sugar until cool completely before you add the butter.
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoons
Puree the strawberries in a food processor and set aside.
Set up a double boiler using the the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine the egg whites in sugar in the bowl and set over the simmering water. Whisk the mixture constantly by hand until all the sugar has dissolved and it is warm to the touch. Test this by rubbing the mixture between your fingers - it should be completely smooth.
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with a whick attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing the medium-high speed, mix until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Continue to mix until peaks are fluffy and glossy and mixture has completely cooled, about 10 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and switch to the beater attachment. Continue beating about two minutes, until all air bubbles are gone. Add the pureed strawberries and beat until combined. Don't panic if the mixture separates and looks curdled. Just keep beating on medium-high speed until the mixture comes together and is smooth.
Buttercream can be kept in the refrigerator up to 3 days or frozen up to one month.
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August 16, 2009 | 2 Comments