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FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
Just the other day I was walking through the produce section and I got a huge waft of fragrant strawberries bursting out of the bins! It’s finally February and the first month of the year that berries are in season! I love how they range in hues of reds and pinks just in time for Valentine’s Day! I found myself loading my cart down with them and by the time I got home, I realized that I might have overdone it just a little. I guess that’s why they say never grocery shop on an empty stomach. I quickly started thinking of recipes that I could use them in because I knew that we wouldn’t be able to eat them all and I didn’t want these beauties to go to waste. The first thing that came to mind was strawberry shortcake, but that would be too messy to cart around so I went for classic cupcakes instead.
I haven’t met a cupcake I didn’t like so I figured you kind of can’t go wrong with it. Obviously, the flavor would be strawberry but instead of using an artificial flavoring, I chose to incorporate fresh strawberries by adding chunks to the cake batter. I also added a strawberry puree to the frosting. I will admit that I added a little too much strawberry puree which caused them to be a little runny and not as stiff as normal buttercream. I’ve changed the recipe to keep yours from doing the same. Last but not least I topped them off with, well you guessed it a strawberry! It was all coming together now and I was able to turn a bad shopping decision into a good one and share the cupcakes with friends.
In case you were wondering where I got some of the items in this post, I’ve shared them along with other similar links for your convenience below. Also, if you were wondering about the arrows, I used cocktail stirs to anchor the strawberries on top as picks aren’t typically long enough to pierce both the strawberry and the cupcake. You can find these, here.
SHOP THE MOMENT | CLICK ARROWS FOR MORE
- 2 1/2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
- 2 1/2 TSP. BAKING POWDER
- 1/4 TSP. SALT
- 8 TBS. UNSALTED BUTTER AT ROOM TEMP.
- 1 3/4 CUPS GRANULATED CANE SUGAR
- 2 LARGE EGGS AT ROOM TEMP.
- 2 1/4 PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
- SEEDS FROM 1 VANILLA BEAN
- 1 1/4 CUPS WHOLE MILK AT ROOM TEMP.
- 1/3 CUP FRESH STRAWBERRY PUREE
- 4-5 STRAWBERRIES DICED
- PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. LINE CUPCAKE PAN WITH LINERS AND SET ASIDE. WHISK TOGETHER FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, AND SALT IN A LARGE BOWL CRUSHING ANY LARGE CLUMPS, NO NEED TO SIFT. IN A SEPERATE BOWL CREAM TOGETHER BUTTER AND SUGAR WITH A STAND UP MIXER OR A HAND HELD MIXER. ADD VANILLA EXTRACT AND VANILLA BEAN SEEDS TO THE MEASURING CUP WITH MILK. ADD DRY INGREDIENTS A LITTLE AT A TIME FOLLOWED BY A LITTLE OF THE MILK MIXTURE TO THE CREAMED BUTTER AND SUGAR WHILE MIXING IN BETWEEN UNTIL ALL INGREDIENTS HAVE BEEN ADDED AND MIXED IN WELL. SCOOP BATTER WITH AN ICE CREAM SCOOP INTO THE CUPCAKE PAN LINERS. I USUALLY MAKE SURE THEY ARE ABOUT 75% FULL BUT NOT QUITE TO THE TOP. BAKE FOR 16-20 MINUTES. DEPENDING ON THE HEAT DISTRIBUTION OF YOUR OVEN, CHECK CUPCAKES AFTER 15 MINUTES WITH A TOOTH PICK. IF THE TOOTH PICK COMES OUT CLEAN THEY ARE DONE. IF IT COMES OUT WITH BATTER KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THEM AND LET THEM BAKE A LITTLE LONGER. ONCE DONE, TRANSFER CUPCAKES TO A WIRE RACK AND REPEAT UNTIL ALL OF THE BATTER HAS BEEN USED.
- 16 TBS. (TWO STICKS) OF UNSALTED BUTTER AT ROOM TEMP.
- 4 CUPS CONFECTIONERS' SUGAR
- 1 TSP. WHOLE MILK
- 1 TSP. PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
- 1/8 TSP. SALT
- 1/4 CUP STRAWBERRY PUREE
- PINK LIQUID FOOD COLORING
- IN A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER ADD 6-10 FRESH STRAWBERRIES TO CREATE THE PUREE. ADD MORE OR LESS IF NEEDED DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE STRAWBERRIES. MEASURE 1/4 CUP PUREE AND SET ASIDE. COMBINE ALL OTHER INGREDIENTS WITH A MIXER AND WHIP AT HIGH SPEED UNTIL LIGHT AND FLUFFY. ADD STRAWBERRY PUREE AND 3-4 DROPS OF PINK FOOD COLORING AND MIX IN WELL. ADD A FEW MORE DROPS OF FOOD COLORING IF NEEDED TO CREATE THE PINK HUE OF YOUR CHOICE. USE A RUBBER SPATULA TO SCOOP OUR ICING AND PLACE INTO THE PIPING BAG OR USE A PALETTE KNIFE TO SMOOTH ICING OVER THE TOP OF THE CUPCAKES.
- *IF YOU HAVE LEFTOVER STRAWBERRY PUREE, FREEZE IT AND USE IT TO MAKE DAIQUIRIES!
Cheers- Ashley Nicole