This Saturday is my oldest niece's birthday -- or, as she'll be quick to tell you -- the day on which she turns a whopping seven-years old. Practically an adult in her opinion -- but then again, she likes to ask me how it feels to be "20." (A question that never gets old.)
Last year I made her a special batch of these strawberry cupcakes not knowing quite how they'd go over -- there were no sprinkles involved, no colorful confetti cake mix or jazzed up candles included. But, they were bright pink (naturally!) and that seems to have been just enough for making them a must-have again this year for her big special day.
And really, my niece is one smart almost-seven-year-old cookie -- these cupcakes are absolutely delicious! Made with fresh strawberries and paired rightfully with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting, this is one sweet treat that will certainly please the entire party -- including the adults. The only bummer about these beautiful pink cupcakes? That strawberry season has to be so darn short.
Editor's note: If you're looking to pick your own berries before making these strawberry cupcakes, consider checking out our article on local U-pick berry farms.
As adapted from Martha Stewart.com
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (we used sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside. Place strawberries and honey in a food processor and process until pureed. You should have about a cup of strawberry puree, add more strawberries if necessary and save any extra puree for the frosting; set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until well combined and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half of the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add the remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Transfer the muffin pan to the oven and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely in the pan before frosting.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Taken from Joy of Cooking
- 8 ounces cold cream cheese
- 6 tablespoons (or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Leftover strawberry puree, to taste
Combine all ingredients and pulse just until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If you have a large Ziploc bag handy, spoon the frosting into what is now your very own pastry bag. Seal the bag, cut off one of the bag corners, and pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes accordingly.
NOTE: If you are without a food processor, but have an electric mixer -- here is a cream cheese frosting recipe just for you.