Learn how to make strawberry cupcakes from scratch without using strawberry Jello. Top it off with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
Do you listen to Pandora radio? If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a website where you can listen to free music with some commercial breaks. There are so many channels you can choose, there is something for everyone. I didn’t start using Pandora until I started working from home as it can get pretty quiet when playing around in the kitchen. Recently I’ve been listening to the Pitch Perfect channel that my friend Courtney mentioned. In addition to the songs from the movie, Pandora also plays similar songs that it thinks I might like. I’ve gained a few new favorites, including Madilyn Bailey’s Titanium cover (so much better than the original!) and acapella versions of songs I didn’t really care for in the first place. However, sometimes Pandora goes crazy and gives me songs that no way in a million years would I listen to; I can’t click on the thumbs down fast enough and just want to scratch out my ear drums. I think if you listen to one channel for too long (i.e. all morning), it runs out of good songs to play.
Anyway, as I mentioned I almost always have Pandora on while I’m working unless I’m writing (for some reason, I can never write and listen to music at the same time). My latest baking adventure in the kitchen is with these Strawberry Cupcakes topped with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting. Since my Strawberry Layer Cake and Strawberry Snack Cake are popular recipes, I wanted to turn it into cupcakes. Most strawberry cake recipes call for either cake mix and/or strawberry Jello; very rarely do they actually use real strawberries. With the fresh strawberries I picked earlier this month, I knew these cupcakes would be in my future. Of course you can’t have strawberry cake without cream cheese frosting, so I added some strawberries to that as well. You can never go wrong with double the strawberry flavor.
When I think of strawberry cupcakes, I think of pink. Although the food coloring isn’t necessary, I did add a few drops for presentation. I didn’t add any coloring to the frosting.
For the frosting, it’s important that you follow the directions and cook the strawberries down enough to equal 3 tablespoons; otherwise, your frosting will be too runny. Yes, you will actually need to measure it and keep cooking until it’s 3 tablespoons. Please trust me on this. Speaking of runny, my kitchen was really warm thanks to a broken air conditioner, so I chilled the frosting for 15 minutes before piping. You may or may not need to do this step, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Use your best judgment.
60 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
1 hr, 20 Total Time
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
- In a medium saucepan, add 3/4 cup strawberries, water, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes or until the strawberries cook down. Remove from the heat and cool at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the baking powder and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat together the butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg and egg whites, one at a time, until mixed in then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients). Stir in the cooked strawberry mixture and remaining 1/4 cup chopped strawberries. Add food coloring if desired.
- Divide the batter among the paper liners and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- In a blender, add the the strawberries and granulated sugar. Process until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, discarding any solids left behind. You should have 1/2 cup puree.
- Add the puree to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down to low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the puree thickens and cooks down to 3 tablespoons (please measure as anything more than this will make the frosting runny). Cool to room temperature (or refrigerate until cold to speed it up).
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds or until combined then add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the strawberry mixture and vanilla. If the frosting is too soft to pipe, refrigerate in 15 minute increments until piping consistency.
- Pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let sit at room temperature 15-30 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted from Cooking Classy