September has already been the busiest month I have had this year. And the poorest. Luckily these cupcakes were big on taste and didn’t come close to breaking the bank.
Today’s post is one installment from the constant stream of birthday treats that I’ve been cranking out since autumn’s chill crept in two short weeks ago. Delicate, sweet, fresh (it’s possible!), and naturally flavoured. What’s not to like?
There isn’t much more to say about these ridiculously delicious treats except that they disappeared faster than any cake, cupcake, bar, or snack that I have ever made (well, it’s tied with this one). I followed Martha Stewart’s strawberry cupcake recipe and changed up a simple buttercream recipe that I found. I think you will agree that it couldn’t get any better! One of my friends said it best when describing the frosting, “I don’t normally like sweets, but I could take a bath in this stuff.”
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling fruit
4 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into small dice, plus more for garnish**
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 1/2–5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 medium fresh strawberries, pureed (you’ll need 4–6 tablespoons of purée)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two standard 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition. Fold in strawberries.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups so that each is about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on wire racks.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla and 3 tbsp. of the strawberry purée and mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Gradually add in the last 2 or 3 tbsp. of strawberry purée until you reach the desired level of strawberry flavour. Please note that adding more than the recommended amount of purée could result in a thinner frosting. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3–4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with fresh strawberries.
I used a Wilton 1M piping tip, but any kind you like will do.
**Strawberries will shrink while baking, so try not to cut them too small!