Full of fresh fruit flavor! Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes may have a delicate crumb, but they are rich in strawberry flavor.
Diamond of the summer
The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the best advantages of summer. Tables at farmer's markets are brimming with a colorful variety of produce. It's almost sensory overload - so much to look at and in my case, to buy. I always find inspiration when fruits and vegetables are at their peak.
Perfect summer strawberries are the jewel of the season. Ruby red with a sweet tartness, they are hard to resist. You can almost taste the sunshine when you bite into a summer ripened berry.
But maybe someone could go a little overboard buying these beauties. And maybe they need to be used before they start to become overripe.
These pretty little pink cupcakes are my solution to the too many strawberries problem. The fresh fruit flavor is there - a little tart but sweet - in the cake and in the frosting. Deliciously moist little cakes are topped with white chocolate strawberry buttercream. This is a diet busting little dessert. But it's worth it!
Intensity of flavor
Wanting the flavor throughout the cupcake, I decided I did not want pieces of strawberries in the batter. To that end, a strawberry puree, reduced by half, will do the trick. A half-cup of sugar was added to assist the sweetness of the berries. However, I did not want the puree to taste like candy. You can still taste the tartness of the strawberries.
Reducing the puree by half cooks out some of the water, thereby intensifying the strawberry flavor. The puree will become thicker. It is important to note that the reduced puree needs to completely cool. If it too hot when added to the batter, it will melt the butter.
Start the cake by creaming the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. This will aid in the leavening of the cupcake. Egg whites are used rather than whole eggs primarily to not discolor the batter with the yolks. The batter may look a little curdled after adding the egg whites. Don't worry, the batter will come together. A touch of almond extract is added to give the flavor profile of the cake a little complexity. In tasting the cupcake, you may notice the almond flavor at the end.
To mix the batter, alternately add the dry ingredients and the strawberry puree/heavy cream combination. One last stir with a spatula to make sure there is not flour hiding on the bottom, and the batter is ready to scoop into the muffin tin.
White Chocolate and Strawberries
Think chocolate covered strawberries. This is the inspiration for the frosting. It is like a very rich and sweet strawberry, perfect for the cupcake. Again I use strawberry puree, along with melted white chocolate, creamed unsalted butter, and about 4 cups of powdered sugar.
Pretty in Pink
These cupcakes are like bright little jewels bursting with the sweetness of summer. I made so many cupcakes when developing this fresh strawberry cupcake recipe that I treated my neighbors. They all gave me a thumbs up and I think you will also!
If you need a little sweet treat this summer, give Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes a try. And share the strawberry cupcake love. You'll have some grateful friends.
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
- muffin tin
- cupcake liners
- handheld mixer or stand mixer
- 2 pounds strawberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup strawberry puree
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup strawberry puree
- Make the strawberry puree at least a couple of hours before making the cupcake batter. The puree needs to completely cool before adding it to the batter.
- Remove stems from 2 pounds of strawberries. Cut in half and add to a blender. Completely puree the strawberries. If you have a high-speed blender, the seeds will be pulverized. If you are using a regular blender and the seeds bother you, use a fine mesh strainer to remove them. You should have approximately 4 cups of puree.
- Add the puree to a medium saucepan. Stir in ½ cup of sugar. Over medium-high heat, reduce the strawberry puree by half. The puree should be at a gentle boil - not a furious boil. Occasionally stir the puree to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it is, reduce the heat a little. The object is to cook out some of the water in the puree. It will start to thicken. It will take about 30 minutes to reduce the puree by half. You should have about 2 cups of puree. Now it needs to cool off for a couple of hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin by adding cupcake liners.
- Mix dry ingredients together - 2 cups of cake flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, and ½ teaspoon of salt - with a whisk to aerate. Set aside.
- Add 8 ounces of slightly softened unsalted butter to a mixing bowl. Add ½ cup of granulated sugar. Mix on high for 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy and creamy.
- Add egg whites, one at a time. After each addition, scrape the sides of the bowl. Fully mix each egg white before adding another. The batter will look thin and almost curdled.
- Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the batter and mix.
- Combine one cup of strawberry puree with ½ cup of heavy cream.
- Now it is time to add the dry and wet ingredients to the creamed butter and eggs. You will add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Next, add ½ of the strawberry/cream mix to the bowl. Add another ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, add the remaining strawberry/cream mix to the bowl. Then add the remaining dry ingredients. In other words, you are adding the dry ingredients in thirds alternately with half of the strawberry/cream puree.
- Once all ingredients have been incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir the batter one more time with the mixer to make sure all ingredients are mixed, then stop. You do not want to overmix the batter.
- Divide the batter equally among the cupcake liners, filling almost to the top. You may have enough batter remaining for 1 or 2 more cupcakes.
- Bake in a 350 ° oven for 22-23 minutes. Let completely cool and come to room temperature.
- Melt 4 ounces of white chocolate. Set aside to cool.
- Add 4 ounces of unsalted butter to a mixing bowl. At high speed, completely cream the butter, about 2 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time. Mix completely between additions and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the white chocolate to the butter and mix for 1 or 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add 1 ½ cups of the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, mixing completely between additions.
- Pour in ¼ cup of the strawberry puree, mix, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat this step.
- Add the last ½ cup of powdered sugar. Mix the buttercream at high speed for 1-2 minutes to ensure that it is smooth without any lumps.