Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strawberry Cupcakes: Take 2

Strawberry season is inching its way towards us—the perfect time to start making delicious strawberry cupcakes! In this recipe, I only use fresh strawberries in the compote filling and as a decoration but that doesn't stop them from being absolutely to-die-for cupcakes. The combination of the tart compote and sweet frosting all brought together with a deliciously moist cake is what you would call, heavenly. The tender and not-overly sweet yellow cake really contrasts the wonderful natural tartness of the filling. Not to mention the strawberry jam adds a wonderful strawberry flavor to the smooth and fluffy buttercream.

This recipe differs from my other strawberry cupcake recipe in many ways:
  1. The cake: it's slightly denser but has a great texture to it
  2. There is a filling-a strawberry compote filling to be exact
  3. The buttercream: it's a classic American buttercream. No whipping of egg whites necessary 

One thing that really makes this cupcake great is the buttercream. The trick is to whip the butter for 5 minutes. That’s right, five whole minutes. This ensures an extremely aerated and fluffy buttercream that will leave you begging for more. The hardest part about making this cupcake is resisting the temptation to eat the whole bowl of buttercream before it even reaches the cake.

Recipe Review:

Taste: Perfect balance of sweet and tart. The compote has a natural tartness to it and the jam lends to the sweetness. 
Texture: The buttercream is extremely smooth and fluffy and the cake has a nice bite to it. The cake isn't too sweet and is buttery and moist. 
Level of difficulty: So easy. If you've never made cupcakes before, this is definitely a recipe you can handle! 
Appearance: Beautiful! The halved strawberry adds a beautifully fresh touch that makes you want Spring to be more like...Spring! 

Strawberry Compote
makes enough to fill 24 cupcakes

1 cup strawberries (about 8-10 strawberries), hulled and diced into small chunks 
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2-2 tsp cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Combine the strawberries, sugar and water in a small pot. Let that come to a simmer. Then, add in the cornstarch and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. 

1 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cups milk

Line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.

Alternate adding the milk and flour mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before filling and frosting

Strawberry buttercream
4 sticks (2 cups) butter, softened
5 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ strawberry Jam

In an electric mixture, beat the butter until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. In 1-cup intervals, slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Start on a low speed to make sure no powdered sugar gets out of the bowl. Add in the vanilla and strawberry jam and mix until fully incorporated. 

If the buttercream is not your desired color of pink, feel free to add a drop of red food coloring. 

Hollow out the cupcakes using an apple corer or knife. (Or any tool you prefer.) Add about 1 ½ tsp of strawberry Jam into the center. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcake. If you wish, top the cupcake with half a strawberry.

These cupcakes are great for any occasion, especially since they are so simple to make. You will fool all your friends and family into thinking you spent days on this when in fact it took only an hour. It’s the perfect cupcake in every way. But if you don't want to share them, well I really don't blame you. Be selfish, just this once :) 

As always, happy baking! 


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  2. Hi, just wanted to tell you how delicious these cupcakes are. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us. Yummy!