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Recipe: Strawberry Cupcakes with Whipped Strawberry Frosting

Strawberry CupcakesPendle Hill cook Carol Sciarra muses:

“This winter, I spent many an evening exploring the world of cupcake making. One of the things I learned to ensure light, fluffy cupcakes is to make sure the butter, milk, and eggs are all at room temperature before using them. The goal is to whip air into the batter. Cold butter won’t mix easily and if the eggs or milk are cold, they will harden the butter.” This recipe makes approximately 24 yummy cupcakes.

~ Prepare cupcake/muffin pan with bun liners
~ Preheat oven to 350F

Cupcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
12T butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
2T strawberry jam
1 ¼ cups milk, room temperature
8 organic strawberries, finely chopped

~ In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
~ In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla and, using a hand mixer, beat until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
~ Add the strawberry jam, whipping it into the butter and egg mixture.
~ Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined with each additional egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
~ Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
~ Slowly add 1/2 of the milk and mix until combined, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix. Add the remaining milk and mix until combined. The batter will be light and fluffy. Stir in the chopped strawberries by hand using a spatula.
~ Using a trigger release ice cream scoop or a spoon, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Whipped Strawberry Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ c heavy whipping cream, chilled
¼ tsp vanilla
½ cup powdered freeze dried strawberries
Pinch of salt

~ In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream on high speed 1-2 minutes until thick, fluffy, and spreadable. Set aside.
~ In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Add the powdered strawberries and mix.
~ Use a spatula to gently fold in the whipped cream.
~ Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake. Garnish with a sliced fresh strawberry (or whole raspberry) if desired or a sprinkling of the powdered strawberries and sugar.