When a child asks for strawberry cupcakes, you figure out how to make them. From scratch.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that it was Mister Man’s half birthday. I made him the cupcakes that he requested, strawberry cupcakes with cherry frosting. This forced me to get awfully creative.
I had made a strawberry cake for Mister Man’s birthday a year and a half ago, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. The only recipes I could find required using a box mix and Jell-O. It’s just not my cup of tea. This time around, I decided to fake it and make a totally homemade strawberry version since I was already going to do that for the cherry frosting.
And you know what? It turned out pretty well. This is one that I’m keeping, and I’ll definitely make it again. I did a fairly small batch, not sure how it would turn out. This made 20 cupcakes, but doubling or so the recipe would most likely make enough for a fancy three layer cake.
I’m also including the recipe for the cherry frosting he requested. If it were my cake, I wouldn’t combine these two flavors, but it wasn’t bad and the frosting? I was really surprised at how well it turned out. On a chocolate cake – if you like that sort of thing – it would be awesome. I’ll be putting it on a white cake, myself!
How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes From Scratch
1 1/4 c cake flour
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 c sugar
2 3/4 t baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 oz butter, at room temperature (use unsalted, please!)
6 oz pureed strawberries – I used fresh, but frozen would likely work as well
4 egg whites
1/3 cup milk
1 t lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease tins for 20 cupcakes (or use liners).
Add the butter and pureed strawberries into a bowl, and beat it. Keep beating. Beat beyond the point where you think you should stop. All of a sudden, you’ll realize that you have strawberry butter. You had no idea how tempted I was to get out a slice of bread or make some scones and just eat the strawberry butter. I’ll be doing this again and serving the strawberry butter at a party.
But I digress.
While the butter is beating, get out another bowl and place the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Mix it really well to get it fluffy and well-combined.
In another smaller bowl, mix together the egg whites, milk, and lemon zest. Whisk it really well until it’s a ummm consistent consistency.
Add the one-third the egg white mixture to the butter and beat to combine. Add one-half the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and repeat the process until all ingredients are added and *just* combined. No more beating after the first egg addition.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins, and bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes, depending on your oven – until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes then move them to wire racks. Frost only once completely cooled.
How to Make Cherry Glaze
1/4 c frozen cherries, pureed (I used sweet dark because I had them, but tart cherries would be better)
2 T butter
3 c powdered sugar
First of all, note that I measured nothing when I made this. I never measure when I make frosting. It’s all about the consistency you want and how it tastes to you. Frosting is incredibly forgiving. If you add a little too much of one thing, you can make it up by adding some more of something else.
I prefer cooked frostings because it takes out the powdered sugar taste and feel from them. With using frozen cherries as my liquid instead of milk, I also wanted to get the juices flowing.
I added the cherries to a small saucepan and turned the heat on medium low. I added the butter and stirred until it was completely melted and combined. From that point, I added powdered sugar until it was like a thicker soup consistency (but still very liquidy – since it’s heated right now, you don’t want it too thick). I continued to stir it on and off for about ten minutes, then I let it cool.
It. Was. Good. My mom even commented on how much she loved the glaze. I left the cherries very slightly chunky for a couple reasons, and it worked out well. I thought it looked pretty cool, too.
When frosting the cupcakes, I dipped them upsidedown in the frosting while it was still warm but not hot to give it a crumb layer. After the frosting cooled sufficiently, I used a spatula to scoop on another layer of frosting and let them set another twenty minutes before serving.
I ate two, if that gives you any idea.