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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

{ made with love for my love }
This was the special treat made for my husband's birthday this past Friday (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart).  I also made extra to contribute to a fundraising bake sale with the proceeds going toward a wonderful New York-based, non-profit organization called Bread and Water (they help provide relief across the world). 

It's a wonderful dessert to share with loved ones on Valentine's Day or any day for that matter.  I love the light fluffiness and sweet strawberry flavor of the buttercream frosting, but the cake itself is also delicious and moist (with the help of a little milk). 

Though the recipe can seem intimidating, it's really not.  The cupcake is simple to make (the most time-consuming part was chopping the strawberries).  The swiss meringue buttercream frosting can be made in advance or while the cupcakes are baking.  Here's a basic tutorial on how to make swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  If you refrigerate the cupcakes, just be sure to let them defrost at room temperature for a couple hours before serving.

To make it more festive, I transformed strawberry gummy candy and strawberry slices into heart shapes as garnish.


I've made a handful of different cupcakes now, and I have to say these are definitely among the top fave. 

Happy Valentine's Day!




Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart
{ Makes 34 cupcakes }
Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries, plus small strawberries for garnish (or use gummy strawberry candy for garnish)
Strawberry Buttercream (recipe below)

Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
  2. Reduce speed to low. Mix in the vanilla. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk and ending with the flour.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Stir in chopped strawberries.  Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.  Once cupcakes are cool, frost tops with strawberry buttercream.  Frosted cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Top with a strawberry just before serving.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart
{Makes about 5 cups}

Ingredients:
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed

Directions:
  1. Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  2. Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  3. Switch to a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)
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