With another friend’s birthday looming on the horizon, I was sitting at home trying to come up with the perfect cupcake flavor for the event. However, finding the perfect flavor isn’t always easy. I usually try to work from my knowledge of that person’s favorite candy, cake, or even beverage is. But some people, unfortunately, don’t seem to have favorites when it comes to those types of things. And this guy was one of those people. Seriously, I can’t remember ever seeing this guy eat a candy bar, and aside from going out for drinks, I’d only ever seen him drink water. Okay, water cupcakes it is! But I digress. My troubles were further confirmed when I finally asked him what kind of goodies he liked to eat and he said he didn’t really have any. After much poking and prodding, he finally fessed up that he liked to eat apples and strawberries. Finally, some flavors I could work with! And with a little luck finding some strawberries at the local grocer, I was able to set about making some strawberry cupcakes.
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
4 tbsp. (57 grams) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tbsp. sour cream
For the filling:
For the frosting:
2 1/2 sticks (300 grams) butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3-5 tbsp. milk
1-2 tsp. red food coloring
3-4 whole strawberries, sliced
Start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and lining your cupcake pan(s) with liners. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth, add the sugar, and mix until the mixture becomes smooth again. Add the baking soda, vanilla extract, and egg. Mix until everything is well combined and there are no lumps. Add the milk and mix until well incorporated. Add half of the flour, the sour cream, then the final half of the flour, mixing between each new addition. Be sure there are no lumps. Pour the batter into the lined cupcake pan(s) and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before filling or frosting.
To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake. Trim each cone down to the top most layer, which will later be used to cover the opening. Spoon about a teaspoon of jam into the center of each cupcake, and re-affix with the top layer from the center. Be sure not to over fill the center, otherwise jam may leak out and make the frosting more difficult.
To make the frosting, cream the butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar, and mix until the frosting becomes thick and smooth. I often add a little milk to thin my frosting out to make it more manageable when piping, but this is completely optional. Since the cupcakes were filled with strawberry, I tinted the frosting pink to keep with the theme, but that, too, is optional. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe with the desired tip. Garnish with a sliced strawberries shortly before serving.