Sweet Summertime Strawberry Heaven

shortcake on the goI used to live a mile away from an organic strawberry farm. It was part of my normal routine to walk through the fields, overlooking the ocean, to hand pick strawberries. Those were some pretty sweet, strawberry filled days!

Fortunately those organic California strawberries make their way up to Oregon, but with a bigger price tag. I probably won’t be making as many strawberry treats this summer as I once did, but I will still allow myself to indulge in recipes that I can resist! This recipe fell into that category of totally irresistable. I followed a link to My Baking Addiction’s blog and only about 3 seconds passed between looking at the picture and reading the words ‘fresh,’ strawberry,’ and ‘cupcake’ in one sentence before I decided that I HAD to make these. And RIGHT AWAY! So, on my way home from work, I picked up the necessary ingredients and started baking away. Around 10pm I scarfed down a DEEELICIOUS cupcake and then had another…

The texture and flavor of these cupcakes is some of the best I have ever had. The recipe is based on one by Martha Stewart called ‘Sprinkles Cupcakes’ that was modified by My Baking Addiction. I made the following changes based on my personal tastes and My Baking Addiction’s reflections: She mentioned that the cake was a little dry, so I upped the amount of strawberry puree in the cake batter and replaced milk with sour cream. I also decreased the baking time and took them out of the oven when they were ‘just done.’ She mentioned that the frosting was a little on the soft side, so I decreased the amount of strawberry puree added. This however made the strawberry flavor in the frosting somewhat subtle, so I added strawberry puree to the top to pack in more strawberriness. I also put the frosting in the fridge for a bit to help it firm up. 

I honestly can’t think of any way to make these better, but if you do, let me know!  This recipe makes 18 cupcakes.

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 up unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 18-22 ounces powdered sugar
  • 18 small fresh strawberries

To Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 (total) cupcake liners, set aside.
  3. Puree the strawberries in a blender and transfer to a small bowl.
  4. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla, set aside.
  5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside.
  6. Cream the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  7. Gradually add the sugar while mixing on medium-high speed.
  8. Reduce the speed to medium and add in the egg whites and then the whole egg.
  9. Reduce the speed to low and mix in half the strawberry puree mixture.
  10. Add half the flour mixture, then the rest of the strawberry puree, followed by the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  11. Scoop batter into muffin tins, filling each cup half-way.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  13. Cool cupcakes in tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make the Frosting:

  1. Puree the strawberries in a blender, set aside.
  2. Whip the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until well incorporated.
  3. Gradually add the powdered sugar until desired consistency and sweetness is achieved.
  4. Beat in three teaspoons of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract.
  5. Place frosting in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or longer to firm up.
  6. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a star tip.
  7. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  8. Create a small indentation in the top of the frosting and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry puree into it.
  9. Slice tops off of small strawberries and place one upside down on each cupcake on top of the puree.
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