Look familiar? Yes, I have already posted these Strawberry Cupcakes. No, the recipe has not changed.
Why repost? Well, I’m a bit embarrassed about it. When I first posted this recipe in February, I was still using my iPhone 4 (5 whole megapixels!) for my blog photography. On top of that, I was still taking all of my photos in artificial light.Which may mean nothing to you, so I should tell you now that it’s best to photograph food in natural light. And while some people are incredibly talented iPhone photographers, I am not. So in conclusion, my blogger newbie iPhone pictures do not do this cupcake recipe justice.
People eat with their eyes just as much as they do with their mouths. A great dish should be accompanied by great presentation. And while I am still working very hard at my food photography skillz (there is still MUCH room for improvement), these new photos are light years better than the last ones.
Also, these cupcakes are pretty great. I use fresh strawberry puree – no artificial flavors here. Any while the Swiss Meringue Buttercream may seem intimidating, it’s really no big deal. The extra effort is totally worth it. The result is a light, fluffy frosting that tastes like strawberry milkshake clouds.
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped strawberries, pureed (3/4 will be for cupcakes, 1/4 will be for buttercream)
- 1/4 of the strawberry puree (above)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups), softened and cut into 1 tbsp pieces
- Line a muffin tin and preheat over to 350 degrees. (makes 18-24 cupcakes)
- Put 2 cups of strawberries into blender and puree. I chopped the strawberries first for a more accurate measurement. Set aside.
- Sift flour, baking soda salt into a medium bowl, set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment cream butter for 8-10 minutes until very fluffy. I was worried the strawberry puree was going to weigh my cupcakes down and cause them to be dense, so I creamed the butter a little longer than I normally would.)
- Add sugar to the creamed butter and blend for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time until combined.
- Add buttermilk, vanilla & oil and beat until well combined.
- Add flour mixture and blend until just combined.
- Fold in 3/4 cup of the strawberry puree.
- Batter should light and fluffy and will not pour easily into cupcake tin.
- Fill paper liners about 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.
- Heat, whisking frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. The bowl will be cool to the touch.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Note: If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again.
- Blend in the remaining strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- To decorate fill a pastry bag or gallon sized ziplock bag (fitted with a large star tip if desired) and pipe onto cupcakes. Make sure cupcakes have cooled before decorating. Garnish with sprinkles or fresh strawberries.