Very Berry, Strawberry Cupcakes!

Source: Annie's Eats
The last time I visited home, my very talented sister and I baked some very delicious strawberry cupcakes for a nice treat for the family. Of course, I had to slow down the process by making a photo shoot out of it. I did my best to take photos of the step-by-step process, so you can see how easy it is to make these cupcakes. These strawberry cupcakes would make a lovely addition to any wedding extravaganza. (i.e Bridal Shower!) And to answer your first question: Yes, these cupcakes do taste as good as they look! I think they taste rather light, myself. Not like a cupcake, but rather a muffin. I think I can eat 4 of them in 1 seating, they are just so good. Enjoy! (This recipe is from Annie's Eats)

Recipe yields 34 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup milk
2½ cups finely chopped fresh strawberries*

For the frosting:
1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped*
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature

 


For garnish:
Additional fresh strawberries*

*Note: I buy organic as much as possible regardless, but strawberries are one of the items where 
I really notice a huge difference in taste and color.  I recommend using organic berries if possible for best results.


Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend. (Sift all ingredients together, into the bowl)




In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs and egg white one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the milk, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Gently fold in the chopped strawberries with a spatula. Don't mix! Otherwise it will make the strawberries mushy and get their juice everywhere.




Divide the batter between the paper liners, filling each about ¾-full.  We used a ice cream scooper, its the perfect size and has a easy release button. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.




To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor or blender.  Puree until completely smooth.  Combine the egg whites and sugar salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.



Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer** fitted 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 should be cool to the touch.)



Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer - don’t worry, it will come together!)  Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 



Fill a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip with the frosting (We used a large round tip). Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, and garnish with fresh berries or berry slices. We decided not to garnish with strawberries, because they are just for family, but if these for baked for a special event, definitely do so.




**This can theoretically be made using a hand mixer, but will require even more time and a lot of arm strength.
 Original Recipe is from Annie's Eats