I’ve been looking for a fabulous strawberry cupcake for a while now, without much luck. I knew I wanted the cupcake to be moist with a light crumb, full of fresh strawberry flavor, and not use a cake mix. While I’m not strictly against cake mixes, I usually prefer to start from scratch. I found a recipe for a 3 layer strawberry cake that looked promising, but I knew if I followed the recipe exactly that I would wind up with more cupcakes that we could eat (especially if they weren’t good) so I made a few changes and halved the recipe. The results were just what I was looking for: moist with a light crumb and full of strawberry flavor. The tops get slightly crispy and they end up tasting like strawberry angel food cake. I topped mine with a simple vanilla cream cheese frosting, but they were equally good with no frosting. I’ll definitely be making them again and maybe with different fruit purees too. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake:
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp strawberry gelatin
1/2 cup pureed strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
red food coloring (if you want them to be a little more pink)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter with oil until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift flour with baking soda and gelatin powder. Set aside. Blend pureed strawberries with milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
4. Reduce speed on mixer to a low setting and stir flour mixture and milk mixture alternately into the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
5. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and centers spring back when touched. Cool completely.

For the frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2-3 tbsp heavy cream

1. Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste.
2. Beat until smooth, adding cream 1 tbsp at a time to reach desired consistency.
3. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Categories: Cupcakes

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