The Gleeful Gourmand: Strawberry Cupcakes and Turning Two!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Strawberry Cupcakes and Turning Two!

My, oh my, how the time has flown! I feel like I was just writing this post about the girls turning 1. Now here we are, one year later, and the girls are in the throes of toddler-hood. We so often called them "the babies" that it took us some time this year to change our way of thinking. We've got little girls on our hands. They talk in sentences, they eat everything we eat, they run and play and have perpetually scraped-up knees. They are coming into their own little personalities, and while they have a difficult time sharing, they genuinely love each other. Even though sometimes "love" looks a lot like whacking the other one across the face with a toy teapot. It's hard to believe that they were once the teeny tiny bundles you see to the left.

Savannah (L), and Delia (R) with their Grams

For their second birthday we had my family over and celebrated all things Savannah, Delia, and Strawberries (since, if you've read the Summer Berry Pudding post you'll know that's their current obsession). We feasted on Strawberry Salsa with Pita Chips, my sis-in-law's awesome Peppadew Peppers stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese, a delicious Flank Steak, Tomato Salad with Shallots and Buttermilk Dressing, Roasted Potato Wedges, and the most scrumptious Strawberry Cupcakes I've ever had in my life (more on that in a minute).
Peppadew Peppers stuffed with Goat Cheese

The girls had a blast cuddling, playing with their cousins, and stuffing their faces full of steak and cupcakes. A pretty perfect birthday, all around.

Strawberry Salsa with Pita Chips - Yum!

So, those Strawberry Cupcakes. I searched the Internet far and wide, and finally found these beauties over at A Southern Fairytale. What I loved so much is that they use real ingredients, and real strawberries. They were fresh, light yet moist, and smelled outrageous as they were baking. I didn't even need to use the recommended strawberry extract, because I thought the flavor was perfect just as it was. The frosting was really simple, too. The only drawback to the recipe was that it ended up making only 20 cupcakes instead of a baker's dozen. I used an ice cream scoop to get an exact amount each time, but I still came up a little short. But honestly, who cares? Everyone gobbled them up, and the birthday girls absolutely loved them. With Rachel's permission, I've posted the recipe below. You can read her full post here.

The perfect strawberry cupcake? You'll have to make them yourself to decide!

Strawberry Cupcakes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Approximate Time: 1 hour, 03 minutes
Yield: Approximately 2 dozen
Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Delicious Real Strawberry Cupcakes. The strawberry extract just enhances the flavor, it isn't necessary if you don't want to use it.
  • 2 Sticks Butter
  • 1 1/4 C white sugar
  • 2 3/4 C sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry extract
  • 1/2 C 2% milk
  • 16 medium strawberries (12 -14 oz) chopped and macerated (topped with white sugar and allowed to soak overnight)
  • Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 – 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp to 1/4 C milk
  • 3 to 5 C powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  1. The night before, chop the strawberries (stems removed), cover with white sugar and refrigerate. When you’re ready to make the cupcakes, remove the strawberries from the refrigerator and mash them with a potato masher or lightly pulse with a food processor. You don’t want a puree — you still want strawberry chunks. Place them in a strainer over a bowl, you won’t need all the juice.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line cupcake tins
  3. In a medium bowl, sift cake flour. From the sifted bowl measure out 2 3/4 Cups of cake flour and add in 2 1/2 tsps baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt
  4. In your mixer, mix together the butter and white sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.
  5. Slowly add the room temperature eggs one by one, mixing for about one minute after each egg, make sure that you scrape down the sides of the bowl so you don’t leave any buttery goodness out.
  6. Add in vanilla and strawberry extract
  7. (if you leave out strawberry extract, just sub. more vanilla)
  8. Whisk together the dry mix
  9. Alternately add the dry mix and 1/2 C milk, blending well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  10. Add in the strawberries and about 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp strawberry juice, fold in with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and you can see bits of strawberry throughout the batter.
  11. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake for roughly 18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when pressed and they’re a bit of a lovely golden color.
  12. Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes and then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack
  13. Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions
  14. I think butter creams are too sweet but often cream cheese frostings aren’t sweet enough for kids — this is my family’s favorite.
  15. In your mixer whip together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  16. Add in vanilla* and 2 Tbsp milk, blend well
  17. Start with 2 C powdered sugar and dash of salt, mix well
  18. Add more milk and powdered sugar slowly and in alternating batches- mixing and tasting each time until the frosting has reached your desired consistency
  19. Place in a bag with your desired piping tip and pipe onto cupcakes or spread on cakes.
  20. Variations
  21. * 1/2 Vanilla Extract and 1/2 Almond Extract or whip in some kahlua for an adult twist


Auntie Liz said...

Congrats on the yummy food and the two most awesome twin girls(!) ever!

Kirsten Oliphant said...

I can't believe they are 2!!! And wow, great food choices! I've had peppadew peppers stuffed and man--amazing.

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