Saturday, April 25, 2009

Strawberry Cupcakes

I've been meaning to make strawberry cupcakes for a long time, but never actually managed to make it happen until Easter. The cupcakes were tender and moist, and had an excellent strawberry flavor--perfect for spring! They use a different creaming method than most cakes, which made them a bit more dense but also more tender. Next time I might beat the egg whites separately and fold them in at the end to add a little lift. The only disappointment was that they sunk quite a bit after coming out of the oven, but of course frosting covers all faults.

I tried to make a meringue frosting for these cupcakes, but it came out way too drippy, so I ended up just whipping up some cream with a bit of sugar. I used superfine sugar, but if you don't have that you can easily substitute confectioner's sugar or regular sugar. Just taste along the way to get it to the proper sweetness. Although the whipped cream frosting was tasty and super easy, I think these cupcakes might be better with a heftier frosting like an American buttercream.

Strawberry Cupcakes (adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes and Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 36 cupcakes

4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye, optional
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp superfine sugar, more to taste
Sprinkles, to decorate (optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line three cupcake pans with paper wrappers.

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients (be sure to cover your mixer bowl with a towel during this step). Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food coloring. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the cupcake pans.

4. Bake until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 20 minutes?).

5. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. Then whip the heavy cream along with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Add more sugar to taste. Frost the cupcakes and top with sprinkles, if desired.

Note these adorable Easter cupcake papers from my Mom!


  1. Cupcakes are a perfect Easter treat and yours look delicious! Nice job!!

  2. The meringue frosting does not look drippy to me. But you can add a little cream of tartar to make the mixture hold its shape.

  3. @ Jackie: Thanks! The frosting in the photos is actually whipped cream (which I ended up using in place of the meringue frosting). Next time I end up with drippy meringue, I will definitely try your tip, though! I never thought of doing that but it sounds like a great fix. :)

  4. Whipped cream is a great replacement for frosting and I find it less sweet (I tend not to sweeten it as much) and cream goes with everything :)

  5. What pretty, pretty cupcakes. :)

  6. Pretty pretty Sara. Love them & the idea of pureed frozen strawberries within. Very nice indeed! Love the cupcake holders too!

  7. These look and sound fantastic! I've never made nor eaten such cupcakes...