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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strawberry cupcakes

I love getting together with my friends from college.  I went to the University of Connecticut and graduated from a tiny program, Marine Science, a program that was 80% guys.  Picture a straggly group of hunters and fishermen and you have my BFFs from college.   They say you find your bridesmaids in college but I fear they won't look so good in cocktail dresses....

Seth and his fiance had some friends over for dinner wine and good times, and I was in charge of dessert.  At first I wanted to make this GIGANTIC cinnamon roll - but then I decided on something lighter.... something that said SPRING has SPRUNG in New England! 

So now I had my heart set on Strawberry Cupcakes.
And pink is always in.  And they looked too cute in gold muffin liners.
On a big white platter<3 


My heart was breaking as I searched for a strawberry cupcake recipe.  It was really hard to find a recipe using actually STRAWBERRIES-  So many of them used cake mix and strawberry jello flavoring.  Um- no thank you.  It was sad to see how many strawberry cupcake recipes did not involve a single strawberry. Seems like a crime, doesn't it?

Well after some searching I finally found it.  Ironically at one of my favorite blogs.  Why didn't I go there first?   Jenna over at Eat Live Run had an amazing strawberry cupcake recipe.  I followed along and was NOT disappointed-- neither were my friends at the dinner party ;)

I modified her recipe a little bit to include a little strawberry puree under the frosting. (Also poked a few holes in the cupcake to let the puree sink in!)   I also made a thinner frosting, almost like an icing, and topped the cupcakes with some strawberry puree.   

Head on over to Jennas Blog for all the details or see her recipe below! 

Strawberry Cupcakes 
with Fresh Strawberry Frosting
makes about 24 cupcakes
for cupcakes—
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups pureed fresh strawberries (from about 2 cups whole strawberries—puree in a blender until smooth)
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon zest
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 egg whites
for fresh strawberry frosting—
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 pound)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt (original recipe calls for fleur de sel, which you can find at specialty shops)
8 cups powdered sugar (from two 1-lb boxes)
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 1 cup whole strawberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease 24 cupcake tins.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together the pureed strawberries, lemon zest, milk and vanilla in another bowl. Also set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg whites gradually, beating after each, until combined. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the wet strawberry ingredients to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling up 2/3 to 3/4 the way full (depending on the size of your tins…I have really small cupcake tins so I filled mine up all the way). Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes or until golden. Be sure to test using a toothpick to make sure they are completely done in the center. Let cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting! Beat the butter until creamy then add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, sea salt and pureed strawberries. Continue beating (ideally with an electric mixer but you can do this by hand if need be) until very light and fluffy.
Pipe or spread frosting on each cupcake. Enjoy!
2 hours (includes time to cool)

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