So I’ve been envisioning this cupcake for a long time now. And I know it’s not springy everywhere–heck, it’s not even springy here right now! We started out the week in the 80s and now we’re back in the 30s. But I guess that means I now want springtime cupcakes more than ever!

I tried out a couple of strawberry cupcake recipes in search of the one that was just right. Ultimately, I wanted one that got a fantastic rise, but I’ve kind of resolved myself to the fact that that’s something I’m going to have to sacrifice because of things I want more. Ultimately, I wanted a cupcake that had a distinct strawberry flavor but didn’t have artificial strawberry flavoring in it. I also didn’t want want chunks of strawberry because I’m not a huge fan of slimy strawberries (think chunks of strawberry in your yogurt. Ew.) I could achieve both of these goals by pureeing the strawberries instead of chopping them; however, it added some extra, unaccounted-for liquid that cut down on the rise. HOWEVER, I couldn’t add extra flour because that would cut into the strawberry flavor that I wanted. And ’round and ’round we go.

Anyway, after trying a handful of strawberry cupcake recipes, I slightly modified this one from a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine that featured cupcakes. I’ve found (and maybe other people have noticed) that her recipes can often be deliberately unclear and hard to follow, so I simplified some things, tweaked a little here and there, and got an awfully yummy cupcake out of the deal. Paired with Sara’s Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling…oh, man…light and sweet and everything that strawberries and cream are supposed to be!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cake flour (or cake flour substitute)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg white
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. strawberries, pureed
A few drops of red food coloring (optional; I understand it’s kind of a hot topic, but they turn out a bit gray inside if you don’t use it…)
Double recipe of Sara’s Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling

Preheat oven to 350. Line a METAL muffin pan with paper liners–you absolutely must use a metal pan in this recipe to give them as much help as they can get rising. Whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating after every addition.

Reduce speed to low. Combine buttermilk and vanilla together and set aside. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture; end with the dry ingredients. Fold in strawberries. If desired, add a few drops of red food coloring until a pretty pink color is reached. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything has been mixed in. Divide batter among muffin cups (about 30), filling them almost all the way to the top.

Bake cupcakes until a knife inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Allow to cool in muffin tins. Top with a swirl of frosting (just cut a generous hole off the corner of a Ziploc or disposable decorating bag and swirl around the cupcake) and dream of all the sunny days to come!




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