Strawberry Cupcakes

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Minnesota springs have the tendency to reflect Jeckyl + Hyde personality traits. One day brings sunshine & temps in the mid 60’s, the next a foot of snow. It’s recipes like this one that remind me of those mid 60, sunshine-filled days and keeps the mentality of spring alive and well.

Berries are one of my favorite food group, and the change in seasons is definitely reflected by the recent bounty. I love the brightness of ripe strawberries in almost any dish, be it paired with cheese, salads, desserts or drinks alike.

Often times I find recipes for strawberry cake laden with items I typically aim to avoid (like jello or food coloring.) As often is the case in such situations, I aim to recreate a recipe using pure ingredients that showcase the natural flavors; in this case — strawberries. I’m not certain why strawberry cakes need to be an insane shade of dark red to denote strawberry cake, but these are perfectly shaded pink cakes, without all the overly sugary flavors.

Real ingredients like butter from grass fed cows, a pound of strawberries and pure cane sugar make these delightfully sweet, perfectly moist and a welcomed completion to any party. Frost with your favorite recipe, I used my go-to vanilla buttercream. A fresh whip cream would be lovely and lighter on the sugar front. Enjoy + happy baking!

Yields 18 muffins

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Directions:

For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup room temp organic butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups pure cane sugar (I used Wholesome Sweet brand)
  • 1.5 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 room temp organic eggs
  • 2.5 cups unbleached AP flour 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled + puréed, plus more for garnish (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup room temp organic butter
  • 2 lb confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup whole milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line cupcake pan with paper liners + set aside.
  2. In kitchen aid mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter, canola oil +  sugar, 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and baking powder until incorporated. Do not overmix.
  4. Purée the hulled strawberries and fold into the cake batter with a spatula. Using an ice cream scoop, transfer the batter to each muffin liner and bake 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

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To make the frosting:

  1. Using your kitchen aid mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract + 1/4 cup whole milk on medium speed for 5 minutes. If the frosting is too thick, gradually add more milk one tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached.
  2. Frost each cupcake + garnish with a sliced strawberry. Enjoy!

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