These just might be my favorite cupcakes of all time. Fresh strawberries are pureed and poured into the batter turning the cakes pink. Then the cakes are topped with cream cheese frosting that has a bit of sour cream and brown sugar in it. Mmmmmm. You can taste the strawberries in the cake and the tangy icing keeps them from being too sweet.
I dressed them up with little sugar paste bows brushed with edible shimmer powder to give to the three lovely ladies that are visiting this week.
When I found out that some friends were going to be visiting I knew that I wanted to make something with all the summer fruit that I've been seeing. Originally I wanted to use peaches after buying some amazing ones from the market by my house.
But then I ate the peaches...they were really really good.
When I went back I noticed that the strawberries were finally worth buying. Summer strawberries are a total different fruit than the disappointingly tasteless out-of-season ones. I decided to just buy them and search for something to put them into.
Not surprisingly, my search led me to Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Pink Lady Cake. That site never lets me down. Strawberries taste amazing in pies and cobblers and tarts, but I wanted to make something that we could snack on while getting ready to go out. Plus, I love decorating cupcakes and how cute is pink cake?
The batter for this cake is so so SO good. I've never been a fan of cake batter but this batter tastes like strawberries and sugar and all sorts of goodness. Its a miracle that I was able to stop myself from eating it all and get it into the cupcake papers.
While the cakes were cooling I made some cream cheese icing. Its my favorite icing but I hate how unstable it is and how it oozes instead of piping into designs. Icing sugar makes cream cheese icing stiffer and easier to pipe but adding too much takes away the tanginess of the icing. I decided to add some sour cream to the icing so that I could put in more icing sugar without making the icing too sweet.
I also added a little bit of brown sugar because my parents always serve sliced strawberries with topped with sour cream that has been mixed with brown sugar. I love that combination and I wanted the icing to taste a little bit like that.
(from Smitten Kitchen)
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye (this just makes the pink colour pop, you don't need to add much)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with cupcake papers
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. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye to blend. 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.
4. Bake the cakes for 18-25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Let the cakes cool before icing.