GUEST POST: STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES

February 13, 2013

On this Valentine’s Day, I’m so excited to share a guest post from my friend Tami.  She and I attended the same high school in Memphis, and I’ve always admired her sense of humor, willingness to speak her mind, and entrepreneurial spirit.  Plus, her strawberry cupcake recipe is a winner; I tested it this weekend and, for someone who doesn’t normally even like strawberry cake, managed to eat two cupcakes by myself.  When I took the leftovers to work (to prevent myself from eating them ALL), they promptly disappeared and my colleagues raved.  Thanks, Tami! –Nishta

strawberry cupcakes | Blue Jean Gourmet

Having spent the majority of my life in the South, I understand the importance of a good strawberry cake recipe. This caused much stress as I worked on perfecting my recipes for TamiCakes. In my mind, every strawberry cupcake or cake should taste as good as the slices of strawberry cake that I would devour at Bogie’s Deli on Mendenhall as an after school snack in high school. If I couldn’t get the same joy from eating my own strawberry cake as I did whenever I visited home, then the recipe was no good.

For months, I could not find a good recipe. I tried frozen strawberries, strawberry jello, strawberry yogurt, strawberry jam, and nothing worked. Whenever someone would order the Mia X (named for the first lady of No-Limit Records, a Southern music powerhouse during my teenage years), I would cringe, because I did not look forward to the outcome. Eventually, I unofficially removed the Mia X from my menu while I worked out the recipe.

One day while browsing through recipes online, I came across this recipe. The recipe called for frozen strawberries, but I switched it up to fresh strawberries. Fresh is always better in my mind. I also cook the strawberries on the stove and then puree the in the food processor, versus just pureeing them in the food processor without cooking them. The flavor, to me, is much better with these alterations. I top the cupcakes with my cream cheese icing instead of strawberry icing. I love strawberry on strawberry, but using cream cheese allows you to savor the flavor of the cake.

For me, this is a perfect strawberry cupcake recipe. A lot of strawberry cake recipes don’t translate well to cupcakes, but this makes the most delicious little bites. They’re even good enough to sit on top of the Bogie’s lunch counter.

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Yields 18-24 cupcakes

Note: This recipe yielded only 16 cupcakes for me, but I used large muffin tins and filled them quite full.  Since I didn’t have any red food coloring on hand, the cupcakes you see here are more of a pale pink.  And finally, my piping skills are not what Tami’s are; despite my inability to make these cupcakes look fancy, they still tasted fabulous!

for the cake:

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 ½ cups granulated white sugar

2 ¾  tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup pureed strawberries (from approximately 1 lb. strawberries)

4 large egg whites

1/3 cup milk

4 -5 drops of red food coloring (optional)

for the frosting:

1 package cream cheese, softened

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar (I prefer two cups, since I’m not a fan of super-sweet icing)

strawberry cupcakes | Blue Jean Gourmet

directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Dice strawberries and place in skillet, covered with water.
3. Place over medium heat and bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer for about 3 – 4 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and strain. Reserve juice for another use.
6. Puree cooked strawberries in food processor, set aside.
7. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.
8. In an electric mixer, blend butter with strawberry puree.
9. Add flour mixture and blend until light and fluffy.
10. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, milk and food coloring.
11. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and blend until completely mixed.
12. Fill cupcake liners with 1-inch ice cream scoop.
13. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
14. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until combined.  Add the vanilla, then beat in the powdered sugar gradually, pausing to taste as you go until your desired level of sweetness has been reached.

Tami

Tami Sawyer is 30, single & loves to bake.  TamiCakes is an entrepreneurial foray into her love of baking, which was passed on to her by her Mom & Granny. She resides in the District of Columbia where she maintains an active social & professional life and still finds time for cupcakes!

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