Whew! What a title, right? These were by far the most complicated cupcakes I have ever made. But they were yummy! I don’t always have the greatest luck with homemade cupcakes. Often they are too dry which kind of makes me sad. But these cupcakes were moist and chock full of strawberries which was fabulous. The icing was very light and kind of tasted like a mix between strawberry ice cream and pudding. Due to my aversion of pudding (yikes!), I wasn’t a huge fan of the frosting. Although I think I was in the minority. At the bridal shower someone was plotting a diversion so they could go and lick the frosting off of all the rest of the cupcakes:)
The frosting is VERY finicky and from the comments on the blog, it seemed like it was very easy to mess up. I was pretty nervous about this, especially since I break all the rules and always make new recipes for guests:) However, mine worked out well! It took a LONG time to make this frosting…if you are up for the challenge, make sure to plan enough time. Also, a stand mixer is clutch. My mixer was going almost nonstop the whole time. You could always try a traditional mixer but your hand might get tired:)
Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Meringue Buttercream Frosting
As seen on Annie’s Eats; Originally from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
Yield: 34 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour (if you don’t have this: put 1 T. cornstarch in 1/2 c. measuring cup. Fill rest w/ all purpose flour. Sift multiple times. You just made cake flour!)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup milk
2½ cups finely chopped fresh strawberries
For the frosting:
1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Additional fresh strawberries
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
- Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg white one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the milk, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries with a spatula.
- Divide the batter between the paper liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-26 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor orblender. Puree until completely smooth. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved. (It should take about 10 minutes. Rub a little bit of the mixture in between your fingers. If the sugar has completely dissolved and is no longer grainy, it’s ready).
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. The bowl should be cool to the touch as well. (This step took a lot longer than 8 minutes for me. Just keep with it! Set your mixer on high and walk away!)
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 5-15 minutes more (or longer – don’t worry, it will come together!) Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat very well until you get the texture you want. There is a state change that will happen. If you’re not there yet, just keep beating!
- Frost! Either spoon on or fill a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip with the frosting. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, and garnish with fresh berries or berry slices.