Friday, April 16, 2010

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

Last Monday it was Cory's (pardon me, I need to roll my r's for his name…Corrrrrrrrrrry's) birthday and if made me a cake for my birthday so of course he would get a cake back!  Sunday while watching Life Kate, thankfully, reminded me of Cory's birthday.  I immediately sprung over to the kitchen and began whipping up a small batch of cupcakes.  I have a "stand-by" vanilla cake recipe, but I wanted to try something new… and I didn't want to have to figure out how much I would have to reduce my cake recipe to make 12 cupcakes.  I decided to try out the fabulous Joy the Baker's recipe - and it was already formatted for 12 cupcakes!  Lucky me!

But I didn't want to use any old buttercream recipe.  Lately I have really gotten into experimenting with different buttercream flavors - in particular ones with fresh fruit.  After quizzing Cory on what kinds of fruit he likes, we landed on strawberry.  I might like to note that at this point I don't think Cory knew he was getting cupcakes.  I must say… this is probably one of my favorite buttercream's I have EVER made.  It tasted light and the sweetness came mainly from the strawberries. (note: I made mine a lot thinner because I wanted it to look like a "drippy" glaze, but it'll easily thicken up with more powdered sugar)

The next day Kate and Zenka brought the cupcakes up to North Campus and the text I received a few hours later confirmed my suspicion - Cory LOVED the cupcakes!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 12 cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • a scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a handheld beater and beat on slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency and everything is combined.  Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.  
  3. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated.  Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Continue mixing until the batter is smooth.  Just a few minutes.  Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
  • 1 cup of strawberries, washed and cut into fourths
  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (more of less depending on the thickness you desire)
  1. Beat butter with a hand mixer until fluffy, set aside.
  2. Puree strawberries in a food processor, beat into butter until well combined.
  3. Beat in powered sugar ¼ of a cup at a time.  When desired consistency is reached, begin frosting cooled cupcakes.

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