Wholesomely delicious strawberry cupcakes!

I’m from Florida and it would not be spring time without seeing strawberry stands all over major and small roads selling some of the most beautifully bright red strawberries you’ve ever seen. They sell them by the pint or flats at such bargain prices too! Not to mention, an array of other strawberry desserts and products like milkshakes, jams, and shortcakes to get you in the “strawberry spirit” of the season. There are also several strawberry fields with signs advertising to “Pick your own” strawberries which makes for a deliciously exciting experience. Seeing such an abundance (and having a flat of strawberries sitting on my kitchen counter) really put me in the mood for some strawberry cupcakes. Immediately I hit the internet looking for a cupcake recipe that would help satisfy my strawberry sweet tooth and help me utilize all of these gorgeous berries. I came across Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes and thought I would give them a try. Some friends of mine had been asking me if I was going to try to incorporate wheat flour into some of my cupcakes to make them “healthier” and when I came across this recipe, I thought, “Well, why not start here.” So I did. The result, a lightly sweet strawberry flavor cupcake from top to bottom. I used King Arthur’s White Wheat flour so that it wouldn’t change the flavor and density too much. This cupcake was slightly heavier than a typical cupcake, however, the wheat flour wasn’t so pronounced that it took over the entire cupcake profile. Unless you are looking for it, I didn’t think that it was very noticeable. It was just a nice way of welcoming spring time with a cupcake recipe that won’t leave you feeling terribly guilty if you ate one… or two.

Some Strawberry Facts: (Source: pickyourown.org)

  • Native American Indians called strawberries “heart-seed berries” and pounded them into their traditional corn-meal bread. Discovering the great taste of the Native Americans bread, colonists decided to create their own version, which became an American favorite that we all know and love .. Strawberry Shortcake.
  • Seedy characters – On the average, there are 200 tiny seeds in every strawberry.
  • Eight medium-sized strawberries contain 140% of the U.S. RDA for Vitamin C. One cup of fresh strawberries provides about 88 milligrams of ascorbic acid, which more than meets the Recommended Daily Dietary allowance of 45 milligrams for the average adult. Vitamin C is well retained when the strawberries are handled carefully. Capping, injuring, cutting, or juicing, however, will reduce the vitamin content.
  • In addition, strawberries are good sources of folic acid, potassium and fiber. Strawberries are also fat-free and low in calories.
  • If you’re expecting a baby, you’ll be very interested in some of the new discoveries about folic acid. In fact, 8 strawberries have 20% of the folic acid you need every day.
  • Fresh juice from sieved strawberry pulp has a cooling effect on feverish patients. For a cooling and purifying drink, either pour water on crushed berries or chop the berries roughly and whirl in a blender with a little water.
  • As part of the 5-a-day program suggested by the American Cancer Institute, strawberries can also play a part in helping you to reduce the risk of cancer or heart disease.
  • Strawberry juice combined with honey will reduce inflammation or sunburn. Rub the mixture thoroughly into the skin before rinsing off with warm water and lemon juice
Mise en place~ Everything in place

Strawberry Cupcakes

Yield: Makes one dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed (use 1/2 cup of puree for this recipe)
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup white wheat flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Strawberry Frosting—recipe to follow
Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  • Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/2 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended—may look a bit curdled but it’s okay.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  • Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 of the way. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
TIPS

  • If using a dark muffin pan, remember to lower the temperature of the oven at least 20 degrees—I always set my oven to 330 degrees. The dark colored pans absorb heat more and therefore can cook your cupcakes faster and could leave you with dry or burnt cupcakes.  
  • If you do not want to incorporate white wheat, you can use all-purpose for this recipe.
  • If you’re unsure how much batter to add to your baking cups, fill only one baking cup and bake it by itself to make sure it doesn’t overflow over the baking cup.

Strawberry Frosting

Yields: enough for one dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole frozen or fresh strawberries, (thawed)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • 1/8 tsp. coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

I’ve named these cupcakes “The Pink Ladies”. These deliciously wholesome cupcakes are made with unbleached all-purpose and white-wheat flours and are topped with a fresh strawberry buttercream frosting and garnished with strawberry slices and mint. Fresh, wholesome, and delicious, because “Pink” is the word!

Available for purchase through LRBK!

Adapted from Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes, The Martha Stewart Show, February Winter 2008

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