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What To Do With Fresh Seasonal Strawberries? Strawberry Cupcakes!

It seems that my strawberry loving man cannot pass by a roadside market without stopping to buy some of the strawberries which are in season here. I have been having to find ways to use them. So, here we go!

This go round, I thought it would be a good idea to make a cake (sort of). Actually, I began with this recipe and modified it to use for cupcakes. I was searching for a recipe that would allow the mouth-watering flavor of the beautiful berries to shine like a brilliant star! If you have been searching for recipes calling for fresh strawberries you have probably noticed there are many for desserts with strawberry flavor, but not nearly as many using real fruit. Some do use real fruit but, in addition, call for using gelatin with artificial flavoring and color, as well. I certainly do use these things sometimes, but, as I have said before, when there is an abundance of fresh ingredients, why not use that?

The recipe I used was again found on All Recipes at this site and, though I made some alterations, I am giving credit to the source where I found the recipe that used real strawberries. It was my beginning inspiration and contained the same basic ingredients.

In this family, we think of cupcakes as a delightful treat. Most people would probably agree that cupcakes are easy to eat because of the individual serving size and that it is not necessary to cut a slice of cake in order to enjoy a serving. Also, cupcakes have their own handy-dandy little paper wrappers so there's no need to wash a fork! Having five grandchildren I can attest that kids love em!

Though I used the Best Ever Strawberry Cake recipe as reference for the basic list of ingredients. I did, however, make several changes in both the amount of ingredients and the type of ingredient. I also made some changes in the directions for making the batter.

I made these changes to the original recipe: Cupcakes can sometimes come out of the oven a little on the dry side, since the diameter of a cupcake is much smaller than that of a regular cake pan. Therefore, since the recipe I used was written for a regular layer cake, I added an additional one-fourth cup of  finely mashed strawberries to my cupcake batter to ensure a moist texture. In actuality, I smashed the devil out of those berries with my potato masher until they were pretty much pulverized. I also substituted whole milk, in lieu of 2% milk, because that is what I had in my fridge in the way of regular dairy milk. I thought of using fat-free, lactose free milk(which I had) or coconut milk(which I also had). But then, I figured that since I was going to use real unadulterated, whole fat cream cheese and real butter to make the frosting, I might as well go crazy with everything else too. I also used sea salt instead of the regular table salt called for in the original recipe. It worked just great.

I wrote the ingredients and directions for the frosting separately from the cake. It is easier for me to read and follow that way. As far as the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting recipe goes, I pretty much used the same ingredients. I did, however, make a few modifications to the directions. For instance: I was somewhat more specific with the directions here. I was more detailed concerning the speed of mixing the ingredients together. I was using a stand mixer for the frosting and the All Recipes recipe did not specify what type of mixer, if any, was used to "beat" the frosting. So, I thought it might be helpful to tell you what method and so forth that was used by me.

The recipe makes more than enough frosting to frost all 24 of the cupcakes. I even had a little frosting left over.

These things are wonderfully moist and tender, thanks to the extra quarter cup of pulverized strawberries. The flavor of the strawberries is very pronounced and noticeable too because of that little extra bit. They are, oh my goodness, seriously full of flavor!
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
A cupcake's individual proportion is set, after all, so my sometimes warped sense of reasoning tells me that one of these is not overly indulgent. It is quite alright if you find the urge to laugh out loud right now! Because---- I ate two of these things before I could stop myself. I'm telling you, when I pulled them out of the oven, I straightaway slathered some of that rich, decadent frosting right over the top of one of them(well, perhaps two) while they were still warm. I scarfed them down so fast it would have made your head swim! Folks, isn't that just plain shameful?
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

If you would like to make these cupcakes using my somewhat altered version of the recipe, this is it:

FRESH STRAWBERRY CUPCAKE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cup well mashed fresh strawberries
1/4 cup whole milk
6 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 3/4 cups white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup butter, softened

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line cupcake pan with standard size baking cups.
  3. On medium-low speed of stand mixer mix together the pulverized strawberries, milk, eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract together in bowl of stand mixer.
  4. In a separate bowl combine sifted cake flour, white sugar, baking powder and sea salt.
  5. With stand mixer on low speed slowly add in the flour mixture.
  6. Add the 3/4 cup of softened butter to mixture in mixer bowl and mix on low for about 3 minutes or until flour disappears and mixture is of a fairly smooth consistency.
  7. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix for approximately 1 minute more. Note: The batter will be somewhat thin in consistency.
  8. Divide batter evenly amongst 24 baking cups in baking pan(I used an ice cream scoop filled almost to the top to fill each cup).
  9. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when pressed with the finger.
Note: I happen to own a 24-cup cupcake baking pan. You may need to use two 12-cup pans or bake two separate batches.

***This recipe makes 24 standard sized cupcakes.

VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

INGREDIENTS:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. With a stand mixer on medium speed beat softened cream cheese and softened butter together until smooth and creamy.
  2.  Gradually add powdered sugar to cream cheese and butter mixture until well mixed and fluffy. You should be able to form small peaks in the frosting at this point. 
  3. With mixer on low speed add vanilla extract to the frosting mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. With a spatula spread frosting on top of each cooled cupcake.
Notes: This recipe makes enough frosting to easily frost 24 cupcakes or an 8-inch two layer cake.
I store these in an airtight container in a refrigerator and set out a few minutes before serving.

Because the recipe makes24 cupcakes, I shared with my neighbor and my family. As long as they are in this house they remain on my mind and continue to call my name. 

Thanks ever so much for dropping by! If you make these cupcakes I hope you will enjoy them as much as we have!


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