Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Can you believe it?! It feels like just yesterday that I set my New Years' resolutions. What is Valentine's Day about? Love and sugar. At least that's my take on the holiday. I choose to spread love to the people I care about in the form of sweet, pink and red treats. I made these super cute, pink, gluten-free cupcakes with a classic strawberry flavor to celebrate this holiday of love (and sugar).

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I love pink cupcakes! Cupcakes are the cutest dessert, and pink is the cutest color. Put them together, and it's cute overload - or if you're me, just the right amount. Strawberry is a classic flavor for Valentine's treats. I stuck with just strawberries for color and flavor. As you can see from some other recipes (and the decorations on these cupcakes), I am not against food coloring or extracts. But fresh ingredients have a totally different flavor. And it's definitely worth it. Two words: strawberry buttercream. Mmmmmmmmmm! I could eat a whole lot of that icing with just a spoon, no problem.
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I started with my vanilla cake recipe and made a few adjustments. To get maximum strawberry flavor, I used whole strawberries that I pureed in my food processor. Besides adding strawberry puree to the cupcake batter, this recipe is pretty straight-forward. I set some of my plain buttercream icing aside, to add extra decoration at the end. I kept some white and died some red. I topped each cupcake with strawberry buttercream icing, and leveled off the top so that I can pipe some decorations on them. With the strawberry icing as a pink background, these are the cutest treats for Valentine's Day!
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Here's a behind-the-scenes shot. Yes, these baked goods come out of the tiniest kitchen. That is all of my counter space right there. Spacial planning is a good exercise for the brain, right? My motto is whatever the space you have, just make sure it has cupcakes. (I'll come up with a better motto later.)
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Strawberry puree adds a LOT of moisture to the batter, so use sparingly - just a few drops per cupcake. Even at that small quantity, the flavor is nice and strong. I started out with a carton of strawberries, and I didn't even use half. And that includes the health dose I added to my buttercream icing. Strawberry puree made a nice pink color for my icing, but no color at all in the cupcakes. Once the cake bakes, it absorbs the strawberry puree - so you've got all of the flavor but no cute swirls of pink. If you're looking for pink cake, add food coloring. I doubled the recipe to make 2 dozen cupcakes. Take a look at my recipe below to make your own Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes!
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FRESH STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM ICING

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup gluten-free flour:
    • 26g white rice flour
    • 53g brown rice flour
    • 53g tapioca flour/starch
    • 26g corn starch
    • 5g potato flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Strawberry Buttercream Icing (see recipe below)

Directions:

1 Add all flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
2 Rinse and de-stem strawberries.
3 Add berries to a food processor and puree until you have a smooth liquid.
4 Pour strawberry puree into a bowl, and set aside.
5 With your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until combined and continue beating until light and fluffy.
6 Add eggs one at a time.
7 Add vanilla and mix to combine.
8 Gradually add flour mixture to the batter in three parts, mixing between each one.
9 Add milk and sour cream. Mix to combine.
10 Let batter rest while your oven preheats to 350 F.
11 Line your cupcake tins with paper cupcake wrappers.
12 Fill each cupcake paper about 3/4 full of batter with a few drops of strawberry puree in each.
13 Bake approximately 8 minutes or until firm and golden brown on top.
14 Let cupcakes cool completely at room temperature.
15 Frost cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Icing.


Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (increase to 2 tsp if desired)
  • ~1/4 cup Strawberry puree

Directions:

1 With your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk butter and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy.
2 Gradually add powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time with the mixer on low speed, mixing well between each cup.
3 (If you're going to dye some icing to decorate, here is where you will scoop some into a bowl to save for later. If your icing is too stiff to pipe, you may need to add a few drops of milk to soften it.)
4 Add vanilla and a few spoonfulls of strawberry puree to your icing. Whisk to combine.
5 Add more strawberry puree, a few spoonfulls at a time, until you reach the desired flavor.
6 If when you run a spatula through it, your icing has lots of air bubbles, beat icing with the paddle attachment at medium speed for a few seconds to remove some of the air that was whipped in.