My local fruit market (Stanley’s) had super crazy time sales on organic strawberries again this week, so I picked up a bunch and set out to make delicious cupcakes for the little girl I nanny for (Lila, self-proclaimed “professional ballerina.”) I chose a recipe from Julie Hasson’s 125 Best Cupcake Recipes because it has never led me astray. It’s gotten my hopes up and delivered pretty good cupcakes as opposed to the amazing ones I expected, and it’s blown me away with killer cupcakes when I only expected pretty OK ones. So there you go. In this case I was underwhelmed by both the disappointing non-pink color the 1/3 cup pureed strawberries delivered (hence the awesome food coloring pink you see here) and by the too-subtle strawberry flavor. So I decided to make some strawberry buttercream with no recipe in site an that, my friends, is where I blew it.

I found a recipe that called for 1/2 pint chopped strawberries, marinated in sugar for a few hours to get juicy and then drained, 4 Tbs butter and 3-4 cups powdered sugar…and to that I said, in my best Paula Dean accent “where the butter, yall?” So, the idiot I am, I made my go-to buttercream recipe and added a bunch of chopped, drained strawberries. Obviously this resulted in runny frosting, which I countered with more sugar, which resulted in a weird, dusty pink color and a sort of splotchy appearance. Whatever, dude, these were for a three year old. If they weren’t cute enough for her Teno would eat them. And eat them he did! But Lila had fun decorating, she made the one you see here just for me and I ate it in two bites. So I’d say, the cake recipe is OK, not all that strawberry-flavored but whatever. The frosting actually tasted really good, but it looked awful. Should you want to duplicate this so-so endeavor, read on.
For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup pureed fresh strawberries (about 4 large ones)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Then you:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with cupcake liners.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
In a large bowl use an electric mixer to beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pureed strawberries, mixing well. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth.
Fill cups with batter (really, they don’t rise much) and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove form pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

I’m not posting the frosting recipe, it was a hot mess.

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