Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

At work, the word "meeting" usually makes people groan, but when they involve a smorgasbord of delicious lunch and dessert, as they often do at my workplace... my eyes light up. We have a lunch meeting this Monday, and I eagerly volunteered to provide a homemade dessert. Lately, I haven't so much as stepped foot in my kitchen other than to whip up a PB&J for lunch or heat up a quick dinner. This was a perfect opportunity for me to get back in the game.

This winter has been particularly crummy (and I'm not just referring to the weather), and I wanted to make something that evoked sunshine. These cupcakes just seem to scream spring. This morning started out dreary and gray, and as the hours spent in my kitchen wore on, the sun came out and the sky is now as blue as can be. A day like today... just me, my sunlit kitchen, and powdered sugar all over the place... was long overdue.

I've made this strawberry frosting a couple times before with fantastic results. I tell everyone it tastes like strawberry ice cream. I love, love, love it. It just makes me smile. This time I paired it with a basic vanilla cake. I'd love to pair it with a chocolate cake or brownies sometime.

And might I add... my blog's header is a huge photo of a cupcake. It's about time I wrote a cupcake post.

Strawberry Frosting (adapted from Sprinkles)
makes enough for 12 cupcakes (I doubled the recipe for 24 cupcakes... seven cups of sugar! ahhhhhhh!)
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, just barely cool but still firm
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Process the strawberries in a food processor until a smooth puree forms.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Lower the speed on your mixer. Gradually add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the vanilla and 3 tbsp of the strawberry puree. Mix well. You can mix just until blended for a dense frosting, or you can keep going and incorporate more air for a fluffier frosting. It's up to you. I went fluffy this time.
Note: I added a lot of extra strawberry puree this time around because the berry flavor wasn't strong enough. I think it's probably because they're not in season yet. Just add however much strawberry fits your taste.
Butter...butter...and more butter.
Glorious buttercream...
Glorious buttercream after the addition of strawberries.
Darn right I licked the beaters!
This is how you get popular at work. Just kidding. Kinda.

How did you spend your Sunday?


P.S. My poor little hand mixer. It's an off-brand, sorta chintzy mixer I got for like 7 bucks at Kmart about 4 years ago. I thought it (not to mention my arm) would die today, with the amount of frosting I made. But it was the little engine that could! Still, it made me yearn for one of these beauties.