One of the first signs of spring (for me at least) is the presence of bright red strawberries at the grocery store. Gone are the unsightly mostly-white winter strawberries that had to be coaxed to life and taste of nothing. Impostors. Just hanging around until the real berries come back. Ruby red, tart and sweet, plump strawberries are one of the first seasonal fruits after the winter citrus that whisper to us: Spring is here.
These light, fluffy cupcakes are the perfect base for fresh strawberry buttercream frosting. I like mini cupcakes, for the ratio of cake-to-frosting can be just about an ideal 50/50 per bite.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Slightly adapted from here
Makes 36 mini cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners.
2. Beat together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until fluffy. Add melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice and buttermillk, beating until mixed in.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
4. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full, as this batter rises slightly.
5. Bake the mini cupcakes about 15 minutes until a toothpick in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes completely cool on wire rack before frosting.
6 ounces of fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Put the sliced strawberries in a bowl and spring granulated sugar on top. Set aside for 10-15 minutes, then mash or chop up in a small blender.
2. Beat butter in mixing bowl until creamy. Add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until well incorporated. Add in milk, vanilla and strawberry mixture. Mix in the last cup of powdered sugar.
3. Using a spatula, transfer to a ziplock bag and close tightly, storing in refridgerator. When prepared to frost, twist the bag so that the icing pushes into one corner. Cut a small corner off the bag and use to push the frosting through. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Bon Appetit and happy spring!