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strawberry cupcakes

it’s been a little while since my last update, and i apologize – i just realized today that’s it’s already been august for a few days. things have been hectic around here lately, and to be totally honest, when i started blogging, i had a lot less going on in my life in general. my goal was always to post at least twice a week, but it’s clear that i haven’t really been able to sustain that kind of schedule – between school and work, there’s just been less time to bake, which is a shame, because it’s still one of my favorite things in life.

also, there are times i find myself wanting to bake or cook just to bake or cook. figuring out lighting, taking pictures and writing out recipes can be a bit of a buzzkill when there are crazy delicious things in the oven and you just want to eat and share them with other people. some days it’s all about making a perfect loaf of zucchini bread and eating the whole thing before anyone has a chance to snap a photo. those days don’t happen often enough.

but don’t worry, pete bakes isn’t going anywhere! in fact, i recently (sort of) made these strawberry cupcakes for the girl and myself. finally, after over a year, i’ve learned to halve batches of things when i’m not planning on taking them into work or having a cupcake party. i’m espcially glad i halved this recipe, because they ended up being a little disappointing. i’m perplexed because it’s a martha stewart recipe – what gives?

although there was a decent strawberry flavor, the cake was too dense and spongy. you can also see how the color changed from the batter to the baked cake – more gray than pink. the frosting, however, was pretty good. i would use that again in another recipe.

does anyone have a really awesome strawberry cupcake recipe they’d be willing to share?

strawberry cupcakes
from Martha Stewart [1]. makes 12 cupcakes.

2/3 c whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 c whole milk, room temperature
1 tspn pure vanilla extract
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

1/2 c whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

2. place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. you should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.

3. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. in a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.

4. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

5. with the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

6. divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

7. place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.