Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

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Give me some free time and an empty stomach and I could do some serious damage in a grocery store.

Whether it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon perusing the aisle of a Whole Foods or a quick weeknight trip to a Harris Teeter, my eyes tend to wander.

Which is precisely why I’ve started to head into the grocery store with a plan of attack, often in the form of a list.

Although I can’t lie, that extra bottle of pinot noir or completely unnecessary wedge of Gouda occasionally will still find its way into my cart, with or without a list.

A few weeks ago, my friend John emailed me for cupcake baking advice for his wife Ashleigh’s birthday. Knowing that this may make his life easier and be enjoyable for me, I offered to bake the cupcakes.

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John then responded back that he would be happy to gather me the necessary ingredients for one of her favorites, strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

I responded back that I was planning to head to the grocery store that evening after work anyway to grab dinner, so could meet him there. He then sent back an offer I couldn’t refuse, not only would he pick up the cupcake ingredients but also what I needed for dinner and drop it off at my house.

Wow. Door-to-door grocery service and I get to avoid my perusing aisle habit. Nice!

Now, I will preface the next part of this story by stating that this was the first time John said he had done a solo trip to the grocery store, sans Ashleigh. I kid you not when I say that I probably received a text every 3 minutes.

-       Where is the butter?

-       Ok, I have someone directing me to the butter location.

-       Where do I find poultry seasoning?

-       Ok they have it all separate should I buy it separately?

-       Did you need the pork trimmed and tied?

There were a few more exchanges of questions and subsequent answers, but you get the general idea.

God bless the guy because he made it out alive and dropped those groceries off at my door, thanking me for my help with cupcakes. Meanwhile , I was feeling horrible that I had put him through such an ordeal.

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But he assured me it was well worth it and to enjoy my pork tenderloin for dinner and he looked forward to the cupcakes I’d be bringing to Ashley’s party the next day.

I’ve never made strawberry cupcakes before and took to the internet for some research on a good recipe. I came across the recipe for the cupcake and frosting on one of my absolute favorite baking blogs – mybakingaddiction.com.

She has such beautiful photos, baking advice and recipes for any confection you can think of. I found a post that listed the strawberry cupcake recipe from famed cupcake bakery Sprinkles.

Score!

And then, the post went on to give a recipe for what sounded like a simple and delicious strawberry cream cheese frosting.

The cupcakes came out amazing! I’d almost describe biting into just the cake as if I’d eaten a spoonful of strawberry shortcake.

And the frosting, oh man, that was heaven! I added a touch more strawberry puree to mine than the recipe initially called for, so feel free to adjust to your liking.

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cupcakes:

2/3 cup whole fresh strawberries

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup whole milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 large egg whites, room temperature

For the frosting:

½ cup whole strawberries

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, slightly cold

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

About 3 cups powdered sugar

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.

Put strawberries in a blender and process until pureed. You will need 1/3 cup of puree for the recipe so blend more strawberries if need be.

In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl mix together the milk, vanilla and strawberry puree.

In a large bowl (I promise you are now done with bowls), use an electric mixer set to medium high speed to cream the butter. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

Turn the mixer to low and take turns adding in part of the flour mixture and part of the milk mixture, making sure to scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups and bake in the oven 22 to 25 minute. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and let completely cool before icing.

To make the frosting:

Puree the strawberries in a blender. In a bowl of an electric mixer, or using a handheld mixer, beat together the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat until incorporated.

Reduce the mixer’s speed and slowly add in the powdered sugar, adding more if the frosting seems too thin. Add in the vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree (I added a touch more).

When the cupcakes are cooled, generously top each cupcake with the frosting, using a piping bag or a knife. Top with a piece of strawberry for a decorative touch.

(Sprinkles cupcake recipe on Martha Stewart and frosting recipe from My Baking Addiction)