Thursday, March 27, 2014

Strawberry Cupcakes

Today I decided to make some strawberry cupcakes. I have made strawberry cake in the past by altering my white almond cake recipe, but for some reason I never wrote it down. So today I decided to recreate the strawberry cake from memory. (This time wrote it down!)

 After tasting one, (okay three) I decided that they were good, but could use just a little something more. I wasn't quite sure what, but I started coming up with alterations that I could make to the recipes. As I let my mind wandering, I whipped up a batch of my Creamy Almond Buttercream Frosting.

Now, I rarely bother with small batches of frosting. Why?, you ask? Well because frosting is messy, and time consuming, and then there are the greasy dishes to deal with. Oh and did I mention messy? So when I make frosting a make a very big batch. Twice! Any leftover frosting I put in gallon freezer bags and I stick them in the freezer until I need them.

Before you make this frosting recipe, make sure you have a large mixing bowl. Otherwise, cut the recipe in half or thirds. I use a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer with a 6 quart mixing bowl and it is just barely large enough.

Creamy Almond Buttercream Frosting
1 Cup of Butter, Softened (2 sticks)
3 Cups of Crisco
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Teaspoons of Almond Extract
12 Cups of Powdered Sugar, sifted
3/4 Cup of Milk

Cream together butter, Crisco, salt and almond extract. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to mix at a low speed. Add the milk and mix at a low to medium speed until everything is incorporated. Then turn to the highest speed and whip for about 2 or 3 minutes.

My Tips
  • Let the butter sit at room temperature for a couple of hours before making your frosting.
  • Crisco is my preferred shortening of choice but experiment with others, you might find one you like better.
  • Frosting can be made with all butter or all shortening if you prefer. If you use all shortening (which will give you a whiter frosting) you might want to add butter flavoring.
  • Almond flavoring can be switched up with the flavoring of your choice.
  • The salt is very important. It helps offset the sweetness of the frosting.
  • The amount of milk used will alter the thickness of the frosting. Adding more will make it easier to spread and adding less will make it thicker. Thicker frosting is sometimes useful when piping decorations.
  • Always use the paddle attachment instead of the whip. It will give you a smoother texture.
  • Use the frosting that is room temperature, it is much easier to work with
  • Frosting will stay good in the freezer for several months if it is stored properly. I store mine in freezer bags or quality storage containers.

After making my frosting, I frosted the cupcakes that were left and gave one a try. In doing this, I discovered what my Strawberry Cupcakes had been missing all along. The frosting. Adding the frosting gave them the perfect finishing touch.

This is recipe will make about 11 cups of batter which is enough for, 48 cupcakes, or 2-9"x13" cakes, or 1-11"x15" or 12"x18" cake. If you give my Strawberry Cupcakes a try, let me know what you think of them!

Strawberry Cupcakes

3/4 Cup of Crisco
2 Cups of Granulated Sugar
1 Cup of Egg Whites
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Strawberry Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1-3/4 Cup of Milk
1-1/4 Cups of Pureed Strawberries
1/3 Cup of Canola oil

Mix Crisco and Sugar until well blended. Continue mixing and add in the Egg Whites and Vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together Flour, Cake Mix, Baking Powder, and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the Milk, Pureed Strawberries and Oil.

Bake the cupcakes ate 350 degrees for about 20 minutes

My Tips
  • 1 cup of egg whites is equal to about 8 egg whites. You could also use 5 whole eggs instead. I prefer to use the liquid egg whites in a carton.
  • Cake and cupcakes freeze well. If you don't need them all right away, freeze the leftovers
  • I generally use Betty Crocker or Pillsbury cake mixes. Any others would work too. If you use a cake mix that doesn't having pudding added to the mix, this will affect the texture of your cake.
  • Put the milk, strawberries and oil into a large measuring cup with a pouring spout. This will make it easier to add them to the cake batter.
Thanks for stopping in. We hope you enjoyed our Strawberry Cupcakes! With Strawberry season right around the corner (well in some places anyway...the snowbanks are still ten feet high here), maybe you will get a chance to make some with field fresh strawberries!

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