A friend of a friend was nice enough to think of me for her sisters graduation party. She asked me to make some cupcakes even though I'm still learning and gaining experience. I happily agreed as I need practice and any excuse to bake for someone other than myself. After messaging back and forth we decided on something pink, unique and girlie. I origionally wanted to do a 2-tone pink and white frosting with hot pink bows and little mini edible pearls. As it turns out, this baking experience was one of those where everything went wrong. I couldn't find the edible pearls or even those silver balls I have often seen at the grocery stores. Then, the 2-tone was too subtle to even notice and then finally, not all of the bows were turning out right. So I kept a couple bows and finished with topping off each cupcake with a hot pink rosette, crystal sugar and piping pearly white balls on each cupcake to kind of look like pearls.
The cake for these are strawberry. I used the strawberry cupcake recipe I had posted before. I also wanted to try something different and see if there was something even BETTER out there. After googling "best strawberry cupcakes" I came across this intiguing recipe on goodthingscatered.blogspot.com. I loved the way these tasted, but was not too into how they looked. They were a little too brown for strawberry cupcakes if you ask me. Which sucked for me because I had plans to layer the colors of the cupcake in 3 so that the bottom was a dark pink and the top was light pink, but food coloring did not have a pretty or significant effect in this batter. To add to the theme of "everything going wrong" I burnt a whole batch of 18 because I was too busy frosting to hear the timer go off...so I had to make a last minute late night trip to the grocery store...lovely!
At the end of all this, I was content with the cupcakes. They weren't exactly what I wanted and I hope they liked them for the effort haha! I definitely learned a lot from this cupcake experience which is ALWAYS a plus!
Angie's Famous Strawberry Cupcakes
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar (or a little less)
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. chopped strawberries
1/4 c. strawberries
1 Tbsp. strawberry liquor
1/2 tsp lemon juice
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cupcake pans.
Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl.
In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time until combined.
Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.
Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Fold in berries.
Fill cupcake pans 3/4 way.
Bake for 20 minutes.
For frosting, put berries, liquor, and juice in saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer for 5 mins.
Let cool then blend until smooth.
In bowl of mixer mix cream cheese and butter until creamy.
Add sugar, then vanilla.
Add berry puree until smooth.
Frost cupcakes when they are completely cooled.
PS: I didn't use this frosting for the cupcakes because I needed something that would hold its shape...but it sounds delicious so I tossed it in for anyone to try...I just may have to myself. Instead I used the basic buttercream frosting I posted before, but added 8 oz of softened cream cheese and a tiny bit of whipping cream for some slight softness until it came to a consistency I was happy with.