I’m going to rant about strawberry cupcakes for a minute so just hang on.
I’ve made a lot of versions of strawberry cupcakes. Strawberry Champagne cupcakes , Strawberry Lemon cupcakes, and these strawberry cupcakes from two years ago. Don’t forget about the strawberry ruffle cake from a couple years earlier. I thought I had it figure out, but I didn’t. Here’s the problem: if you want smack-you-in-the-face strawberry flavor in a cake, you’re going to have to use strawberry jello and a cake mix. And it’s good. But it’s tastes a touch artificial. When you add strawberry puree to a cake batter, it makes it really dense, heavy, and sometimes super gummy. I went looking for a recipe with some more substance to it, something that could hold onto the strawberries and this is where its at. The flavor is still more subtle than a boxed mix but because its made with eggs and sour cream and butter, it can hang onto way more strawberry goodness than any of my other recipes. The strawberries are also chopped instead of pureed and they are tossed in a little flour before being folded into the batter. So yes, this is more of a vanilla cake with strawberries in it but if you top it with a yummy strawberry frosting, you’ll have an amazing strawberry cupcake.
Let’s talk about strawberry frosting. There are a couple ways to do this:
1. Strawberry flavoring. It’s pretty, has a nice flavor, and won’t make your icing weep.
2. Strawberry puree REDUCED. Puree your strawberries and then cook it on the stove top until its been reduced by at least half, maybe even 2/3. You want the flavor without the water. You’ll end up with a higher concentration of strawberry flavor that will beautifully color your frosting and won’t make it gross and watery.
Finally, if you just need to amp up the strawberry flavor even more, inject some strawberry preserves into the middle of each cupcake after they have cooled and then top with frosting. These are moist in the middle and bake up pretty.
Start with butter and sugar and mix these two until light, pale, and fluffy.
Add your eggs, vanilla, and a touch of lemon juice to bring out the flavor of the strawberries. Beat until well combined.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt.
And then add sour cream. If this seems gross to you, I promise you’ll change your mind after these are done. The sour cream adds moisture and substance to the cupcake. It’s kind of this recipe’s secret weapon.
At some point, you chopped up a bunch of strawberries into fine little pieces. Now it’s time to toss them in some flour and fold them into your batter.
Divide among your muffin tins and bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out MOSTLY clean.
These gems were for a little person’s 3rd birthday party and she requested ballerina cupcakes this year. And what she requests, I deliver. So I give you…ballerina cupcakes.
- 1 C butter, softened
- 2 C sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 1/2 C flour, divided
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 2 sticks of butter
- 6- 6 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2-4 tsp. strawberry extract (depending on flavor preference)
- milk or cream as needed to reach desired consistency
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Prepare 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners
- With a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until just combined.
- Add the sour cream and mix on low until just combined.
- Mix strawberries in remaining 1/4 C of flour. Gently fold into the batter.
- Divide among cupcake tins and bake at 325 until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 17-20 minutes.
- Cool completely before frosting
- Cream the butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar together until smooth
- Add the remaining sugar a little at a time, whipping very well between each addition
- Add vanilla and strawberry flavorings
- Add milk a little at a time while whipping the frosting until it is spreadable or pipeable
- Most of the time I wouldn't say cupcakes have to be stored in the refrigerator but since these have fresh strawberries in them, I would refrigerate until a couple hours before serving.