I know it’s been a while since I’ve actually cooked or baked something and I do apologize for my recent food extravagance but it’s been an exciting few weeks of food events and birthday dinners. Fortunately I had some time on my hands this weekend to do some baking and just in time for my friend Allie’s birthday.
Although I’m a huge fan of Crumbs among other fine cupcake establishments, I wanted to bring Allie something from the heart AND something seasonal. Seasonal means limited which translates into special and THAT is what I wanted my birthday sweets to convey. Store bought cupcakes are wonderful but homemade cupcakes, well they’re a rare treat.
Since I happened to have some fresh strawberries and lemons on hand, I scoured the internet for a cake recipe that balanced the sweetness and tartness of both ingredients. And after seeing only a photo of the Strawberry and Lemonade Cupcakes baked by Annie’s Eats, I knew I’d found the perfect spring cupcake!
COOK’s note: I modified Annie’s recipe to cut down on the sweetness and some of the calories. Unfortunately my low-fat frosting didn’t come out so well, so for the time being I recommend using Annie’s frosting. Just be sure to whip the cream cheese and butter before adding the strawberry puree, as the mixture can easily thin out. Add approximately 7 tsp of puree or just enough so that the frosting keeps its firm texture.
Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes Recipe
For the cake:
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup 1 % milk
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
For the frosting:
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
- 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries
- Mixing bowls
- Hand blender or stand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir together with a fork and set aside.
- Beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add in the milk and mix until smooth.
- Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Mix in strawberry puree, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve your desired texture and flavor of frosting (I added about 7 tablespoons of puree).
- Frost cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh strawberries.
Filed under: Cupcakes, Dessert, Recipes | Tagged: cream cheese frosting, Crumb's, homemade cupcakes, low-fat frosting, Seasonal Desserts, spring cupcakes, Spring Desserts, Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes, Williams Sonoma | 2 Comments »