I don’t know what got into me this weekend. Normally when I want a Sunday cooking project I make a roast or bread or some kind of complicated savory thing. If I do make sweets, they’re almost always cookies. But this Sunday I felt like make something a little more special. It was my cousin’s birthday and although I knew there would be a cake, I wanted to bring a little something extra. So what if he’s a 57 year old man and these cupcakes are just about the frilliest thing I’ve ever made?
All summer long, I’ve been thinking about strawberry cake. I had one tiny strawberry cupcake a couple of months ago and I’ve been craving more ever since. These cupcakes use the same base as my Guava ones, but I used diced strawberries in place of the guava. The frosting is a simple buttercream with a little cocoa powder, almond extract and honey.
I loved these cupcakes. They were sweet without being cloying and the strawberries gave them a super fresh, summery taste. Just the thing for the 4th of July – no better way to celebrate America than with strawberries and chocolate!
For the cupcakes:
1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter (14 tbsp.)
2 cups natural cane sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups diced strawberries
For the Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter (16 tbsp.)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cream cheese (optional, but gives the frosting a little more heft)
1/2 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. almond extract
Optional: Extra strawberry slices and slivered almonds for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350Â°. Line muffin pans with 36 paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the diced strawberries. Fill the cupcake liners to the 2/3-level with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
For the icing, mix the butter, cream cheese, sugar, honey, cocoa powder and almond extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on high speed, until the mixture is light and very fluffy. Spread the frosting generously on top of each cupcake.
Top with strawberry slices and slivered almonds.
Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes.