Monday, February 11, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Here's a delightful cupcake recipe that combines strawberries with the refreshing taste of lemonade. I was going to save this recipe for spring, when our own strawberries are available, but strawberries are beginning to show up in the grocery stores, and this recipe is just too perfectly pink to pass up for Valentine's Day.

Because the frosting contains fresh berry puree (just fresh or frozen berries, blended with sugar to taste), I recommend keeping leftover cupcakes refrigerated. For best flavor, allow to cupcakes rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

cup butter
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup strawberry puree
2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 recipe Strawberry Lemonade Frosting (below)

Heat oven to 350°F. 

Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line two dozen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until fluffy.

Add sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, and strawberry puree; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Eggs with orange yolks may make batter appear peach in color instead of pink.  The cake will bake to a pale yellow, but if you desire, add a drop or two of red food coloring.

Using a medium cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.

Once cooled, frost cupcakes with Strawberry Lemonade Frosting.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

Strawberry Lemonade Frosting

cup butter (6 Tablespoons)
4-1/2 to 5 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
6 Tablespoons strawberry puree

Allow butter to soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar until well blended.

Beat in lemon juice and strawberry puree.

Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency.  Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes as desired.
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