What better way to welcome spring than with Strawberry Cupcakes? Unfortunately it’s overcast and a little chilly today so it doesn’t feel like spring, but that’s not going to stop me from celebrating. These cupcakes consist of the PERFECT vanilla cupcake topped with fresh strawberry buttercream. The cupcakes are moist and tender with a fine crumb and wonderful vanilla flavor.
You wouldn’t think that something as basic as a good vanilla cupcake recipe would be so difficult to find. But I’ve tried a lot of vanilla cupcake recipes and most of them have been subpar.
But this recipe, from Craftsy’s The Perfect Cupcake (w/ Jennifer Shea) , is truly good. This online class is such a good way to learn how to make the best darn cupcakes you’ve ever tasted.
A combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour give the cupcakes the perfect texture. It’s a fine texture, but not too delicate and they cook up with perfect domed tops.
The strawberry buttercream is super easy, although slightly more time-consuming than a regular buttercream. Fresh strawberries are pureed in a blender and then simmered in a saucepan to thicken and intensify the flavors. This strawberry syrup must be cooled and then it is added to butter and confectioners’ sugar to make a buttercream. You can really taste that wonderful fresh strawberry taste. These really are the Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes for Spring!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries that have been defrosted
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-cup muffing pans with liners.
- In a large bowl sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large glass liquid measuring cup combine milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar. Beat for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how soft butter is. You want to beat until the mixture looks very creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with liquid ingredients added in 2 additions. Mix each addition just until ingredients are combined before adding next addition. Scrape sides of bowl to make sure everything is mixed well.
- Let batter rest for 15 minutes.
- Stir batter gently and divide between cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake until tops are firm and a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Place strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer strawberry puree to a small saucepan and simmer (stirring frequently) until reduced by at least half. You should have about 1/3 a cup of puree. Place puree in a small bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
- Beat butter until fluffy. Beat in 1 cup of confectioner's sugar.
- Beat in half of strawberry puree.
- Beat in another cup of confectioners' sugar and then the remaining puree.
- Beat in vanilla extract.
- Do a taste test and based on desired sweetness, add either 1/2 or 1 full cup of confectioners' sugar. If you need to thin the frosting, add a little milk or half-and-half.
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