Aren’t they pretty!!?!?!? I have to be honest, I chose this recipe mostly for the color. It’s spring and all I want is bright color and fruit and lightness. I chose the recipe for the color, but I’m keeping it for the flavor.
I made these cupcakes last week for a work-friend’s leaving party. She’s a girly girl and I just had a hunch she’d be into the pink. Honestly, pink has seriously grown on me over the years. I was never a pink girl. I was more of a purple girl and a red girl and, as I got older, an orange and a teal girl. I like jewel tones and deep colors and pink never really did it for me. Recently though, I’ve been drawn to pink. I’ve been liking pink on my nails and gravitating towards pink kindle covers and pink dresses. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps my subconscious is reviving the girly-girl in me. Perhaps I’ve gotten over the stigma that only cheerleaders and beauty queens like pink, sparkly things and only vapid, ditzy girls wear pink. Or perhaps my tastes have just changed. Regardless, I am feeling the pink. And dammmnnn is it delicious.
These cupcakes get their color from pureed strawberries and weeeee little bit of red food coloring. The original recipe has pink cake and white cream cheese icing. While pretty and restrained, I wanted to go all out, so I made a strawberry cream cheese icing for pretty overload. My mum happened to be in town last week and helped me decorate them with some pretty heart-shaped sprinkles that somehow made it through valentines untouched. My mum is the best at decorating.
The cake itself is more dense than I expected, but so, so good. The strawberry flavor is subtle, but definitely there. I would say it’s more of a fragrance than a flavor. The icing though, the icing is where it’s at, tangy and sweet and just strawberry-y enough. Luckily for you, there will be icing left over to “snack” on. You know, off a spoon, off a finger, off of Famous Chocolate Wafers…for breakfast….lunch…..midnight snack…..oh thank God it’s nearly gone. Be sure to dollop it generously; your friends will thank you.
Beeteedubs….65 degrees says strawberry season is almost here….
Pink Lady Cupcakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Makes 36+ cupcakes.
This recipe was originally for a triple-layer cake and consequently makes a LOT of cupcakes and icing. Like, a LOT. I got 36 cupcakes and a small loaf from it. If you don’t want extra hanging around, I would cut the recipe by about a third. I took Smitten Kitchen’s suggestion and dropped a tiny bit of food coloring in here to make them more vibrant, but if you’re more restrained than I, the strawberries alone will do the trick. My mom suggested that we should have dolloped some strawberry jam in the middle of these; I think that would have been a fabulous idea. Next time.
4 1/2 c cake flour
3 c sugar
5 1/4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3 sticks (12 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c pureed fresh strawberries (about 1 lb)
8 egg whites
2/3 c milk (I used skim)
1 to 2 drops red food dye, (optional)
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
3, 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c pureed fresh strawberries (about .5 lb)
5 c sifted powdered sugar
2 t vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line 3 cupcake pans with paper liners
- In a very large mixing bowl, blend the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
- Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix on low speed until just blended and then beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy
- In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and food coloring
- Add the egg mixture to the strawberry mixture in 3 additions, scraping the bowl after each addition
- Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full
- Bake for ~20 minutes or until testers come out clean
- Cool completely
While the cupcakes bake, make the icing:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, butter and pureed strawberries, until creamy. Add the vanilla and then the powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency; add more sugar if it’s too runny and add some milk if it’s too thick
- One the cakes are cool, dollop the icing using a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the corner snipped
- These seem to keep several days covered and refrigerated