Monday, July 6, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from Cooking Light
Make about 24 cupcakes

1 1/4 cups sliced strawberries
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup milk (minus 1 Tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1-cup measuring cup and then fill it the rest of the way with the milk. Stir ever-so-gently to mix and then set aside for at least ten minutes.

Puree sliced, fresh strawberries until smooth and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until well blended and then add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Beat in egg whites. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add pureed strawberries and stir until just blended.

Fill your greased muffin tins and bake for 13 minutes or so. To be perfectly honest, I started with ten minutes and then went to 1 1/2 minute increments until they were done, so I'm not positive on the baking time. Just keep an eye on them after ten minutes and pull them out of the oven when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for ten minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

While they cool, make the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/3 cup cream cheese
1/3 butter, softened
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 cups powdered sugar

With a mixer, beat the first three ingredients until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until blended. If the frosting seems a little stiff, just add another tiny dribble of orange juice. 

When the cupcakes are cooled, frost those puppies up and start snacking. If you have any leftovers, store them in the fridge. 


So, these might be the greatest way to work through a flat of local berries. In anticipation of another cupcake binge, I pureed some of the berries we got and froze them in pre-measured containers. Now, when the cupcake urge strikes, I just have to thaw the berry puree and we're good to go. 

If you like, you can use buttermilk in place of the lemon and milk mixture. We didn't have any buttermilk, though, and, since I didn't feel like loading the baby in the car to go to the store for one thing, I got inventive, instead, and relied on the art of substitution to get by. It worked like a strawberry-laced dream. 

I did a batch of regular-size cupcakes and a batch of mini-cupcakes. I like the minis because they're small enough I don't feel like a piggy, but big enough to satisfy a sweets jones. And with the berries, cream cheese, and orange juice, these are delicious as breakfast cupcakes. 

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