Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Strawberry Cupcake Recipe

I made these ballet slipper cupcakes for a little girl's 6th birthday last weekend. Half of the cupcakes had ballet slippers, and the other half had the girl's inital, K. She wanted strawberry cake with chocolate frosting, which I liked because then the cupcakes were pink too ;)
I really like strawberry cake, and last year I tried out a TON of strawberry cake recipes. What I discovered is that it is very difficult to make strawberry cake using only strawberries. All of the cakes I tried, whether they called for strawberry chunks, strawberry puree, or strawberry jam, did not taste much like strawberry. The fruit left a vaguely sweet flavor which you could tell was not just sugar, but which was not easily discernible as strawberry. So I thought and thought about how I could make a stronger flavor and eventually decided to add Jell-O. I normally prefer to use only fruit in my fruit-flavored cakes, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do ;)
The Jell-O definitely helped, and the resultant cake was quite yummy! My only note is that this cake does not rise a whole lot, so you might want to fill your liners just a bit more than you normally would. So, for any of you who have had similar strawberry cake problems, here is my recipe ;) Some of the measurements are kinda weird, I know sixth-cups aren't commonly used, sorry bout that.

Strawberry Jell-O Cupcakes

Bake at 375. Makes 10 cupcakes.

4 Tbsp butter

9 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

5/6 tsp baking powder

5/6 C flour

1 oz strawberry Jell-O

1/6 C strawberry puree*

1/4 C milk

Whisk together flour and Jell-O powder and set aside. In mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk and puree, and ending with flour. Beat until mixture is smooth.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

*You could probably substitute strawberry jam. However, to make strawberry puree, buy a bag of frozen strawberries. Place them in a strainer over a pot and let them thaw out. Stir/squish them occasionally to try and get as much juice out as possible (but don't squish them through the strainer, you only want juice in the pot, not strawberry chunks). This may take a long time. Once you think you've got all the juice, put the strawberries in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, set the juice over med-low heat on the stove and boil until it's reduced to about a quarter of the original amount. Don't stir, but swirl the pot around once in a while. Combine the juice and strawberries, et voila! Puree! Most people also add a touch of lemon juice, which is supposed to enhance the strawberry's flavor, but I often skip it.

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