I’m so excited
My older sister is expecting a baby girl in May! And my older brother and his wife are expecting a baby boy! This means in just a few short months I’ll be an Aunt to two beautiful babies. I cannot wait to meet them.
My family threw a shower for my sister and her husband last week, and because we knew they were having a girl, we went all out with the pink theme.
I’m sorry. I threw in the towel and did the gender stereotype thing.
But … uh …. I’m not really that sorry, because these cupcakes happened as a result of the pink theme.
I was in charge of the desserts. I didn’t allow anyone else to touch the dessert menu. Cake is a must at any event, but I didn’t want to make or buy a sheet cake for 30 people. So I settled on cupcakes as the main dessert (I also decided on chocolate covered strawberries and blondies cut out in baby shapes). I knew I could always dye white frosting pink (and I did for the chocolate ones I made), but I also wanted to do something special. I wanted the actual cake to be pink. And one day Joanne from Eats Well With Others posted a roundup of her favorite desserts. This strawberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting was on the list. It stole my heart, and after I made it, my tastebuds. I knew I had to make it for the party.
And what a surprise, they were a hit. Actually, direct quote from one of my cousins when she saw the centerpiece of cupcakes at her table:
“I just want to put my whole face in these.”
Strawberry cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cupcakes:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups pureed frozen strawberries (I measured 1 cup of frozen strawberries and it pureed perfectly down to 3/4 cup. Puree with a blender or food processor)
- 4 egg whites
- 1/3 cup milk (I used fat free)
- 5-6 drops of pink food gel
For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 (8 oz) packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with liners.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will be very thick and resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and food gel. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Add more food coloring if the batter does not have a strong pink color to it. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling them 3/4 full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 17-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let sit in tin for five minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.
- For the frosting: In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Taste and add more sugar in tablespoons until it reaches your desired level of sweetness. (I like a really pure cream cheese taste for my cream cheese frosting, so I don’t add butter and just enough sugar to make it tangy/sweet.)
- Frost cupcakes with a knife or fill a pastry or plastic bag and pipe onto cupcakes. If you are piping the frosting, and this goes for any frosting recipe, you will generally need more frosting to cover all your cupcakes. In that case, use 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese and about 1 cup of sugar. Then you’ll have plenty to go wild with decorating!
My Two Cents
Someone throw out adjectives here that are synonyms to “amazing” “delightful” “wow” “so good” and “outta this world”. These cupcakes were a hit at the party, and I couldn’t have been happier with how they came out taste-wise and color-wise. The cake has the perfect amount of strawberry flavor — just enough so that it doesn’t overpower the butter flavor, which shines prominently in the cake. And the cream cheese frosting? oh Heavens. I could eat it by the spoonful. Top it all off with a strawberry or chocolate covered strawberry, and all other cupcakes have no chance standing next to this one in a competition.
I will admit that the recipe isn’t the most simple of cupcake recipes. You don’t just dump the ingredients together and fill some muffin tins. You have to do some pureeing, egg separating, and careful measuring.
But wow. So worth it, right?!
And in case you are curious, here are some other fun highlights from the baby shower!
Congrats to my sister and her husband!!