When strawberries are in season and my local farmers markets are overflowing with them, I can’t resist taking home basket after basket. The problem with this is that I can end up with almost more berries than I know what to do with! Fortunately, I haven’t quite run out of ways to use strawberries yet, and these Fresh Strawberry Mini Cupcakes are my current favorite application.
The cupcakes are bright pink and have a strong strawberry flavor. With a dollop of vanilla buttercream on top, they taste like strawberries n’ cream. All of this berry flavor comes from pureed strawberries, which serve as the liquid in this recipe (where most cupcake recipes will call for milk). Choose fresh, flavorful berries that have a deep red color to them for the best results because there is no food coloring in them, just a lot of fresh berries!
These cupcakes are very moist and tender. That moistness comes from a mixing method that is a little different from that of other cupcakes. For these, cold butter is rubbed into the dry ingredients to create a very sandy mixture, then the eggs and dry ingredients are added. This creates a tight, fluffy crumb and delicious texture to the cupcakes. This can be done with a hand mixer or a stand mixer, but I find that the process goes very quickly if I whip up the batter in the food processor, so you might want to try that option when making these at home.
I made these as mini cupcakes and the recipe will yield two dozen miniature cupcakes – the perfect bite-sized treats (they also happen to be strawberry-sized) for a party. You can also bake these as full sized cupcakes, but the recipe will yield about 9 full sized cupcakes, not a full dozen.
Fresh Strawberry Mini Cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup strawberry puree (approx 1 cup whole, fresh berries)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 24 cup mini muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease. (Or 9 regular muffin cups for full size cupcakes).
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse to combine. Add cold butter and pulse until it is cut into the flour mixture and no piece larger than a small pea remains.
Add in egg and strawberry puree and pulse until batter comes together.
Divide batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and tops spring back when lightly pressed.
For full size cupcakes, bake for 17-20 minutes.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Makes 24 mini cupcakes; or 9 regular cupcakes.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Beat together butter, milk and vanilla extract until well combined. Gradually blend in the confectioners’ sugar until buttercream comes together and is thick, fluffy and spreadable.