Sweeter Than Your Sweetheart Strawberry Cupcakes

Sweeter than your Sweetheart Strawberry Cupcakes: A lighthearted, sweet, strawberry cake littered with real strawberry chunks, topped with scrumptious white chocolate buttercream, a luscious, juicy hidden strawberry middle, and an elegant strawberry rose perched on top.

Mood: That feeling when you’re hanging out with that special someone, and you look over at them for no particular reason and you’re hit with a wave of affection, your stomach filling with butterflies and your mouth breaking into an unconscious beaming smile; in that moment, there is nothing sweeter to you than their presence in your life.

sweeter than your sweetheart (26)

Doesn’t that sight just make your heart melt? 🙂

Wow. I am super behind in the blogging. I guess that’s what a full time job will do to you- not much will power to keep up with the ol’ baking blog. Loyal fans, I’m sorry that I’ve deprived you from my crafty wit, delicious photos, and fun recipes. My bad.

I made this recipe around Valentine’s Day (yes, I’m literally 5 months late on this one. Oops.) because I thought it was seasonally appropriate. Even though I myself did not have anything close to a valentine in my life when I made these, I suppose the bitterness of my last breakup had worn away enough that the mere thought of a romantic cupcake did not make me want to vomit. Progress!

But really, ever since the inception of “Eat My Feelings” I had plans for this cupcake, because as we all know, love is a strong emotion that deserves a themed cupcake of its own. Strawberry just seemed to be fitting- apparently they’re red and faintly heart-shaped and people associate them with romance or something. I dunno.

My friend Heather came to visit the weekend that I decided to create these literal love muffins, and helped me with the strawberry roses. Let’s just say… it was a time for both of us! It is harder to make a strawberry rose than those online tutorials would have you believe! Internet trickery. We did it though, and as you can see, they’re still fairly impressive (yes, I’m tooting my own horn. You know I have a baking ego don’t be surprised. I’m basically a wizard).

So here you go. All you lucky people who have significant others that you enjoy, use this recipe to woo them and make them realize that they are damn lucky to have someone as amazing as you making them these awesome, delicious, sweet, delectable bundles of joy. Edible love. And then give me full credit for the success of your romantic life.

And for you reluctantly single people out there, make these for that crush in your life. After you feed them these cupcakes, they definitely won’t be able to resist you. Just make sure you’re physically there when they chow down. They’ll falsely attribute the happiness they feel from eating the cupcake to being caused by your presence, and fall madly in love with you. Attribution error. Basic Psychology.

When these cupcakes positively impact your love life (and they will), I expect compensation. Obviously not creating this one for myself, as I have no use for romantic cupcakes. It’s all for you. I know, I’m so selfless, you’re welcome. Now pay up 🙂

sweeter than your sweetheart (10)

Yes my friends, these cupcakes are basically a strawberry explosion. Strawberry on top, strawberry on the inside, and even strawberry bits scattered throughout! A strawberry delight.

 Long Instructions:

FIrst pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Then, prep your strawberries. Chop 3/4 cup of strawberries into small pieces. Hull the equivalent to 1/2 a cup as well (for the puree) as 12 additional strawberries (for the filling).

sweeter than your sweetheart (16)

This is approximately the size you’re going for. You might want bigger or smaller chunks. You do you my friend. You do you.

sweeter than your sweetheart (20)

Look at those strawberries, all hulled and ready to go into your delicious baking. They’re so excited!

Also, take 1/2 cup of whole strawberries (hulled) and pop ’em in a blender. Blend to make 1/3 cup strawberry puree. If you have slightly more or less don’t worry too much. Your strawberries might be bigger or smaller or whatever. If you don’t have enough, blend more! Problem solved! I believe in you.

Mix the 1 2/3 cup flour, 3/4 t. baking powder, 1/4 t. baking soda, and 1/4 t. salt in a medium bowl. Pretty basic. Yawn.

In another large bowl, whip the 1/2 cup butter until nice and fluffy. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and whip together. Then whip in the 2 eggs, one at a time. You want these cupcakes to be the lightest and fluffliest that anyone ever did see. Like you’re eating a cloud. A cloud made of strawberries.

In yet another bowl (small), combine the 1/3 cup strawberry puree, 1/2 t. vanilla, and 1/4 c. buttermilk (alternatively 1/2 cup regular milk and 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar, my favourite buttermilk substitute. Who actually has buttermilk on hand? Definitely. Not. Me.). Then, add everything together! Alternate adding 1/3 of the dry and 1/2 buttermilk mixture  to the butter/sugar mix, beginning and ending with the dry.

sweeter than your sweetheart (17)

Using strawberry puree instead of strawberry flavouring is such a good choice. Then you get hte real deal

Stir in the chopped strawberry bits.

sweeter than your sweetheart (21)

Eating batter is probably one of my favourite parts of baking. Almost as good as the finished product 🙂

Stick your finger in the bowl and eat a glob of batter. Yes that is a necessary step. I see you there, you salmonella-phobes, horrified of eating raw egg. Well, I say to you, you only live once. #YOLO. Just eat the batter. You *probably* won’t die.

Pour batter into 12 lined cupcake wells.

sweeter than your sweetheart (19)

This was a great excuse to use up some of my pink cupcake liners. I hate the colour pink, so I try to avoid using them at all costs. However, here they are the appropriate colour.

Then, Take a whole hulled strawberry and place it smack dab in the middle of the cupcake. Whoa, crazy I know. I came up with this on an  impulse because I had extra strawberries, and had no idea how it would turn out, but it was amazing. No regrets. A nice change from my usual ganache filling.

sweeter than your sweetheart (22)

So much strawberry goodness I know. Your heart will probably explode.

Bake for 20-23 minutes.

sweeter than your sweetheart (24)

These poor naked cupcakes. Quick, cover them with icing so the strawberry inside is a delightful surprise! I love surprises.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing.Melt the 4 ounces white chocolate using your favourite method, whether in the microwave or on the stove. Then whip up the 1/3 cup butter until very light and fluffy. Slowly add in the white chocolate, 1/3 t. vanilla, and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. Whip together and set aside.

Now the strawberry roses. See the tutorial for how to make the roses. I’m so very sorry I don’t have step by step pictures of the rose making process, I somehow failed to take pictures. I have failed you my dear readers. Hopefully you will forgive me and allow this charming man with a southern accent to walk you through the mystery and magic that is creating a strawberry rose.

Once the cupcakes are done, squeeze out some icing swirls and then top with a luscious strawberry rose.

sweeter than your sweetheart (5)

Pre-rose. They look pretty plain and unassuming. But just wait!

sweeter than your sweetheart (12)

BAM! Cupcake made. Now go woo your lover.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

  • 1 2/3 cups white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with 3/4 teaspoon vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries
  • 12 whole strawberries

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces white chocolate
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish:

  • 12 whole strawberries (or maybe a few extra in case you mess up. You probably will. Sorry!)

Brief Instructions:

FIrst pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Then, prep your strawberries. Chop 3/4 cup of strawberries into small pieces. Also, take 1/2 cup of whole strawberries (hulled) and pop ’em in a blender. Blend to make 1/3 cup strawberry puree.

Mix the 1 2/3 cup flour, 3/4 t. baking powder, 1/4 t. baking soda, and 1/4 t. salt in a medium bowl.

In another large bowl, whip the 1/2 cup butter until nice and fluffy. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and whip together. Then whip in the 2 eggs, one at a time.

In yet another bowl (small), combine the 1/3 cup strawberry puree, 1/2 t. vanilla, and 1/4 c. buttermilk. Then, add everything together! Alternate adding 1/3 of the dry and 1/2 buttermilk mixture to the butter/sugar mix, beginning and ending with the dry. Stir in the chopped strawberry bits.

Pour batter into 12 lined cupcake wells. Then, Take a whole hulled strawberry and place it smack dab in the middle of the cupcake. Bake for 20-23 minutes.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing.Melt the 4 ounces white chocolate using your favourite method, whether in the microwave or on the stove. Then whip up the 1/3 cup butter until very light and fluffy. Slowly add in the white chocolate, 1/3 t. vanilla, and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. Whip together and set aside.

Now the strawberry roses. See the tutorial for how to make the roses. Once the cupcakes are done, squeeze out some icing swirls and then top with a luscious strawberry rose.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Cooking Classy –
http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/06/strawberry-cupcakes-strawberry-buttercream-frosting/

Icing recipe from Food and Wine –
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/white-chocolate-buttercream

Sweetly Surprised Cupcakes

Sweetly Surprised Cupcakes: A rich, dark chocolate cupcake filled with colourful M&Ms, topped with refreshing mint icing and chocolate drizzle.

Mood:  This cupcake is for the mood when you’re feeling spontaneous, and want to explore the new and unexpected. Tired of the conventional, you’re ready to be pleasantly surprised!

surprise (4)

Cupcakes that look ordinary (and delicious) enough, but little do you know they are not what they seem! Appearing to the naked eye as chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing, as you bite in you realize the frosting is not vanilla, or even white chocolate- it is mint! As you ponder this new flavour in your mouth, M&M’s spill out from the bite mark, for they are filling the inside! Yes, this is the cupcake version… of a Piñata.

I should make these for Cinco de Mayo.

apple pie cookies (23)

But no, these cupcakes came about as I was preparing to visit my brother in Michigan for Canadian Thanksgiving. Yes, I do realize they do not celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in Michigan, but it coincides with Columbus day so that meant that my brother, my parents, and I all had the Monday off and could convene for some family time! How lovely. Well, it just so  happens that Canadian Thanksgiving is shortly after my brother’s birthday, and what better birthday gift than to surprise him with surprise cupcakes!

So, when my brother said he’d be out of the house Saturday night and I’d have to entertain myself, I knew what I had to do. I had to bake him cupcakes while he was out as a surprise! And surprise him I did. With seriously delicious cupcakes.

Instructions: 

Now, I made this a bit differently because I had to mix the ingredients prior to traveling via Greyhound to Michigan. I mixed the wet together, mixed the dry together, and put them in separate baggies, to be assembled in America.

First, mix together 1/4 cup of room temperature butter with 1 cup of white sugar.

surprise1 (2)

Butter and sugar. The key to everything delicious.

Melt 2 ounces of dark chocolate either in the microwave or on the stove (you can use semisweet if you prefer. Depends on your preference). Then mix in the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, one at a time until combined. Lastly, add the 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Greek yogurt because I had some. Original recipe calls for sour cream. Use whatever is in your fridge).

surprise1 (6)

And brown chocolate sludge. Awesome.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. At this point, I put them both into bags.

surprise1 (10)

Whoever invented ziplock bags is my hero. Seriously. Love this person.

To transport these ingredients to Michigan, I used this handy dandy lunchbox that has built in ice pack walls! Kept the butter hard the entire 10 hour trip. No food spoilage here!

apple pie cookies (4)

The awesome lunchbox of awesome. I feel like Packit should be giving me money for this endorsement.

When you are ready to combine the wet and the dry, alternate, adding the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 additions, mixing until just combined. Then mix in the 1/2 cup of water.

Pour the batter into 12 cupcake wells, lined with papers.Bake at 350 for approximately 18 minutes. Take them out, let them cool on wire racks and voila! Deliciousness.

apple pie cookies (2)

Baaakkkiiinnnngggg time

apple pie cookies (8)

Looking good already.

Now for the deceivingly plain looking icing that is actually minty! So fun. Take 1 stick of room temperature butter and whip it with a mixer until nice and fluffy. Mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract. Check the consistency- if it’s not stiff enough, add more powdered sugar.

surprise1 (11)

Look at this mint extract. Is it not the most legit bottle you have ever seen? So classy.

surprise1 (13)

My batch of icing ready to go!

I then loaded up my icing in an icing bag and threw it in another plastic bag. Wet, dry, and icing, all ready to come into action once I reached my destination.

Now assembly. As per all my filled cupcakes, you must cut a cone out of the middle. Then, cut off the tip of the cone so that you just have a thin slice of cupcake to cover the hole back up. The cut off tips you can just eat, and you will want to because they are hella tasty.

apple pie cookies (10)

A hole in a cupcake? Emily you’ve never done that before!! /sarcasm

apple pie cookies (13)

Just cut off the tip!

Then you fill the hole with M&Ms! I wish I had found mini M&M’s but I couldn’t find any in the Canadian grocery stores (you sucks Zehrs). So we had to settle with large M&M’s. Which were fine, but for this purpose I think mini would have worked better. If you’re American or can find them in your Canadian grocery store then get mini. Also mint M&M’s would also be fun, and coordinate with the flavour of the icing. How fancy. Put the cap back on and you’re ready to ice!

apple pie cookies (15)

I see you hiding in there M&Ms!

Pipe on that icing like with normal cupcakes. Then, melt a bit of chocolate, put it in a plastic bag, cut off the tiniest hole in the tip of the bag, and add some of that chocolate drizzle that everyone loves.

apple pie cookies (17)

You think they look good now? Wait for it…

apple pie cookies (23)

BOOM! Drizzled.

And you are done! Now go surprise some people with your awesome baking skills and deliciously fun cupcakes 🙂

Now I know you see these pictures and probably think wow, Emily must be the best baker ever. Although this is probably true, I though I should show you some of my… mistakes. To reassure you that I am human and yes, it’s totally fine if you have a few flops. Everyone does. Just only photograph the pretty ones.

apple pie cookies (31)

Someone cut the drizzle hole too big… That’s just… not very pretty.

apple pie cookies (30)

And a large glob of chocolate decimated the side of this cupcake. Like a landslide.

There, you see? I am also human. So don’t be afraid to screw up! Close your eyes and the screw ups usually taste just as good!

Ingredients: Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (or whatever kind of chocolate you love)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water

Icing

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract

Filling

  • 1-1.5 cups M&M’s (preferably mini, though any kind will do. Or heck throw in Skittles if you’re a crazy person)

Drizzle (optional)

  • 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

Short Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the 1/4 cup butter with 1 cup sugar until it resembles sand. Then, melt 2 ounces of  chocolate and add it in. Add the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks one at a time, mixing until combined. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt.

In another bown combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt,  1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Add to the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Lastly add the 1/2 cup of room temperature water and combine.

Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Remove from muffin wells and let cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing, whip up 1 cup of butter with a beater. Mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix well.

Cut a cone in the middle of each cupcake (see photos for instructions). Cut off the tip of the cone so that you have a think cap to place overtop the hole. Fill the hole with M&M’s. Place the lid on. Ice the cupcakes with the mint icing. Melt 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and put in a ziplock bag. Cut a tiny, tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle on top of your cupcakes.

Sources: