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.

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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 🙂

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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).

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

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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.

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

Stir in the chopped strawberry bits.

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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.

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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.

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

Bake for 20-23 minutes.

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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.

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

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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

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Best Strawberry Scones

This is the height of my baking accomplishments. This is my greatest accomplishment. This scone recipe is freaking amazing. I got the basic scone recipe from Cafe Ferando- http://cafefernando.com/strawberry-scones/ and the idea for the orange glaze and flavouring from http://bakingbites.com/2008/04/strawberry-sunrise-scones/– when I made the strawberry sunrise scones, they didn’t turn out well at all- I didn’t mix the yogurt in well or something, it was soggy and gross. But the flavour was good. I also got the idea to grate the butter in from a cooking video online- the colder the butter, the flakier the pastry will be. So, if you grate in frozen butter, it remains quite cold but is shredded into little pieces which can be incorporated into the dough. As far as I can tell, it works like a charm! So here they are, my wonderful scones.

STRAWBERRY SCONE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (I usually use them frozen, but I’m not sure it makes a difference)
  • 6 tablespoons frozen, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream with 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

For finishing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 T orange juice

Method

  1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400 F (205 C). Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the strawberries, tossing until evenly distributed and coated with flour (this allows the fruit to be evenly distributed among each wedge). Grate the frozen butter in with a cheese grater
  2. In a small bowl, stir the cream, orange zest, and egg yolks just to blend. Add this all at once to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork to begin combining the wet and dry ingredients and then use your hands to gently knead the mixture together until all the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough and it can be gathered into a moist, shaggy ball.
  3. Do not overknead: This dough is sticky but benefits from minimal handling. Set the rough ball in the center of the prepared baking sheet and pat it gently into a round about 1 inch thick and 7 inches in diameter. Don’t be tempted to make the round any flatter.
  4. With a sharp knife or pastry scraper, cut the round into eight wedges, but don’t separate.
  5. Bake until the scones are deep golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a wedge comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cut the scones apart and slide the parchment onto a rack and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Mix the glaze (sugar and orange juice)- drizzle over warm scones!
  7. Best served fresh, these scones will keep for up to a month, wrapped well and frozen. Thaw at room temperature and then warm in a 325 F oven.

Enjoy your delicious scones!

Strawberry Mousse Cheesecake

I have found true love! In the form of Mennonitegirlscancook .blogspot.com. I mean, seriously, these recipes look deliciously awesome. My mother told me I should use up some of our strawberries… so I searched strawberry. And found this beauty-

http://mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com/2011/02/strawberry-mousse-cheesecake.html

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine melted butter and crumbs.  Press on bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. (I just used a regular pie pan, I’m not that fancy)

Filling 

  • 3 oz. / 85 gr. package strawberry flavoured gelatin
  • 1 envelope Knox unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 15 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) frozen sliced strawberries
  • 8 oz. / 250 grams cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  •  Chocolate hearts & strawberries for garnish
  1. Mix gelatin powders together in a bowl.  Add boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Mix in partially thawed strawberries.  Chill until syrupy.
  2. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth.
  3. Whip cream until stiff.  Fold into cream cheese mixture.
  4. Fold in thickened strawberry jello mixture.
  5. Pour over prepared crust.
  6. Chill for several hours before serving.
  7. Garnish with chocolate curls or hearts and fresh strawberries, if desired. (You can make chocolate shavings by taking a chocolate bar and peeling it with a vegetable peeler- it makes lovely garnish. I used dark chocolate :D )

Serves 10-12.

*Em’s notes- I had some issues at first but they all worked themselves out. I had trouble folding the cream cheese into the whipping cream- there were still chunks of cream cheese in the end result, but you couldn’t taste it or anything so it wasn’t a huge disaster- you wouldn’t be able to tell except for the fact that the chunks of cream cheese remained white while the rest is pink. I’m not quite sure how to avoid that- it’s really hard to get rid of chunks when you’re folding… Also I left the gelatin mixture in the fridge too long, and it turned to jello… obviously… so I microwaved it and rechilled it. There was almost too much filling for the pie pan, but it just barely fit without spilling! Everything worked out in the end, though, and it’s quite a light, deliciously fluffy desert!