Get ready for this, these cupcakes will rock your world, no joke. I found this recipe last May around the birthday of a friend of mine, and my love of baking cakes began – all thanks to Smitten Kitchen. After tasting the difference between a cake like this and store bought or boxed, I became a convert to homemade baked goods for life, the difference is incredible.
Making these little pink treats this weekend, I thought of my niece Annie. Her birthday was on Thursday and I so badly wanted to be able to sing her Happy Birthday and have her blow out a pretty pink candle sticking out of one of these darling pink princess cakes. I mean what is more indulgent and perfect for a little girl than to have a pretty pink on her birthday?! Well, birthday or no birthday (as in my case) these are hands down the most decadent and rich little cakes I have ever tried. I have actually heard other comments of the like, even a request for this recipe as wedding cake!
for the cupcakes you will need:
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries (fresh or frozen – I used frozen)
8 egg whites (yes, eight)
2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
red or pink food coloring (I used around 1/8 tsp. of pink gel coloring)
* if you want to fill the cupcakes with strawberries instead of the icing, chop up several strawberries finely, add a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar and let them macerate for 30 minutes or so. Then smash them up a bit and use it for filling!
Preheat your oven to 350° and get your cupcake trays ready. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl or standing mixer and blend for a few seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and blend, about 2-3 minutes. The mixture will be thick and resemble strawberry ice cream (you will be tempted to eat some, I promise).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and food coloring. Add to the large bowl in 3 separate additions, scraping down the sides after each addition. Make sure all of the flour mixture is dissolved, no “chunks” left, but do not over beat.
Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. After an hour or so, you can use your cupcake corer to make a hole for your strawberry or icing filling.
for the icing you will need:
3 – 8 oz. packs of cream cheese (don’t get low fat or fat free, let’s be serious here)
3/4 cup / 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Blend together cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla. Add in the sifted powdered sugar in 3 or 4 additions. Put in icing bags or just a ziplog baggie and pipe in large swirls on top of the bright pink cupcake tops! Devour and repeat!!
I hope I have inspired at least one of you to run into your kitchen and make these cupcakes pronto…let me know what you think! You won’t be hearing from me for about a week, as I will be galavanting around Northern California with my darling husband. We are taking our long awaited honeymoon trip. I’ll be back to blogging on the 25th, bursting at the seams to share all of the fantistic food and wine we indulged in for a week in Napa and San Francisco! Until then, tootalooo!