Thought hard about what flavour of cupcake to bake and decided on Strawberry Cupcakes. Well, I believe most kids like strawberries? Searched the internet for suitable recipes and zoomed down to 3 recipes.
One - Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting by Milk + Honey Café.
Two - Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting by Sprinkles Cupcakes, which is featured in Oprah Show and Martha Stewart
Three - Pink Strawberry Cupcakes with Wedding Cupcake Buttercream by Recipe Girl.
The recipes by Sprinkles and Recipe Girl seem very similar when I re-calculate the base amounts, and they use pureed strawberry; whereas Milk + Honey Café uses strawberry sauce. Although I was quite tempted to try the recipe by Sprinkles since it's supposedly very good (featured by Oprah and Martha Stewart!), I decided to try the one by Milk + Honey Café first. Don't ask me why, just a gut feeling lah, I think maybe due to the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting!
Anyways, I converted the measurements to grams, made some adjustments here and there such as reducing amount of sugar and viola! The lovely and sweet Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
Hmmm, my frosting turned out to be very pale pink, probably not enough strawberry sauce added. Overall, the cupcake tasted light, moist and fluffy but the strawberry taste was very subtle. It could be due to the strawberries (not enough sauce added and berries not sweet/flavourful enough). The strawberries I bought tasted quite flat and a little tart in fact. It's not really the strawberry season now, I couldn't get the Korean ones which are slightly sweeter (didn't have time to visit Isetan or Meidi-ya to get the Japanese ones - plus they are very expensive); so I settled for a punnet from either South Africa or US. Not sure why, but usually the ones from South Africa or US don't taste nice although they are big and red and look nice. Or maybe I'm just unlucky.
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from milk + honey café)
Makes 26 mini cupcakes
Part (1) - Strawberry Sauce
- 250g fresh strawberries
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Remove stems from strawberries and cut the berries into half.
- Wash and then soak the berries with 2 tbsp of sugar for about 15 minutes.
- Put the strawberries in a small saucepan and cook under medium low fire with lid on.
- Cook the berries for about 10 minutes or till they become soft and mushy (monitor closely as the berries might burnt easily due to sugar).
- Let cool and blend into a puree. I get around 145g of puree. Set aside to cool down before use.
Part (2) - Strawberry Cupcakes
- 165g plain flour (or cake flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 100g strawberry sauce
- 100g milk
- 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line cupcake pans with cupcake cases. Set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Mix milk and strawberry sauce. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars till light and fluffy, about 3-5 mins.
- Add eggs, one at a time making sure each egg is well incorporated.
- Add flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches, alternating with the milk/sauce mixture.
- Mix until just combine, and end with last few folds using spatula.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases using ice-cream scoop (to get uniform size) about 1/2 full (to get flat cupcakes) or 2/3 to 3/4 full (to get domed cupcakes).
- Bake for 18-20 mins. Let cool completely before piping the frosting.
Part (3) - Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 195g cream cheese, slightly softened but still cold
- 50g unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cold
- 90g icing sugar, sifted
- 45g strawberry sauce
- Cream butter and cream cheese till light.
- Add icing sugar and beat till combined.
- Gradually add strawberry sauce till combined.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.