What a crazy morning!! My MOMS Club has a monthly birthday brunch party to celebrate the mommies having birthdays that month. My friend Laura coordinates it and asked if I'd host May's because two of my friends, Michelle and Cindy were both having birthdays. So I said sure. I forget how much I hate hosting events at my house until the morning of them. Really I just hate the running around getting my house ready for company. But it kind of pays off because now I have time to update my blog since my house is already clean. So I guess I can't complain too much.
Anyway, Laura asked if I could make some cupcakes for the party. The birthday girls--there was another one, too, Carissa who owns our fabulous local ice cream shop--wanted Funfetti and strawberry. I offered to make strawberry. I'm not big on mixes and ready made frosting because of all the gross stuff that can be in them (have you ever read the ingredients on a cake mix or tub of frosting?), so I did some searching for a recipe I could make. My Googling lead me to Oprah's website and a recipe for Sprinkles Cupcakes' Strawberry Cupcakes. I've heard of Sprinkles but never actually consumed one of their cupcakes, but since I know it's a popular place I figured this would be a good recipe to try.
Sprinkles Cupcakes' Strawberry Cupcakes
2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries (thawed if frozen)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree. Add a few more strawberries if necessary, or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Sprinkles Cupcakes' Strawberry Frosting
1/2 cup frozen whole strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix, or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
I needed more than one dozen cupcakes, so I doubled the recipe for the cupcakes but I left the frosting recipe as is. I can only deduce that Sprinkles Cupcakes must have a TON of frosting because I was able to frost 22 cupcakes (two little scoundrels each took a cupcake yesterday while I was upstairs getting dressed, so I had less than my original 24) with the single batch and had some left over. Even if I'd frosted 24 cupcakes I think I'd still have some left.
These were pretty freakin' fantastic. The husband had one last night after they were frosted and said it may be the best cupcake he'd ever eaten. The frosting was AMAZING--and I loved that it tasted like real strawberries, not strawberry flavoring and Red #40. The cupcakes themselves had a mild strawberry flavor, but the frosting really made it pop. The cupcakes were really dense which was so good. The only change I made was to use almond milk instead of whole milk. We don't drink whole milk, and I wasn't about to buy a container of it for just this recipe. I didn't think skim milk would be a good substitution, but I did have almond milk in the fridge that I thought would work.
Even as much as I don't like to bake, these were pretty easy to make. The end product is definitely worth making again!!