Saturday, April 18, 2015

Strawberry Cupcakes

While strawberry would never be my first choice of cake flavor, I've been asked a couple times in the last year to make strawberry cupcakes for kids' birthdays.  So, instead of looking each time for a recipe, I thought it best to document it here for my own future reference and for anyone out there who loves strawberry cupcakes!

I made these for one of my favorite little people, Maddie,who turned three a while back and requested strawberry cupcakes. (I think she was actually more set on pink than strawberry.) This was the result and they were quite tasty.  I particularly enjoyed the fresh strawberry in the cupcakes.

Here's me with the birthday girl, all decked out in our princess gear.  

  • 1 2/3 cup cake flour **(see note #1 below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk **(see note #2 below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • red food coloring (optional)
  • 3/4 cup small diced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Whisk to combine.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and sugar until slightly fluffy.  

Mix in egg and egg whites one at a time.  

In liquid measuring cup containing buttermilk, add strawberry puree and vanilla extract and whisk together.   

Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with half of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition.  

Fold in diced strawberries. 

Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.  

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.  

Allow to cool several minutes in muffin tin and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Frost with your desired frosting.  I would use this cream cheese buttercream or this whipped frosting.  

Cake flour is hard to find where I live, but luckily it is very easy to make.  Here are the very simple instructions. Make as much or as little as you need!

1. For every 1 cup of flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour.  

2. Add 2 tablespoons of corn starch to replace the flour removed.  

3. Sift 5-6 times and it's ready to use!  

I never have buttermilk on hand, I just make it.  Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup.  Then add enough milk to reach 1/4 cup.  Let rest for 3 minutes.  

Source: Cooking Classy and 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Macaroons

I've made macaroons a few times before, but have often been frustrated with how they tend to ooze and spread out when baking.  I think this must have something to do with the step where you fold in the egg whites.  The great thing about this recipe is that you don't fold in egg whites and they have nowhere to ooze since they are baked in mini muffin tins. They are super easy and perfectly festive for the Easter season.

Happy Easter!

  • 3/4 cup (5 large) egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs
  • chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

In a heavy saucepan combine egg whites, sugar, and shredded coconut.  

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until all the ingredients combine, about 12 minutes. This mixture should be sticky and moist, not dry.  

Remove from heat and stir in almond and vanilla extracts.  

Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes.  

Spray nonstick mini muffin tins with cooking spray.  

Drop heaping tablespoons into each tin, lightly pressing mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tin to make the nests. A small measuring spoons works well.   

Bake 22-25 minutes, or until golden.  

Let cool 10 minutes, then carefully remove from muffin tins and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.  

Optional: I added a dollop of melted chocolate to each nest before topping with the eggs.  

Makes 24-36, depending on the size of your mini muffin tins.  

Source: Skinny Taste

I packaged these up  and took them to my Easter brunch with me this morning: