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 


  1. What the benefit of the cornstarch in the cake flour?

  2. This is what I found out:

    Cornstarch not only thicken sauces and mixtures, but it can be used in baked goods such as cookies or cakes, too. It is said that cornstarch used in combination with flour can "soften" the harsh proteins of flour, making a more tender baked good. Anecdotally, I can tell you this is true. A recipe such as shortbread which employs part flour and part cornstarch yields a cookie with the perfect crumb: crumbly, but not fall-apart. Tender and delicate, but in a way that the cookie still holds its shape.

    As I learned on a King Arthur Flour forum, it is also one of the secrets of cake flour.

    Cake flour has been treated with chlorine gas which acts not only as a whitening agent, but also has a maturing effect on the flour. It damages the proteins that form gluten so that these will not form the long stiff chains and networks that make good bread, but also breaks down starches so that these will absorb more water. These hydrated starches then "gel" during baking to provide an alternate structure (alternate to gluten formation) which is desirable for cakes; tight, even crumb, moist, very tender.

    You can make your own cake flour substitute, by the way. All you have to do is add two tablespoons of cornstarch per cup of all-purpose flour for a recipe. While it won't yield exactly the same results, it will certainly yield a more delicate baked good than all purpose flour alone.