Saturday, April 16, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

I found this great Neapolitan Layer Cake from Annie's Eats that I thought would be a great Easter/Birthday cake for my daughter's birthday next weekend. The layer cake had different components in it with the vanilla white, chocolate, and strawberry cakes. I wanted to test out one of the cake recipes before diving into the huge task of baking the 3 different cakes. I decided to test out the strawberry cake and make them into cupcakes. And besides, I had a huge bag of frozen strawberries in the fridge that I wanted to use.

This cupcake tasted super yummy. Especially if you're a huge fan of strawberries and the color pink, like my daughter. She loved decorating this cupcake with me. I'm so looking forward to making the Neapolitan Layer cake next week and combine all the yummy flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

1 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 oz strawberry gelatin
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup sweetened strawberry puree

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. (Note: If making a round cake, grease and flour a 9-inch round pan. Place a round piece of wax paper on the bottom of the pan)

2) In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend and set aside.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, butter, and strawberry gelatin. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4) Set the mixer on low and add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until incorporated. Add milk and vanilla extract. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Blend in the strawberry puree.

5) Pour batter into prepared pan (about 2/3 full in the muffin pan). Bake 20-25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time, until toothpick test comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup strawberry puree

1) Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently , until mixture reaches 160 deg F and sugar has dissolved.

2) Transfer mixture into bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes (mixing bowl should be cool to touch).

3) Reduce speed to medium and add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer. It will eventually come together). Blend in strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Frost cooled cake.

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