Last week one of my best friends in the entire world turned 25 (you may have seen her big smile here). Prior to Alix’s special day, we also happened to have one of the sunniest weekends of the whole winter, which made us feel that much closer to summertime. And what does summertime mean to me? Two words: fresh fruit.
One of my absolute most favourite fruits to eat ever since I was little is strawberries. Even back when you couldn’t pay me to eat a salad, I’d eat strawberries like the was no tomorrow. The only thing that slowed my devouring of these summery fresh berries was when I moved to university and realized how ridiculously expensive they were. Regardless, I ate them anyway, because even as a broke-as-a-joke student, they were worth it. So with this past week’s sunshiney days (that sadly have since disappeared), I decided to make Alix some strawberry cupcakes for her birthday. But this was prior to the fact that I realized that it’s really difficult to find a good recipe for strawberry cupcakes!
Luckily, by nature I am a problem solver (at least that’s what the Meyers-Briggs test told me…). My little engineery-brain thought ‘why don’t you just convert a strawberry cake recipe?’, and suddenly, I was making the largest batch of cupcakes my poor bachelor pad kitchen has ever seen. It took a bit of conversion and fiddling with bake times, but I figured it all out and made probably some of the most fabulous summer cupcakes I’ve ever tasted, thanks to this recipe. So now, I’ll stop taunting you with photos and words, and let you make some for yourself! Seriously, do it… these puppies are phenom!
adapted from Sweetapolita
- 1 3/4 cups Splenda
- 1 package of strawberry Jell-O
- 1 cup Earth Balance butter
- 4 eggs (or egg substitute, if you want to make it vegan)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree
for the strawberry frosting
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (+ more to reach desired consistency)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp strawberry puree
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line cupcake tin with liners, if using.
- In a medium bowl or a measuring cup, combine and stir the milk, strawberry puree, and vanilla. Set aside.
- Sift and whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream the sugar, gelatin, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and do not over-mix. Fill up 12 muffin cups with half the batter, and save the rest for batch number 2.
- Bake 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into a cupcake. Let cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: I’ll be honest, I didn’t do a whole lot of measuring. Combine the ingredients and add more liquid or sugar to reach desired consistency.
- To pipe the icing, I used a bit of coloured food gel, and the technique shown here.
This recipe yields 24 cupcakes. Don’t worry, that’s a good thing, because you’ll eat half of them yourself (it’s normal, I did it too). Oh, and did I mention the most amazing gift I got from my aunt in Ohio? She read an earlier post and after saying how badly I wanted a cupcake tote, she found one for me! So thank you Aunt Karen, you saved the day! And subsequently, while boarding the bus with this huge pile of cupcakes, the driver asked me if I was “one of those cupcake girls from tv“! Awesome.