“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the “Titanic” who waved off the dessert cart.” – Erma Bombeck
This would have to be one of my very favourite cupcakes, it is a recipe adapted from the legendary Martha Stewart. It is surprisingly, incredibly light and the strawberry meringue buttercream is so amazingly delicious, creamy and fluffy that I could just have a bowl of the buttercream topped with fresh strawberries. Whenever I’ve made these they disappear in my families tummies in no time. Depending on the size of your cupcake, this recipe makes approximately 30 cupcakes.
Strawberry Cupcake Ingredients:
- 2 ¾ cups plain unbleached organic flour
- ½ cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon aluminium free baking powder (from health food shops)
- 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups of caster sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large whole free range eggs plus 1 egg white
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries, plus approximately 12 more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream room temperature butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add whole eggs and the white, one at a time, beating until each is well incorporated, scraping down sides of the bowl as you go along. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beating well to just combine. Fold in the chopped strawberries.
- Divide batter evenly into the lined cup, filling each only three-quarters full. ( Easiest way is to use an ice-cream scooper.) Bake in the oven remembering to rotate the tin halfway through the cooking process for even result. Cupcakes are ready when golden and the centre comes out clean when inserted with a cake tester.
- Transfer tins to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, turn out cupcakes onto rack and let it cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers or can freeze and defrost when ready to use.
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream Ingredients:
- 225g fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, roughly chopped (leave some aside for garnishing)
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
- 340g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into tablespoon size cubes.
- 1. Puree strawberries in a food processor, set aside.
- Combine room temperature egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
- Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl. This takes approximately 10 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few cubes at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula and switch to the paddle attachment and continue beating on low speed until all the air bubble are gone. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the strawberry puree and beat until well combined. (Your buttercream should be smooth and not separated if it is just keep beating).
- Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day otherwise transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to a month. Before using, bring buttercream back to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, takes approximately 5 minutes.
To finish, pipe buttercream onto each cupcake and top with strawberries nestled in the buttercream.