So I love to bake (and eat) cupcakes. It all started in law school, when I offered to bake 12 dozen cupcakes for my roommate's wedding. We spent several months taste testing different recipes (it was hard labor), and I managed to bake and frost all 144 cupcakes the day before and morning of the wedding. Anyways, I'm always happy to volunteer to bake cupcakes and I now have several tried and true recipes that I can make practically in my sleep.
But this weekend presented a challenge. I needed to bake 3 dozen cupcakes in three different flavors, and the recipients had requested that one of the three flavors be strawberry. This was outside my wheelhouse, as I'm more of a chocolate/mocha/red velvet expert. Fortunately I was able to get some super-ripe strawberries at the farmer's market last week, so I knew I had a strong start. Then I turned to the internet to try to figure out how to make a great strawberry cupcake from scratch.
While most people love the strawberry cupcakes at Sprinkles, this recipe got mixed reviews, with lots of folks saying it didn't have much strawberry flavor. The recipe calls for adding fresh strawberry puree to fairly basic cupcake and buttercream frosting recipes. While poking around on marthastewart.com, I came across a different strawberry cupcake recipe, this one from Martha herself. Martha calls for adding small chunks of strawberry to the cake batter and then for making a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, which is quite an endeavor (I'm still in awe of A'Dell for making this cake). I was not up for that major a baking project this weekend. So I decided to go with Martha's recipe for the cake (which got a good review from Annie's Eats) and a version of the Sprinkles strawberry frosting that I altered to try and boost the strawberry flavor. Here's the result:
Definitely not as pretty as the Sprinkles cupcakes, but I think the frosting tasated amazing. I doubled the amount of strawberry puree called for and cooked it down to concentrate the strawberry flavor. I also subbed a couple of ounces of cream cheese for some of the butter (I've never met a cream cheese frosting that I didn't love). Hopefully the recipients will like them as much as I do!