May 28 2012
This month’s What’s Baking theme was “Bake with Summer Produce” and I wasn’t even the one who thought it up! Seriously, this theme that is near and dear to my heart is from Ammie who blogs at Adventures in My Kitchen. What she didn’t know when she picked the theme is that I had 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries and a few tablespoons of that Pomegranate-Blueberry juice left over from the Homemade Gelatine with Strawberries, I had over a cup of frosting left over from the Funfetti cupcakes and that I had bookmarked a strawberry cupcake recipe from My Recipes that I was dying to try.
Well, truth be told, I didn’t know all that either when she picked the theme but I’m not one to mess with fate–these cupcakes were just WILLING me to make them. And I’ll do just about anything a cupcake recipe asks.
My first inclination that these were going to be awesome was the slight tinge of pink the batter took–if I’m a sucker for a cupcake, I’m a HUGE sucker for a pink cupcake. The second hint was how they puffed up to make these beautiful barely rounded tops. I know pro cupcake makers will tell you that a flat top is the holy grail of cupcakes but there’s something so pretty and symmetrically pleasing about a rounded top–a dozen of these cute little red-specked domes sitting in the tin was just like baked up happiness.
My gut wasn’t fooling me–these are pretty good. The cake is dense with a semi-coarse crumb and not super sweet which allows those spots of cooked berry to really shine through every time you bite into one. That also serves as the perfect vehicle to a clean, sweet buttercream like this one. The original recipe called for orange juice in the batter and an orange glaze on top, which I’m sure is lovely, but not nearly as charming as the berry-flavored juice and sweet cream frosting I ended up with serendipitously.
Ammie, if I could box these up and send them to you as a thank you for picking an awesome theme at a good time, I would. But I only made a dozen and they are, um, all gone.