Monday, July 7, 2014

Strawberry shortcake cupcakes (4th of July themed!)

Holidays are great. Not just because of the day we get off of work or all the festivities that go on during this time - but the food. And not just eating food! Holidays give me a theme to build my baking inspirations around.

Fourth of July is no different. Strawberries, whipped cream, and blueberries for red, white, and blue seems a bit obvious, but hey, it's tasty! After some thinking, I settled on strawberry shortcake cupcakes, since it incorporates both strawberries and whipped cream. The blueberries were added on top as a garnish.

The cupcakes are a basic vanilla flavor - the original recipe that I followed used vanilla bean to give it an extra kick in taste. I wasn't able to find vanilla bean at my local grocery stores, but lucky for me, my roommate had just given me a bottle of Mexican vanilla extract from his trip down south. It is similar to regular vanilla extract, but has a deeper, more complex blend of flavors. I've been told that it is akin to using vanilla beans, so it was perfect to use in my cupcakes.

The frosting is simple whipped cream - very easy to make. I just dump heavy cream into my stand mixer and whip it on high speed for a few minutes. However, just as it's easy to make, it's also very easy to overbeat the cream (especially when using a powerful stand mixer). I learned that lesson the hard way when I came back to find a lump of butter sitting in my bowl. I wasn't one to waste anything though, so I kept the butter to be used in a future recipe!

What it's supposed to look like!
Once I finally got the whipped cream just right, all that was left was to make the filling for the cupcakes, which was strawberry preserves. I was surprised at how easy it was to make them - simply stew strawberries and sugar together over the stove and you end with rather tasty jam. I ended up making these the night before to chill in the fridge, making it easier to handle.

Completed strawberry preserves!
There isn't much else to say besides these cupcakes were very well received at my Fourth of July gathering! I'm posting these a bit late, since I had a very packed weekend - I even baked again and some point during, which I will definitely blog about later in the week. Until then, enjoy the red, white, and blue!

Strawberry shortcake cupcakes (makes 12)
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

  • 1 2/3 cup (210 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • ½ cup (115 g) butter, unsalted
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup (62 g) plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used Mexican vanilla)

  • 1½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp (43 g) white sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract (I used Mexican vanilla)
  • Sliced strawberries and blueberries for garnish.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake tins with liners. 
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. 
  3. Melt butter in microwave and stir in sugar, followed by egg whites, yogurt, almond milk, and vanilla extract. 
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir until all the lumps are gone. 
  5. Fill each cupcake tin about ¾ full (about 3 Tbsp each). Bake for 20 minutes (or until inserted toothpick comes out clean). 
  6. Make the whipped cream frosting while the cupcakes are baking. Add cream, sugar, and vanilla extract to stand mixer and beat on high speed for a few minutes until stiff peaks form - keep an eye on the frosting; it's very easy to overmix!
  7. Let the cupcakes cool after baking. Core the cupcakes by cutting out the middle with a knife or cupcake corer. Fill with strawberry preserves (recipe below). 
  8. Top with whipped cream frosting. Decorate with strawberries and blueberries!
  9. Enjoy!
Strawberry preserves
(Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)
  • 10 strawberries, finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of cornstarch (dissolved in 2 tsp of water)
  1. Cook strawberries in small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes (or until all the juices have been released and the berries are mushy).
  2. Add sugar and cornstarch and continue cooking as the preserves thicken for another 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and let cool before using to fill cupcakes (can also be made the night before and chilled in fridge). 

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