Sunday, September 25, 2011

Love and Strawberry Cupcakes


How do you show people that you love them? Yeah, you. How? Do ya buy flowers? Maybe you leave them a nice little love note on the mirror? Oh, I got it. Maybe you do your spouse’s chores for a week?! Yeah, that’s nice.

I think that there is a good chance you show love like I do. By baking. That’s what I did yesterday.

Five years ago today, my sister-in-law gave birth to my niece, Karlee.

I love her.

She’s my monkey. I’m her giraffe.

She gives me love unconditionally. Her snaggle-tooth grin gives me joy unparallel. When we have a family event & she snuggles up to me, it literally makes my heart melt. She’s told me that I’m beautiful twice. Those words made my year(trust me, all of my in-laws are gorgeous so for her to say that was a big deal).

So what could I ever do to show her how much I love her?

I show her love by reading to her. I take her to gymnastics. We play doctor & sculpt with playdoh. I teach her manners. She helps me bake. And she’s gone to Texas with me twice.

Yesterday I spent all day baking for her party today. One of the results of that labor of love are my strawberry cupcakes. Now mind you, I have tried to make strawberry cupcakes more than a handful of times, but these are the clear winner. Before I went to bed last night, I opened up the cupcake container just to get a whiff of that wonderful strawberry delight. They are light and fluffy and the frosting is truly, truly like strawberry ice cream.

Oh & those heart toppers, that’s just another way to show my love. I’m not so good with a knife, but I managed these fairly easily.

Strawberry Cupcakes


1 3/4 cups (12 oz/350 g) granulated sugar

1 (3 oz/85 g) package strawberry flavored gelatin (such as Jell-O)

1 cup (8 oz/227 g) butter, softened

4 eggs (room temperature)

3 cups (10.5 oz/300 g) sifted cake flour

1 tablespoon (15 mL/17 g) baking powder

3/4 teaspoon (3.75 mL/5 g) salt

1 cup (236 ml/8 liquid oz) whole milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup (2 liquid oz/4.5 oz/130 g) strawberry puree (puree itself should be closer to room temp, not frozen or icy)


1. If you’re making your own strawberry puree, remove strawberries (about 2 handfuls) from freezer and place in a single layer in a flat dish to thaw slightly. Place into food processor and puree the strawberries until smooth. Stir to ensure it is nice and smooth not icy. Measure out 1/4 cup for cupcakes and 3 tablespoons for frosting, and freeze the remaining puree for another use.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)., Line cupcake pans with 36 liners.

3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the milk, strawberry puree, and the vanilla. Set aside.

4. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, and set aside.

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, gelatin, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy–about 5 minutes.

6. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with spatula.

7. Add the wet & dry ingredients to the creamed mixture by alternating–beginning and ending with dry ingredients and mixing just enough after each addition to incorporate, but not overmix.

8. Use an ice cream scoop and divide the batter evenly.

9.Bake 18-20 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake. (also these have rather flat tops, so don’t be alarmed)

Whipped strawberry frosting


3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (13 oz/375 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

4 cups sifted (18 oz/500 g) confectioners’ sugar (icing, powdered)

1 tablespoon (15 mL) heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 mL) pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

5 tablespoons (45 mL) strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries (if you want the frosting seed-free, you can put the puree through a sieve before adding to frosting)


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except strawberry puree, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Add strawberry puree (can be cool, but not frozen or icy) and mix until incorporated.

4. Best used right away, but can be covered in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or so.

Source: Adapted from Sweetapolita @

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