HOORAY for the start of the British Strawberry Season! Have you noticed in the supermarkets how good the strawberries look, and they taste 10 times more delicious than the small and bitter imported ones we have had to put up with over the dreary cold winter.
Strawberries make our Summer all that much better and we use them to make smoothies, on our breakfast and puddings and my favourite served with a sprinkle of sugar and lots of cream and vanilla ice cream, oh and in the odd PIMMS or two. A summer BBQ would not be complete without a strawberry pimms.
We absolutely loved going strawberry picking last year, so it will definitely be on our summer agenda this year. I can remember going strawberry picking when I was little and ducking down into the straw to eat them without my Mum or the field owner seeing me. Though I would always end up with a belly ache and not being able to face another strawberry, until the next day anyway! Fortunately I never had that happen with my two little ones, I think they were too intent on getting the most in their baskets 🙂
Today we share our sweet, strawberry inspired recipe: Vanilla cupcakes, a light fluffy vanilla cupcake made with plain flour and sour cream topped with our also very light and fluffy strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. We used strawberry jam and some chopped up strawberries in our buttercream for a strong strawberry flavour but a good quality strawberry jam on its own will be enough to make a sweet strawberry flavour.
We decorated our Strawberry Cupcakes with our Vanilla bean cookies which we added in our special secret ingredient: Quick Milk Strawberry Sprinkles. When mixing the flour into the cookie mix we added two straws of sprinkles in too, and then after chilling the cookie mix we then cut them into heart shapes. We also sprinkled these over our cupcakes for extra strawberry sweetness. My two are a big fan of these Quick milk straws which are hundreds of mini flavoured sprinkle size balls in a big straw used in a glass of milk. It was only recently when I accidentally broke one of the straws I decided to try the sprinkles inside, which gave me inspiration to use these in baking.
These strawberry cookie hearts look so pretty on these cupcakes, like a cupcake topped with buttercream was not enough!
Happy Strawberry Baking
- Makes 12 Large Cupcakes
- 150gr Unsalted Butter (soft)
- 150gr Caster Sugar
- 2 Medium Eggs
- 175gr Plain Flour
- 1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 125ml/1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 150gr/5 Medium Egg Whites
- 300gr Granulated or Caster Sugar
- 300gr Unsalted Butter (cold)
- 1 Tsp Vanilla bean paste or extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbls Strawberry Jam
- 5 Strawberries finely chopped or mashed with fork (optional)
- Few Drops of Pink Food Colouring
- Cupcake Baking Tray
- Cupcake/Muffin Cases
- Strawberry Quick Milk Sprinkles (optional)
- Electric Hand Whisk or Stand Mixer
- Line a Cupcake/Muffin Tray with 12 Cupcake/Muffin Cases (see notes) and preheat your oven to 170C/340F.
- Beat your butter and sugar together on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until pale and fluffy, either in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk.
- Sieve your flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Add your eggs and whisk on low speed for a couple of minutes, then use a spatular to scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to whisk on medium speed until the eggs are fully combined and the mix is smooth.
- Add your salt, flour, sour cream and vanilla bean paste/extract into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for a further couple of minutes until all combined.
- Divide your cupcake mix into 12 cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, use a cake tester or small sharp knife to check in the centre of a cupcake (must come out with a few crumbs but no wet mix). If wet with some cupcake mix then bake for a few more minutes and then re check.
- Remove from the oven and then leave the cupcakes in their tray to cool completely before decorating.
- Wipe a heatproof bowl and the whisk attachments from your electric hand whisk with kitchen roll and a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice to remove any grease.
- Separate your egg yolks and whites into two bowls.
- Add you egg whites into your heatproof bowl, then add you sugar.
- Place your bowl over a saucepan filled 1/4 full with hot water, then place over a medium heat, begin whisking your egg whites and sugar with your electric hand whisk. Your bowl needs to sit on top of the saucepan, not inside it as the water will spill out of the pan.
- Continue to whisk for several minutes until the egg whites and sugar become pale and frothy and all of your sugar has dissolved over the heat.
- Carefully use a tea towel to remove your bowl from the heat and place onto a tea towel on your work top. Continue to whisk on full speed for another 3 to 4 minutes until your eggs/sugar become white, thick and creamy and your bowl is neutral to touch (just slightly warm not hot).
- You are now going to add your cold butter in small cubes, adding a few cubes at at time then whisking on full speed until all of you butter is mixed into the white mix. It will become scrambled when it is almost ready but continue to whisk and it will turn smooth and creamy. Add your salt, vanilla, strawberry jam and chopped strawberries and then whisk for another minute.
- *This method of making swiss meringue buttercream is much quicker using a stand mixer, I always whisk my egg whites and sugar over a saucepan filled with water over a medium heat, but use a metal hand whisk to continue to whisk for several minutes until they come pale and frothy, then I tip the cooked eggs/sugar into my stand mixer bowl and whisk on full speed for 4 minutes. I then add my butter in cubes until all incorporated, then add the remaining ingredients whisking smooth and creamy and ready to pipe. If you are using a stand mixer remember to de grease your bowls and whisk attachments with kitchen roll and vinegar/lemon juice too.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a piping nozzle (I used an Ateco 887 XL Piping Nozzle) with your buttercream and squeeze the buttercream down towards the nozzle end, twisting the piping bag round above the buttercream to close the bag shut.
- Holding a cupcake in one hand, and the piping bag in the other with the nozzle tip just touching the top centre of the cupcake, squeeze out your buttercream swirling around and upwards to create an ice cream swirl of buttercream.
- If you do not have a piping bag and nozzle simply use a couple of tablespoons to spread your buttercream onto each cupcake, using the back of a spoon to smooth over the top.
- Add strawberry sprinkles and cookie hearts before serving (see notes)
- *This Recipe is courtesy of Sweet Enchanted, please credit if sharing or duplicating..
Sweet Enchanted Notes:
♥ Your decorated cupcakes will keep for up to 3 days in either a cake box or tupperware container. I always store and transport my cupcakes in my Snap and Stack Pink 3 Tier Cupcake Holder
♥ I used my Tala Cookie Cutter Set to cut out my heart cookie shapes. You can make these cookies a couple of weeks ahead and freeze them until you are ready to eat. Simply store them in a Tupperware container or freezer bag and bring them out the night before to defrost.
♥ I used Quick Milk Strawberry Sprinkles in my heart cookies and also sprinkled them on top of my cupcakes for an extra strawberry flavour.
♥ You can purchase these high quality Pink Cupcake Muffin Cases here. These are a larger size muffin cases as apposed to the standard size cupcake case.