Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

strawberry lemonade cupcakesToday, Soergel Orchards is having their annual Strawberry Festival. Beyond picking your own berries in their fields, you can get your face painted, go on a hay ride, jump in a bouncy castle, or in my case, enter a strawberry recipe contest.

How does the self-taught baker set out to win her first competition? She thinks about what she’d want to eat, and goes from there. This recipe is a confectionery interpretation of an iconic summer drink, and I’m proud to say that it won first place.

 

Strawberry Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping cup strawberry puree
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • About 1/2 to 3/4 cup lemon curd, at room temperature

Preparation

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cupcake tins with 16 paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together strawberry puree, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest; set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until light in color. Gradually add sugar and beat until fully incorporated; scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently. Add egg and egg whites, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated.

Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the strawberry mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently and beat for 1-2 minutes after the last addition of flour to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean; cool on a wire rack.

Using the small end of a melon baller, scoop out a small amount of cake from the center of each cupcake; fill with lemon curd (a half-teaspoon measuring spoon works well for filling if you don’t want to use a piping bag). Frost with fresh strawberry buttercream; store cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Bring cupcakes to room temperature before serving.

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Scant ¼ cup strawberry puree

Preparation

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and lemon juice on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Gradually add powdered sugar, in half-cup increments, beating until fully incorporated.

Add strawberry puree, mixing until completely incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

Using a small cookie scoop, scoop frosting onto tops of cupcakes and spread with an offset spatula. Frosting can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days; refrigerate cupcakes after they are filled and frosted for up to 3 days.

Note: you can adjust the sweetness or tartness of this frosting very easily by adding more lemon juice or puree; you’ll just need to add more sifted powdered sugar so the frosting isn’t too runny.

Victory! Yep, that’s me with the star of today’s festival, The Strawberry.

strawberry festival

 

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