Almond Cherry and Strawberry Cupcakes

So, my spring theme is fruit. So fresh for our changing weather! I needed to start small, I will not be shy about my complete fear of buttercream. I hate buttercream. It’s really hard to get it right!! Eventually, I will have to get over this fear. It starts now. You can see below my two cupcakes I did this weekend, the top one (ugly one) is Strawberry, the bottom one is Almond Cherry.

Finished Cupcakes

I began with the strawberry cupcakes, I suppose they were kind of the test dummy. I don’t actually eat strawberries (you’ll come to find I’m quite picky…), but my step-daughter loves them. I made two separate batches of strawberry buttercream, this one was quite ugly, it’s separating! Apparently the butter must be completely room temperature, or warmer, and make sure you fluff it up with your mixer thoroughly, or else it will look like this. Strangely, it still tasted quite good, just looks completely disgusting. Plus, it was kind of melting and made the wrapper sticky and hard to get off. I ditched that buttercream and began again, plus the cupcakes weren’t quite right, I actually lost power in the middle of cooking them for about an hour…when the power came back on, I tried to revive them, but it just didn’t work!! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the new batch, because the magically disappeared over night…

In between batches of cupcakes I had to take a break to give medicine to my smallest pup, here she is pouting about her situation:

Bella Break

Below you can see a bit of my process for the strawberry cupcakes:

I began with chopping the strawberries, I used some chopped in my batter, and some I pureed with my blender to add to the batter and to the buttercream. I actually used white cake mix in these (so, not completely homemade) and I used strawberry yogurt in the batter. Plus a bunch of other things (see my recipes below), and eventually folded in the chopped strawberries. Poured them into my cupcake liners and baked away! My butter cream was light and fluffy and I added pureed strawberries and a tad of vanilla!

My Almond Cherry cupcakes are completely delicious. I actually made these for Valentine’s Day (my stinking buttercream melted then, too!)

I started with a double yolked egg! I love when that happens, I feel like I won the lottery, haha! This recipe actually only uses the egg whites, so I used the egg yolks to make meatballs for Swedish Meatballs, my man’s absolute favorite meal. Then I mixed the cherry juice and buttermilk together, this looked completely disgusting, by the way. The next pictures are of the buttercream. I didn’t take many pictures here because I was too much in a hurry to eat these ones…haha!! The final one you can see I just slathered on that buttercream and had already began unwrapping it before I took a picture, I just love these cupcakes!

 

Strawberry Cupcakes:
Yields 24 cupcakes. Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 20 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 box white cake mix
1 cup strawberry yogurt
3/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 tablespoons strawberry puree

Buttercream:
4 sticks (2 cups) of butter room temperature
5.5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin tin with paper liners or spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat together the cake mix, yogurt, coconut oil, eggs, puree and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in diced strawberries
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 paper liners.
  4. Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack, you don’t want to frost when they are warm and melt that delicious frosting!

Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,or with your hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla the strawberry puree, mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  3. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with fresh strawberries, I didn’t, because I used them all with my two batches!

 

Almond Cherry Cupcakes:
Yields 24 cupcakes. Prep time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes. Total time: 50 minutes.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup buttermilk (or scant 3/4 milk with lemon juice added)
1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1.5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 egg whites
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

  1. Allow butter and egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line your muffin tin with paper liners or spray it with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and cherry juice until combined; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract; beat until combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in chopped cherries.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter into prepared paper liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in baking cups on wire racks until completely cooled.

Frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well.
  3. Beat in maraschino cherry juice (be sure this is room temperature!) and almond extract.
  4. Gradually beat in remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar.
  5. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with a maraschino cherry!
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