I love baking. (Except when I make a mistake and my project doesn’t turn out). I’ve made plenty of recipes over again after a simple mistake. Sometimes you realize the recipe was printed incorrectly or that you read it wrong (although this option is obviously much more rare; other times you may never really know… Once when I was in high school I decided to make chocolate chip cookies (on what was probably the hottest day of the summer). They seemed perfect…they rose well and were golden brown, still a little soft. But then I tasted them, and they were horrible. It took 3 tries to figure out my mom had the oldest bottle of vanilla in the world, and it was spoiled. Something as simple as a teaspoon of bad vanilla can ruin an entire recipe (and waste a ton of ingredients!). I enjoy the trivial nature of baking but when I need to make something fast, I try to take shortcuts. My co-workers love my recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes (from Sprinkle’s bakery). What really makes the cupcakes special is the fresh strawberry frosting. When asked to make cupcakes for a potluck, I knew my friends at work wouldn’t settle for anything but strawberry. I took a shortcut and made a box mix of white cake into mini cupcakes. I followed the recipe exactly, except I added a tablespoon of vanilla paste. Box mixes are virtually foolproof and are always moist and yummy! I whipped up the Sprinkle’s Strawberry Frosting recipe and added it on top. They were a hit!
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed (or enough to make 3 T of puree
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold.
pinch of salt
3 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Top the strawberries and blend them until smooth in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet. Set aside
Beat butter & salt together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until well combined.
Add vanilla paste and 3T strawberry puree. Mix until just blended.
The frosting will be really thick, this is how it should be. You can add more puree if you want a little bit softer frosting.
Spread or pipe frosting over cupcakes or cake or eat a spoonful.
I left my butter out while I was at work so it was really soft when I started to make the frosting. I popped the 2 sticks in the freezer for about 15 minutes and it was the perfect temperature.
One recommendation I have if you are piping the frosting in swirls is to put small amounts in a piping bag or ziploc bag at a time. For me, my hands warm the frosting really quickly and I would rather fill the bag 5 times than have runny frosting at the end.
My friends at work whom the cupcakes were for: