Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Springtime And Strawberries

It's the first day of spring!! And it's supposed to snow tonight. Stupid weather.
However, I really wanted to make "springy" cupcakes this week, especially since I haven't made any in like three weeks.
Boyfriend wanted strawberry-rhubarb pie. I don't like pie that much; I'm much more of a cake person. And I didn't feel like making mini-pies like I did for him for Valentines Day. I wanted what I made to be pretty. You can't make a pie pretty. It's pie.
So I compromised and started searching for Strawberry-Rhubarb Cupcakes. A lot of them were complicated. I don't have time for complicated; I have too much homework for complicated. A lot of them were vanilla with strawberry-rhubarb filling. I don't like making filling cupcakes unless they'll be eaten quickly. Cupcakes sit around here too long for that. I wanted the flavor to be the cupcake.
Good ol' Betty Crocker to the rescue! The recipe I used was from the Betty Crocker website (here).

Of course, I made a few adjustments.Mostly because I couldn't find fresh or frozen rhubarb. None. No where. Zero Zip Zilch. So I used a combination of fresh, finely chopped strawberries and some strawberry-rhubarb preserves. Also, I used brown sugar instead of white, and I used less since my strawberry/perserves mixture was pretty sweet. And I added some pink food dye, otherwise I would have grey cupcakes (ew). And I did not use their recipe for frosting.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cupcakes
Makes 12

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1 cup strawberry/rhubarb preserves (or fresh or frozen rhubarb, finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter  
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 C. brown sugar
  • 1 egg 
  • Pink food dye
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook strawberries, preserves (or rhubarb), 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon butter. Stir frequently until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; transfer to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. (I stuck mine in the freezer in 5 minutes intervals since I was too impatient to wait an hour). Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of the cooked & chilled strawberry mixture for frosting. 
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tin with papers. 
  3. In small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, stir together the majority of the strawberry mixture, 1/3 cup buttermilk and the vanilla. I recommend adding the food dye here in order for a uniform color.
  5. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup room temperature butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until blended. Add half the flour mixture then half of the strawberry mixture, beating well after each addition. Repeat with remaining flour and strawberry mixtures (this is where I added the food dye, and got more of a streaky effect, since the batter is super thick). Spoon batter into the cupcake pan. 
  6. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack.
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1/2 C. room temperature butter
  • 1-2 C. powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Strawberry/preserves mixture. 
  • Pink Food Dye
  1. In a medium bowl, butter until light and fluffy. 
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar. I add about 1/3 cup at a time, beating after each addition in order to prevent powdered sugar flying everywhere. Add up to a cup, and then add 1 Tbsp of strawberry/preserves mixture. Beat to incorporate.
  3. Repeat this until you have reached your desired consistency and sweetness. Add enough food dye to reach your desired color.*
  4. Spread or pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes. 
 *I made the flower pattern on the cupcakes and then added some more dye to the remaining frosting in order to make the color for the outline & middle. Honestly, I wish I had a picture before I outlined them 'cause I liked it better without the outline. Plus, the pieces of strawberry & rhubarb kept getting stuck in the little piping tip which was a pain in the butt. For my first attempt at a flower though, I'm pretty proud. =)

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