But let's focus on today's post, shall we? And oh my goodness was I excited about this one! I always love a good reason to whip up something sweet, and yesterday brought an incredibly exciting opportunity to do so. I was having afternoon tea (how fabulous does that sound?) with the lovely little lady that will be my flower girl in my wedding this weekend. She has got to be the MOST precious thing I have ever seen, and I truly hope that if I have a little girl one day she will turn out like Kaleigh. Such a doll!!
I was going to bring a treat to tea anyhow, but then I found out that her birthday is just a few days away. And who doesn't love a good cupcake for their special day? Since her favorite color is pink I decided on these Pink Lady Strawberry cupcakes. While they are probably thought of more as a summer cupcake because they are so light, they still fit the occasion perfectly. A cream cheese frosting sits atop these baby cakes and pairs wonderfully with the strawberry flavor.
Princess Crowns and K's
This is probably either my favorite cake of all time, or it's tied with first right along side italian cream cake. You definitely get the strawberry flavor, but it isn't too overpowering and it tastes incredibly fresh. A lot of times strawberry cake can taste very artificial to me. The crumb is also incredibly tender, but not to the point that the cake won't hold it's shape.
Pink Lady Strawberry Cupcakes adapted from Eats Well with Others
4 1/2 C cake flour
3 C sugar
5 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 C pureed strawberries (I used fresh, but I'm sure frozen would work too)
8 egg whites
2/3 C milk
hint of pink food color
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
*This cake recipe makes 36-40 cupcakes or one layer cake. The frosting would need to be doubled for this cake recipe. *
Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin with liners.
Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Put mixer on low speed and blend until combined, about 30 sec. Add butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend. Turn mixer on medium speed and beat until light and fluffy (this will take 2-3 min). The mixture will resemble fluffy ice cream at this point.
The fluffy ice cream look that I was referring to....
In another bowl mix together eggs white, milk and food coloring. Add this mixer to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping bowl down after each addition. Divide batter among cupcake tins.
Bake 15-20 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes rest in tins and then remove to cool for one hour.
To make frosting, combine all ingredients in mixer and beat until smooth. *It's so important that the butter and cream cheese are at room temp. Otherwise you will get hard lumps of both ingredients in your frosting because they didn't completely blend together.
Because these were for a birthday girl who loves pink and all things princess, I decided to use some candy melts to make princess crown cupcake toppers and "K"s. To do this just melt the candies and then place in a small plastic squeeze bottle. Then pipe the desired shapes onto wax paper and let cool. Decorate them as desired before they cool so that any decorations will stick.
Candy melts (they come in all colors) and squeeze bottles can be purchased at your local Michael's or craft store. The edible glitter and pearls seen here can be purchased there as well.
I also made a trifle with the left over cake that I wanted to share. Hopefully any cake or cupcakes that you set out to make will turn out lovely, but what if they don't? Sometimes the crumb is too tender or the layers just won't hold.
Instead of crossing it off as a complete loss, a trifle is a great option. Just crumble the cake and layer with frosting into a glass or bowl. It's a gorgeous presentation and you still get to enjoy the yummy dessert you set out to make. Plus, your guests will never know the difference :)
Strawberry and Cream cheese trifle