I could not ignore the siren call— first, of these red, ripe strawberries,
chopped finely for the batter
and pureed for the buttercream.
Baked up in standard muffin tins,
and topped with strawberry buttercream,
these beauties are calling you too!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large whole eggs plus 1 egg white, room temperature
1 cup milk
2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries (about 20), plus about 10 more for garnish
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add whole eggs and the white, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beating until well combined. Fold in chopped strawberries by hand.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto rack and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.
To finish, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip with buttercream. Pipe buttercream onto each cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Just before serving, thinly slice remaining strawberries, and tuck a few pieces into buttercream.
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces) rinsed, hulled, and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
Puree strawberries in a food processor. Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubed between your fingertips).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula and switch to the paddle attachment; continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Add strawberries and beat until combined. Stir with a flexible spatula until the frosting is smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
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