I’m hanging on to summer for dear life.
Now don’t get me wrong, I adore fall. I love the sweaters, the cinnamon, the few pounds of acceptable weight gain, and taking only one shower a day. I typically have no problem with the summer-to-fall transition, but am finding myself struggling with it this year. I don’t want to let go of the late sunsets, the weekends away and the nights without homework, but I suppose all good things must come to an end. I’m seeing to it that they go out with a bang.
These strawberries & cream cupcakes, dressed in the most summery cupcake liners I could find, are part of that endeavor.
Nothing says summer quite like strawberries. Let’s stuff them into cupcakes, shall we? Yes? I’m already a step ahead of you. Do what I did.
To make the cupcakes, I followed Martha Stewart’s simple Vanilla Cupcake recipe, but you can easily use a box mix or another recipe of your choice. Just know that I only made a dozen cupcakes, so you’ll want to double the instructions below if you plan on making any more than that.
Next, the filling. I cored the cupcakes, as I often do (see: peanut butter cup cupcakes & apple pie cupcakes), and filled them with whipped cream and chopped strawberries. Keep it simple, stupid. It’s my latest adopted philosophy. I’m a fan, it’s unclear if my professors will be too.
And finally, the frosting. I wanted it to be pink. Pink like summer watermelon, pink like cotton candy, pink like sunburnt knees. And pink strawberry buttercream is what I made. A buttercream that can also double as a delicious toast or bagel spread, or a lick-off-your-finger dip. Options.
And there you have it. My little, but mighty attempt to make the most of these last summer days. I hope you make the most of yours.
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsps heavy cream
- Puree strawberries in a blender, then strain through a fine sieve.
- Simmer strawberry puree and lemon juice for 15 to 20 minute, stirring frequently. Set aside and let cool completely.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
- Add confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.
- Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.
- Scrape bowl, add cooled strawberry-lemon mixture, vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.
- Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
- And there you have it! Pipe and frost as you please.
- ½ heavy cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
- In a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form.
- Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form.
- Be careful not to over-beat! The cream will turn lumpy and butter-like if you do.