STRAWBERRY RIBBON ICING
Ever since I can remember, I have always chosen strawberry as my preference over other flavours- (well salted caramel wasn't a thing back in ye olden days, was it?! ) - and I have a feeling I'm definitely in the minority here. Our family often had a tub of neopolitan ice-cream in the freezer and strawberry was always the one I demolished first- eaten straight from the tub infront of the TV- most probably watching Punky Brewster. When I went to friends' houses, I was shocked to see it was not the preferred option and was always the last to go. Shocked to my 10-year-old-core I tell you. Next came my obsession with strawberry flavoured milk- preferably moove. I also always wondered why Streets didn't bring out a strawberry paddlepop- I may or may not have written and pleaded with them to consider my brilliant idea (right after I wrote a letter to channel 10 neighbours department, begging them to get Kylie Minogue to call me at home- even attaching silver coins with sticky tape to my letter). Shame on you Channel 10 for keeping my hard-earned pocket money!
So back to the point: strawberries and I go way back and I think it's safe to say we will be BFFs for years to come. They are also full of vitamins so whenever I have them I feel like I'm giving myself a vitamin shot. Regardless if they are sitting on top of a cupcake, they are providing me with essential vitamins and minerals I simply couldn't get through the day without.
I have tried a few recipes for vanilla cupcakes, but this is the best one yet- not too heavy, not too light- JUST RIGHT. Oh hold on, that sounds way too familiar. Anyway- strawberry & vanilla are a match made in heaven so I'm pretty sure everyone will enjoy these little bites of deliciousness! x
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla (add more for a super-vanilla taste)
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Prior to starting, get the eggs and butter to room temperature. Grease and flour two cupcake/muffin pans, or add cupcake wrappers to trays.
- 1. Stir together the salt, baking powder, flour.
- 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter in an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Continue to beat and add the eggs. Beat well and add vanilla.
- 3. Add part of the flour mixture then part of the milk, then beat on low. Repeat until all of the milk and flour mixture have been added. Combine and spread batter into cupcake pans.
- 4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool for at least 15 minutes then remove from pans. Frost.
FRESH STRAWBERRY ICING:
450gr fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place 1 1/2 cups worth of the berries in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth, stop to scrape the sides as needed. This should only take a minute or two. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy, add 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat again. Add 1 more cup of powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add 1/2 cup of strawberry puree and beat again until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Add more strawberry puree as desired, for a creamier or pourable icing (the softer icing will only work for a sheet cake, it will need to be as described above for a layered cake) or add additional powdered sugar, for a thicker and more pipe-able frosting for decorating.
I simply used a sandwich sized ziplock bag, cut a very tiny hole at the end, and piped into ribbons on the cupcakes.
Makes about 4 cups.