Organic strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry frosting

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by Lynne Vea, PCC Natural Markets Chef

NWCN.com

Posted on April 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Updated Saturday, Apr 12 at 11:50 AM

Bright red strawberries bake right into the batter to create these moist little cakes bursting with flavor, and more berries are added to the frosting for a perfect celebration of the season.

2 pints ripe organic strawberries
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
4 ounces softened unsalted butter
1 cup unrefined white sugar
1/2 cup blonde coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Wash and cap the berries. Chop about 6 berries into small dice and set aside. Puree the rest of the berries in a food processor or blender and measure out about 1 1/4 cups for the cake batter. Save the leftover puree for the frosting.

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the eggs and then beat in the milk, vanilla and strawberry puree. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture. You may now fold in the chopped strawberries or press them on top of the batter before baking.

Spoon the batter into lined cupcake tins, filling them to a generous 3/4 full. Press the chopped strawberries into the batter if you chose this option.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

4 ounces softened unsalted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons pureed strawberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar (1 1/2 pounds) (See Notes)
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice

In an electric mixer, blend the butter, strawberry puree and salt. Add the powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Beat to a smooth consistency, adding a little more lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, as needed.


Measuring powdered sugar

In professional kitchens nearly all dry ingredients are weighed rather than measured. This is because the measurable volume varies based on how dry ingredients were milled or refined, making weight a more reliable measure for consistent baking results. Flour has become much more consistent in recent years so that now, in most home recipes, it is measured. Powdered sugar, however, continues to vary greatly from brand to brand.

In order to make the transition from pounds to cups, we've used the powdered sugar that we carry at PCC as our guideline. It's a bit denser in character than the classic brand-name varieties and weighs more by measure, thus making the formula short of the usual 4 cups to a pound. This is why we’re using 5 1/2 cups in this recipe rather than 6.

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