Big Weather's Big Recipe: Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry season continues and we continue to feature recipes from viewers. This week was one of the more complicated recipes submitted, but I gotta tell ya, they were amazing! If you spend time making this, your patience will be rewarded. Let's get to it.

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup diced strawberries

Diced and whole strawberries for topping
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup salted butter
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift cake flour into a mixing bowl then add baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
2) In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy (occasionally stop and scrape down bowl throughout entire mixing process if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl).
3) Mix in egg then mix in egg whites one at a time. In liquid measuring cup used to measure buttermilk, whisk together the buttermilk, 1/3 cup strawberry puree and the vanilla extract.

4) Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter
mixture) alternating with half of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition.
5) Fold in the 3/4 cup diced strawberries. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full (nearly 1/3 cup in each). Bake in preheated oven 20 - 23 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
6) For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting: Add 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree to a small saucepan. Heat mixture over medium-low heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced by about 2/3 to 3 Tbsp, about 10 - 14 minutes (measure and if it isn't quite 3 Tbsp then return and continue to simmer, if it's not reduced to correct amount it will make
frosting runny).
7) Pour reduced puree into a small bowl, then freeze until cool (stir occasionally for even chilling, it will chill quickly in the freezer since it's such a small amount).
8) In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip unsalted and salted butter until very pale and fluffy (nearly white. Stop and scrape down bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process if not using the paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl).
9) Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar, then blend in 3 Tbsp reduced strawberry puree, vanilla extract, and optional red food coloring. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and continue to mix until frosting is pale and fluffy, adding in an additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar if needed to reach desired consistency.
10) To assemble cupcakes: Place a small mound of small diced strawberries on top center of cupcakes. Pipe frosting

A big thank you to Ashley Godwin for this gem. If you watch the video, some of these steps are missing. I had a problem with my camera and it wasn't rolling. C'est La Vie... These did turn out delicious. Also, I did end up adding an extra 1/4 cup of sugar to frosting to get it to a stiffer consistency. This is probably one of the most complicated recipes I've posted, but if you take your time, you will be a happy strawberry eater. Hope you like them!

UPDATE: Ashley said to cook down the strawberries for the butter cream even more to get rid of the extra moisture, then you shouldn't have to add the extra sugar. Will try it next time!
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