You haven’t truly lived until you’ve made strawberry icing. It’s vibrant, beautiful, sweet and fruity. The key to getting that intense strawberry flavor without compromising the structural integrity of the icing is freeze-dried strawberries.
Freeze-dried strawberries have been previously frozen, then placed in a vacuum under very low pressures. The low pressure causes ice crystals to rapidly turn from ice into water vapor. The process removes water much more efficiently than traditional drying. Because freeze drying is such an efficient way of removing water from fruit, the fruit retains a lot of the sugar and flavor, making them perfect to add that strawberry punch.
For the icing I used a cream cheese base. I found that the slight tang from the cream cheese paired well with the strawberry flavor. The cupcake recipe is a moist and fluffy vanilla cake with the addition of a few tablespoons of strawberry jam. The strawberry jam flavor is subtle not overpowering. What better way to celebrate spring than these cute flower decorated strawberry cupcakes!
STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES (makes 12 cupcakes)
prep time - 20 minutes
cooking time - 20 minutes
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light tasting oil (vegetable, canola, avocado)
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup full fat plain yogurt
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp strawberry jam
1 oz freeze dried strawberries
2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated, approximately 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add the yogurt and beat until combined.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the milk. Mix until just combined. Add the rest of the flour and milk in the same manner until combined.
Stir in the strawberry jam.
Divide the batter evenly into the muffin liners.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack.
Using a food processor, pulse the strawberries to a fine power.
In a large bowl, add the strawberries and cream cheese. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until combined.
Add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Fill a piping bag with the icing. You will need a Wilton tip No. 12 and No. 104. Follow the link for the tutorial.
Store the cupcakes in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you store them in the fridge, let them come to room temperature before eating.