Did You Know? The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.
With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I thought pretty pink cupcakes seemed like the most appropriate post. Always loving the strawberry cupcakes made from a box mix, I've been wanting to make homemade ones for some time now. When I saw the awesome Valentine's decorating accessories at Michael's, I knew this would be the perfect time to use the already red strawberry to dye these soon-to-be exploded with pink cupcakes.
Like most girls, baking and decorating cupcakes is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. The limitations are endless, and you always end up with something pretty irresistible. Adorning most of my life in pink, why stop at the cupcake? Tucked inside dainty, heart-stamped cups, frosted with candy-sweet icing, and topped with an array of sprinkles, these cupcakes will make any girl swoon.
I love mixing and matching various patterns with an underlying theme, that being Valentine's Day here. To make all the same toppings or designs can get pretty repetitive, and when I get going, it's hard to refrain myself from trying to outdo the previously frosted cupcake.
As for the taste? I tried a cupcake without frosting first, and the strawberry flavor was there, but very faint. I may add a teaspoon of strawberry extract next time, or play around with the ingredients a bit. The color was so pretty though - a pale pink hue dotted with strawberry flecks, so natural and so satisfying. My second cupcake, a frosted and decorated one, was everything I had hoped for. The strawberry frosting was so flavorful, and definately made up for the cake alone. These are for sure my favorite cupcakes to date, but like I said, I'm partial to anything pink.
1 cup natural cane sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup puréed strawberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
1/2 cup soy milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper cups, and set aside.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together remaining ingredients. Add this to the dry, beating with a wire whisk.
Pour into prepared cupcake tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until done when tested with a toothpick.
I used a combination of frostings. I made this recipe, which didn't set up quite as I had hoped, so I folded it into a separate confectioners frosting (shown below).
1 stick (1/2 cup) vegan margarine or shortening (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup of the meringue frosting previously made, plus additional to fold in.
Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, margarine/shortening and 1/4 cup of meringue icing until fluffy. Add more meringue icing as needed. The frosting should be thick at this point, but you will fold in additional meringue icing to lighten it up.
Once you finish creaming the sugar, butter, and meringue icing, fold in another 1/2 cup or so of the meringue icing, until you reach your desired consistency.
*If this all seems too confusing to you, by all means use your own frosting recipe (or the frosting given in the original recipe). I'm sure just folding in some strawberry puree to a buttercream recipe would work fine also. I just didn't want to waste the meringue icing I had put together.