June 28, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Perfect for a hot summer day, these little cuppies are tart, sweet and totally scrumptious. Our good friend Adam is leaving this week to join his wife for 2 years in Japan and we went to a party for him this past weekend. You all know it's not really a party without cupcakes. Adam doesn't like chocolate (WHAT?) so one of my friends suggested this recipe.

This recipe was perfect for me, since I've been craving tart lemonade for about 6 weeks now. I could chug that stuff all day long - and the colder, the better! And it's summer, so sweet and juicy strawberries are all over the place. The cupcakes weren't hard to make, but the cream cheese frosting didn't hold up very well in the heat. I kept my cuppies in the fridge so that they would hold their shape for the 1 hour+ car ride to DC for the party. Annie recommends using a lemonade syrup on the cupcakes, and I didn't take her advice - totally regret it! The lemon flavor isn't as pronounced as I wanted, so I wish I had used the syrup. I even threw in 4 teaspoons of lemon extract, and it still wasn't enough!

I love the blog where I got this recipe, and I highly recommend that you surf around her site. Annie's Eats is a great home for delicious recipes and gorgeous photos...and she does it all with a baby! Seriously?

I'm just gonna have another cupcake.

adapted from Annie's Eats

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon zest
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

For the lemonade syrup:
1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the frosting:
1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest, rubbing them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and scented. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add in the milk and mix until smooth. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, whisk together the lemonade concentrate and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl to make the lemonade syrup. Poke several holes in the top of each cupcake with a skewer or a fork and pour the syrup over the cupcakes, allowing it to soak in. (Place wax paper underneath your cooling rack so you don’t make a mess!)

To make the frosting, puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and set aside. Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Mix in strawberry puree, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve your desired texture and flavor of frosting (I used all of it!). Frost cupcakes as desired and enjoy!


Blogger on the Run said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

As a taste tester, I just want to say these cupcakes were amazing and perfect for a hot, sticky day of BBQing.

Leslie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Lemon and strawberry together?! Fantastic combination you came up with.

Rachael said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm definitely going to have to make these sometime soon.