Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
The baby shower was a huge success yesterday! The star of the shower (besides my glowing sister, of course) were my Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream.
The first time I prepared these cupcakes I failed, miserably. The cupcakes alone were delicious. They were extremely moist, sweet, and full of freshly chopped strawberries. The problem lies with the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream. I typically shy away from recipes requiring candy thermometers—I’m a college student, I don’t own such things! However, this frosting recipe received fantastic reviews and I was up for the challenge. Plus, it was finals week and I will do anything to avoid studying.
The meringue buttercream was a disaster before I even began separating my egg whites. I had stayed up late the night before studying and baking cupcakes so perhaps it was my lack of sleep contributing to the problem. The problem was dividing the recipe by ¾. I typically half every recipe I prepare because… well, I would not be the Bite-Sized Baker if I didn’t. On this particular day, I baked more than usual because I was planning on giving the cupcakes away to my boyfriend and his house full of football players. I successfully divided all the ingredients by ¾, but I somehow managed to forget to reduce the butter quantity. Now, I know what you’re all thinking, “the more butter the better.” But even Paula Deen would frown in disgust at the amount of butter I used in this frosting. It turned out to be a greasy, inedible mess. Unfortunately, I had limited ingredients and time on hand to reconstruct my frosting disaster, so I ended up making a quick, simple strawberry buttercream. The cupcakes were still delicious with the buttercream frosting, but my earlier baking failure was haunting me and I was determined to create a meringue buttercream.
The second time I attempted this recipe it was a huge success! Since my previous experience was a complete failure, I took all the necessary precautions when preparing the recipe, including a candy thermometer, a stand mixer, and a calculator. The meringue buttercream was silky, buttery, and smooth. Everyone at the party compared the frosting to strawberry ice cream! It was de-licious… and pretty too!
However, I must admit, this frosting does take quite an effort and a big chunk of time, but do not be discouraged because you will be rewarded! I am so glad I made this recipe again because it was entirely worth it and I look forward to using the meringue buttercream base with other flavor combinations!
Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe by Annie’s Eats:
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups chopped strawberries
Sift flour, salt and baking soda into a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chopped strawberries. Fill cupcake wells ¾ full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream Recipe by Annie’s Eats:
1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped*
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Puree until completely smooth. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer** fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)
Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more. Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip with the frosting. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, and garnish with fresh berries or berry slices.
Makes 22 Servings
Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Fat: 19.1 g (Saturated 10.5 g)
Cholesterol: 65 mg
Carbohydrate: 38 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 2.9 g
**Note: I calculated nutritional facts using a feature on Daily Burn.