One day while watching Cupcake Wars, I thought it would be cool to come up with a unique type of cupcake. I wondered why I had never heard of a strawberry shortcake cupcake before, so I decided I should make one myself. The idea was fairly simple in my mind. The cake itself should be angel food cake, and the frosting should be strawberry buttercream. Most ideas I have about this sort of thing don’t actually work in reality. However, this idea is one of those few exceptions that can actually happen in reality. My biggest fear was that the cake would stick to the liners, but thankfully they don’t.
I now make these cupcakes as a little Fourth of July tradition, usually with blue or blue star pattern liners (strawberries, cake, and blue liners = red, white, and blue). We usually have family over and put on our own little fireworks display, so this recipe is great to share since it makes 3 dozen cupcakes. Since I’m actually going to be making these tomorrow, there unfortunately won’t be any pictures to go along with the directions. I think I can explain in enough detail for you to make these on your own without needing pictures, though.
What You Will Need:
Angel Food Cupcakes: (Alton Brown’s recipe, with a few changes to make it into cupcakes)
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour
- 12 egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon orange extract, or other extract (I use lemon extract instead.)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 36 cupcake liners
Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting: (I found this somewhere online, but I can’t find the site anymore.)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup pureed strawberries (1/2 cup whole)
- Extra strawberry halves (optional)
Step 1: Separate eggs when they are cold, and wait for the whites to come to room temperature. (Here are some great tips for separating eggs.)
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350°F and place liners in cupcake tin. Make superfine sugar by spinning it in a food processor for about 2 minutes. Mix half of the superfine sugar with the cake flour and salt and set the rest aside.
Step 3: In a very large bowl, hand-whisk egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Using an electric hand mixer at medium speed, slowly pour the reserved sugar into the the egg white mix. (Here are some great tips for beating egg whites.)
Step 5: Once you have achieved medium peaks (looks similar to the little curl on top of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone), sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the egg whites just enough to coat it. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold it in. Repeat until all the flour is mixed in.
Step 6: Using a spoon, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes or until just golden brown.
Step 1: Using a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Slowly add the sugar until well incorporated.
Step 2: Add in the lemon juice, salt, and strawberry puree. Continue beating until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Put the frosting into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes after they’re cool. To pipe in a swirl pattern, start on the outside of the cupcake top, and squeeze the piping bag gently while you work your way to the middle of the cupcake. Press the bag inwards slightly while squeezing and then gently lift off. (If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a Ziploc bag with one of the corners cut off, making a 1/2 inch hole.)
Step 4 (optional): Just before serving, place a strawberry half on top of the cupcakes for garnish. (Do not leave the cupcakes sitting with strawberry halves on top of them for too long; the strawberries will drip sticky juice down the sides.)
If you like extra tall frosting on your cupcakes, then you will need to double the frosting recipe.