I think I'm going to keep this one simple, short and sweet and let the pictures do the talking!
I'm so happy with how these little babies came out and have to admit, between my husband and I...we polished off quite a few :/
If you're a lover of the flavor combination of chocolate and strawberries (like I am!!!) then you're going to love these!
I started with the usual moist chocolate cake- it's so light and fluffy and very very chocolaty! Then topped each and every sweet cupcake with the BEST strawberry buttercream frosting I could conjure up. I mean...the best. Fresh organic strawberries are pureed with yummy homemade vanilla bean sugar and added to sweet cream buttercream frosting. This is not (and never has been) your standard butter/powdered sugar frosting. I like to use rBST free egg whites and vanilla bean sugar- slowly cook together to the perfect temperature and then beat until light and fluffy! Then sweet cream butter is added very slowly to ensure proper texture along with homemade vanilla bean extract. That would be my standard vanilla buttercream- but to make it fresh strawberry, I then drizzled in that strawberry puree I was previously mentioning until just perfect! No artificial colorings or flavorings are added- so this frosting includes slight bits of strawberries and is the slightest hue of pink.
It's such a wonderful combination! We are just starting to get into the strawberry season, so I was stoked to make these.
Our edible hearts are also available for purchase, on our Etsy site.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
Makes 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes
For the cake:
- 9oz cake flour (by weight)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 10 1/2 oz sugar (by weight)
- 2 eggs
- 6 1/2 fluid oz vegetable oil
- 6 1/2 fluid oz buttermilk
- 7 fluid oz freshly brewed coffee (cooled)
1. Preheat your oven to 350*F. Place paper liners in 24 regular sized cupcake tins. Set aside.
2. With a mixer, whip your eggs and sugar until you've reached the ribbon stage- light yellow in color and thickened up.
3. While this is happening, sift together all of your dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together all of your remaining wet ingredients.
4. When you've reached ribbon stage, stop mixer and scrape down bowl. Turning back on to low, alternately mix in the wet with the sifted dry ingredients. Stopping and scraping bowl every so often. Once all ingredients have been added, mix together once more. Try not to over mix as this will cause a dense cake.
***YOUR BATTER WILL BE RUNNY! DON'T WORRY, IT'LL BAKE UP PERFECTLY.
5. Immediately pour batter evenly into 24 cupcake tins (filling up 1/2-3/4 of the way) and bake until cake bounces back when touched in middle and a toothpick comes out clean- about 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes. Then bake in 5 minute intervals after- until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool on wire rack until room temperature.
For the Fresh Strawberry Buttercream:
Makes Approx 5 cups (enough for 2 dozen cupcakes)
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, almost room temp (cut into little cubes)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½-1 whole vanilla bean
- 3/4 cup fresh strawberry puree macerated with 2 tablespoons sugar
1. In small food processor puree FRESH strawberries (not frozen) until a smooth consistency. Reserve 3/4 cup for your buttercream. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and mix together, set aside.
2. Over a pot of simmering water, create a double boiler with kitchen-aid mixer bowl. Whisk egg whites and sugar into mixing bowl and set over pot of boiling water. Continually whisk over simmering water until sugar dissolves when rubbed between fingertips – about 5 min.
3. With whisk attachment, whisk in mixer until egg white form still peaks and are completely cool. This will take quite a while- 15 min or so. Just keep touching the bottom of your mixer bowl until you cannot feel heat whatsoever.
4. One square at a time, add butter while mixer is continually whisking the egg white/sugar mix. Continue to do this until all butter is incorporated. Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean. If it looks loose don't worry, it will come together. If you'd like to help it along, rub ice or ice packs underneath the mixing bowl while it's going to help cool down the buttercream with butter.
5. Lastly add your fresh strawberry puree. Mix until fully incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with large star attachment (like an Ateco 826 or Magic Tip 8ST).
***If using that day, keep room temp. If using later- can refrigerate 3days and freeze up to a month. Bring back to room temp and beat with a paddle attachment before piping.
All together now!
Simply take a chocolate cupcake and pipe on your fresh strawberry buttercream! Decorate with a fresh strawberry, chocolate drizzle...or these hearts.