Monday, February 21, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Sometimes a song or an idea gets stuck in your head and lingers for weeks on end. In my case, I've been obsessed with malt flavored desserts since I made Chocolate Malt Cupcakes a few months back. I have quite a few malted treats on my to-bake list and among them was the idea for some strawberry malt cupcakes inspired by strawberry malt balls I found while shopping for some regular Whoppers. I didn't have any luck finding an existing strawberry malt cupcake recipe online, so my plan was to adapt a plain strawberry cupcake recipe to give it a hint of malt flavor.

Since I had never made any strawberry cupcakes before, I decided to start out by finding a plain strawberry cupcake I liked that I thought would work well with the addition of malted milk powder. The Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcake was my first strawberry cupcake to try. I chose to top mine with a strawberry version of my favorite basic cream cheese frosting. Unfortunately overall the hubby and I weren't totally in love with this cupcake. Despite only baking my cupcakes for 15 minutes they were on the dry side and lacked strawberry flavor. The frosting was okay, but oddly enough the cake masked the tangy flavor of the cream cheese that we love so much about this particular frosting recipe.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, I wanted so much to love these cupcakes. I thought the batter itself tasted divine and the cupcakes baked up so pretty--pale pink with perfect little domes. Honestly, I would be curious to try this recipe again in the future. I'd probably pull the cupcakes out of the oven before they were even fully set to hopefully keep them from drying out, and I'd likely try them as mini cupcakes to see if the smaller bite and larger cake to frosting ratio would aid in them not tasting so dry. I've been curious about using simple syrups to add flavor and moistness to cakes and if I could concoct a strawberry syrup for these cupcakes it could be the perfect thing to add a bit more flavor and much needed moisture.

All said, I don't think these cupcakes are exactly what I'm looking for to adapt into the strawberry malt cupcakes of my dreams. Perhaps with a little tweaking these could become the perfect strawberry cupcakes. I'll include the recipe below as I made the cupcakes, for those who are interested in giving them a try. I certainly can't compare them to any other strawberry cupcake recipes as they are the first I've baked (and really some of the only strawberry cupcakes I've ever tried). I do think they're quite cute, and as mini cupcakes could make a darling addition to a bridal or baby shower dessert spread.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
cake from Martha Stewart, frosting inspired by Milk and Honey Cafe
makes ~1 dozen

For the cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup strawberry puree
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1 large egg, room temperature
    2 large egg whites, room temperature

    To make strawberry puree, start with approximately 2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed strawberries (I used frozen). Heat berries and a tablespoon or two of sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, mashing them with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Cook the berries until they are very soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Blend the strawberries until smooth and strain to remove any large pieces.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and 1/3 cup of the strawberry puree; set aside.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

    With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

    Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes (mine only took about 15 minutes). Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

    For the frosting
    8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
    1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3-4 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 cup strawberry puree

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift in 3 cups of powdered sugar until well incorporated and fluffy. Add strawberry puree and beat to combine. Taste frosting and check for consistency, if a sweeter flavor or thicker texture is desired, sift in an additional cup or more of powdered sugar, to taste.

    Frost cooled cupcakes and store in the refrigerator until 15 minutes or so before serving.*

    *Once my frosting had came together, it was still a bit runny to hold up well to piping. I chilled my frosting in the mixing bowl for about an hour, then beat it again briefly before frosting. If you aren't going to pipe your frosting, you could skip this extra chill without any problem.

    I used an Ateco 869 French star tip to frost these cupcakes.


    1. These look like perfection! I could go for one right now.

    2. Even if they didn't come out exactly as you hoped, they are adorable!! And in case you want to try out another strawberry cuppie, Annie's Eats has a wonderful one! Cheers Hon!

    3. Just found your blog- adorable! These look like springtime. Yummy! Its fun to stumble upon a blogger from Lexington, I'll check out your jewelry next time I'm at Calypso...

    4. If there is perfection. This cupcake is the proof. They look so elegant and tasty too. I like the design of its toppings. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

    5. These are really pretty, I know they are cupcakes but they are just so nice looking didn't know what else to say to describe other than pretty. Nice job!

    6. Thanks for all the sweet comments, everyone!

      Nam, I've seen the two strawberry cupcake recipes Annie has posted before (I love her!) but they both use chopped strawberries and I'm not a fan of chunks of fruit in cupcakes and cakes. I might give them a try though! Thanks for the suggestion.

    7. Even if you didn't love them, they are super pretty! Thanks so much for sharing your link with me on Facebook!

      My Baking Addiction

    8. Wow this is the first time I have ever come across your site and you have such great recipes. Oh my, I am definitely gonna have to come back and read every blog post. lol.

    9. I love Valentine's Day desserts, and yours looks so, so delicious! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Valentine's Day Recipe Contest! You could win a GreenPan Stainless Steel Todd's Perfect Gourmet Cook Set!

    10. Well, they sure are pretty even if you didn't like the taste so much! Just curious...which tip did you use to pipe the icing?

    11. Thanks, Jenn!

      I used the Ateco 869 tip on these cupcakes (a VERY large French star tip).

    12. I absolutely love strawberry cupcakes! And these are gorgeous. I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at

    13. Mmm, strawberry was always my most requested cake when I was a kid. I still love the flavor today so I know I'd devour your cupcakes. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cupcakes up.

    14. Wow, I don't think I have ever had strawberry malt before? I was coming to get your chocolate malt cupcake recipe, because I saw the picture last night and can't stop thinking about them. So, I'm going to make them right now and take them into work tomorrow to share. I was wondering if you would mind sharing what tip you used on the chocolate malt ones? I was thinking a 1M, but then I decided it looks a little different? I saw you already commented about what tip you used for these cupcakes, which by the way look gorgeous. I have also been looking for an amazing strawberry cake recipe. I hate chunks of fruit too. If you ever find a perfect one, let me know! Thanks!

    15. Jenn, I used the Ateco 829 tip for the chocolate malt cupcakes. Ateco has GREAT large tips. They are all I use for regular size cupcakes. I can't recommend them enough.

    16. I saw this recipe and thought that they sounded perfect for my daughter's third birthday yesterday. Because of your comment about dryness I upped the strawberry puree to about 1 and 1/4 cups and added an extra half a stick of butter. They turned out PERFECT! Everyone was groaning with delight! Also, I just did a cream cheese icing, no straberry. Thanks for your blog, it's so cute and provided the perfect recipe for yesterday! =)

    17. WoW! love the frosting..=0 this really looks so yummy.=)

    18. Hi Amy

      your cream cheese frosting looks AMAZING!!!!...could you please let me know if you followed the frosting recipe exactly...i made this the other day and my frosting was runny and could not be piped.....i really want to get the consistency that you got in these pictures....please please help!


    19. Hi Lyn,

      If you noticed at the end of the directions for the frosting, I noted that mine was still a bit runny after I made the frosting so I chilled it for an hour and beat it again briefly before I frosted the cupcakes. You'll want your cream cheese and butter room temperature so they'll incorporate well in the frosting, but chilling the frosting before piping will help them firm up again so the frosting will have a stiffer consistency for piping. Also, I note that the recipe calls for 3-4 cups of powdered sugar and that you'll want to adjust that according to your preferences. I always start with 3 cups and usually end up adding 4 cups total, sometimes even a bit more.

      This frosting is based on only cream cheese frosting recipe I ever use and I always get so many compliments on the flavor. The texture is a lot more finicky than your typical buttercream if you plan to pipe it, especially this version with the addition of the strawberry puree. You'll want to chill the frosting prior to piping, add extra powdered sugar (if needed, you don't want to go overboard or it'll be too sweet), and make sure you keep the cupcakes chilled until just before serving so the frosting doesn't start to soften too much. I hope that helps!

    20. Really you post is deserve to appreciation for this posting on it.

    21. I just can't believe it that will ready in 25-30 minutes only.

    22. They do look beautiful! But thanks for being so honest on not loving the taste. You are a true baker! Just found your site yesterday and I love it!

    23. I stumbled upon these cupcakes whilst looking for something to make for a school fundraiser........boy was I 48 this is the first time I was able to bake non-fruit cake that did not have a great big fat sink in the middle. It was a total success.....frosting is so easy I whipped it up in a few minutes!!! Thank you sooooooooo much for sharing

    24. Hi Amy,
      thank you for posting this recipe I've been on a hunt for strawberry cupcake recipe using fresh strawberries and here it is! I took the directions you gave for Lyn on 7/13/11 and still had the same problems. The cream cheese and butter was left to room temp for a couple hrs, I put 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, and put the frosting in the fridge over night. It still wasn't still enough to pipe as pretty as shown on your pictures. I didn't want to add anymore sugar because it was already sweet enough. What am I doing wrong? help!



      1. I'm sorry you had trouble with the frosting. Adding additional powdered sugar is really the easiest way to stiffen up the frosting. It's been so long since I made the original recipe, I can't remember if I myself used more than 4 cups powdered sugar in the frosting, but it's possible that I added extra powdered sugar. If you don't want to add additional sugar, you'll need to decrease the amount of liquid (strawberry puree) in the frosting to thicken it up since refrigerating didn't seem to help for you. One final option I can think of is to try cooking your strawberry puree longer to evaporate more liquid so it'll be thicker.

    25. I had the same problem. It was WAY too runny to pipe, and if I added any more confectioners sugar it would be way to sweet, as it already was sweet. I enjoyed the cake, but the frosting didn't work out. I would suggest saying on the recipe to make the frosting the day before the event or whatever your bringing the cupcakes to, and the chill in the fridge overnight.
      Thank you for the recipe thought, it was worth trying.

    26. I've made this strawberry cake as cupcakes and cake. It is a dense, moist cake that didn't dry out. We ate the cupcakes for several days. I frosted them with the same frosting you make, 3 cups powdered sugar - max, but I don't pipe my frosting. I tried 1 1/2 sticks butter and a little more powdered sugar and it was a little thicker, but I prefer the taste with less butter and less sugar.

    27. I made this cake this morning, for myself! Its amazing! Thank you!!


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