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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Say that  10 times fast. Dare ya.  I can barely get through it once. Slowly. English, my friends, is not my native language as it turns out – gibberish and monosyllabic noises before coffee are.

I decided last Saturday morning I wanted to make something that would use up the until recently frozen strawberries that didn’t quite survive the trip down from Sacramento for smoothies. After watching Giada at Home and the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, I settled on strawberry shortcake.

I’ve only ever had strawberry shortcake once, and that was a few years ago for a friend’s birthday (who was shocked I made it 20 years without having the dessert), but the thing that left the biggest impression for me was how messy the dessert was. So I knew I didn’t want a traditional version of strawberry shortcake.

I remembered the trend from a few years ago of CUPCAKE EVERYTHING! ™ so I figured someone, somewhere had made the flavor combination into a cupcake. I originally asked on twitter because I couldn’t really find a recipe that sound right and I am, by no means, a recipe developer. But then after a series of different Google word searches, I found Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy’s recipe for strawberry shortcake cupcakes. Which even though there were multiple steps and it still wasn’t quite what I was looking for – I wanted the strawberries mixed into the cupcake itself – I went with it because I’ve heard wonderful things about the blog.

Everything went together quickly, the longest parts of the recipe were the down times in waiting for the strawberry gelée to chill and firm up and then waiting for the cupcakes themselves to chill so I could cut them open and remove some of their innards.

I got two dozen regular sized cupcakes and a dozen mini cupcakes out of the Magnolia Bakery recipe I don’t know if I didn’t fill the cups up enough or what, but they still turned out deliciously and the mini cupcakes were so. cute.  Once again showing that everything miniature is adorable.

I combined two different frosting recipes  for the frosting, I’m sure the original recipe from SGCC is delicious but I didn’t want to use butter when it’s as hot as Hades outside so I found a recipe that used the mascarpone cheese with heavy cream instead from justJenn. It was my first time making mascarpone frosting, I’m not a huge frosting kinda gal, so I’m not sure what exactly went wrong but the cheese wouldn’t fully mix into the whipped cream. Once it was piped on to the cupcakes and warmed up you couldn’t tell and it still tasted delicious – we ate the leftovers with spoons : ).

Are you supposed to let the mascarpone come up to room temperature before mixing it in to whipped cream? I’m going to try that next time to see if it helps with the incorporation to the whipped cream.

Next time I make these I’m going to make them even BETTER. How you ask? Funky cupcake liners. Mine, as you can see, are plain white from a restaurant supply store. $6 for a LIFE TIME SUPPLY(or like 600 cupcakes – which ever comes first) , I can’t help myself. But next time, friends, I’m going funky. I think strawberry cupcake liners would be fun, no?

Not only are these less messy than the original dessert, they are perfect for picnics because you don’t have to lug around plates, forks or knives. Just serve on napkins :).

When I went to take pictures outside, our chickens who are used to getting treats (mostly vegetable/bread scraps from the day) when we walk out the back door, came running and totally wanted some of the cupcakes. So these cupcakes are chicken approved :). We ended up feeding them the cupcake innards which were a big hit with the Ladies.

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Strawberry Gelée
From Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy

1 cup strawberry puree
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 (.1 oz, 4 g) envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup diced, fresh strawberries

In a small pot over medium heat combine puree with sugar stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture just begins to bubble. Remove from heat and add in lemon juice.

Pour gelatin into a medium sized bowl that will fit into your fridge  and pour the 2 tablespoons of water over it. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add in diced fresh strawberries and puree mixture to the gelatin. Stir until all the gelatin is dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge until firm.

Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cupcakes
From Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I did 1.5 tsp, cause I do that)

Preheat oven to 350. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with your favorite liners. If needed – line one 12-cup mini muffin tin.

In a large bowl combine both flours and set aside. In a large measuring cup combine the milk and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter until light and fluffy then slowly add in sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes. Add eggs in one at a time fully incorporating the egg into the sugar-butter mixture and scraping down the sides after each addition.

Slowly add in a third of the flour mixture. Add in a third of the milk mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat two more times. On the last addition mix until just incorporated – be careful to not over mix the batter.

Divide the batter equally among the cupcake liners, filling each cup about a 3/4 of the way. I used a regular ice cream scoop and that worked out well for me (if you don’t want domed cupcakes).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. For the mini cupcakes bake about 8-10 minutes rotating halfway through.

Cool in muffin tin for 15 minutes and then remove to wire cooling rack.

Once cooled, use a paring knife to cut a out the middle of the cupcake – being careful to not cut through the sides or the bottoms. Remove the top of the cupcake from the core of the cupcakes. Fill the center of each cupcake with a teaspoon or so of filling. Replace the top of cupcake onto the filled hole.

Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
Adapted from SGCC and justJenn

8 ounces mascarpone cheese
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, pureed
2 tablespoons strawberry jam

Using an immersion blender (or blender, or small work bowl for a food processor) puree the strawberries and jam together. Mix in mascarpone cheese. (I would now puree the strawberries, cheese and jam together to make sure it was all the same consistency).

In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip on high the heavy whipping cream and vanilla to almost stiff peaks. Add in the puree, jam and cheese mixture to the whipped cream and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Put mixture into a pipping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe onto the filled cupcakes.

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