Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Another fantastic recipe using one of my favorite fruits, the strawberry. These are essentially vanilla cupcakes topped with a buttercream frosting that has been jazzed up with strawberry jam. The cupcakes are definitely good, these were a bit more dense than I’d like. I generally prefer a more moist and cakey crumb, (like this beauty) but the real gem here is the frosting. Mixing jam into buttercream for taste and color? Brilliant. These would be great for a 4th of July dessert!

from: Food & Wine
makes: 12 cupcakes

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup milk, at room temperature

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Strawberry jam, to taste (I used Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves)

For the cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the eggs and vanilla extract with a hand-held mixer at medium-high speed, until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and oil and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the dry ingredients and milk in 3 alternating batches, beating between each addition.

Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling each 2/3 full.

Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven until they are springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 For the frosting

In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and salt, and beat at low speed just until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the milk or heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Mix the frosting with the strawberry jam to taste. Using a small offset spatula, frost the cupcakes, and top them with a small strawberry, or a few strawberry slices. Serve.

Make ahead: Unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The white buttercream frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days. Return to room temperature before adding the strawberry preserves.

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