Strawberry Cupcakes and a Marzipan Decoration

 

 

This is my all time favorite cupcake recipe. Not only is it light and fruity, but the icing is made with real strawberries!

 

 I got the idea to try this one from Martha Stewart. Well, not her personally, but from her cupcake cookbook that I recieved as a birthday gift. This cupcake recipe is also listed on the Martha Stewart website. This recipe is listed as one of her personal favorites from one of the cupcake shops she likes to go to, and now I can see why!In addition, I’ve decorated the cupcakes with home made marzipan strawberries. These are fun and easy to make, and since marzipan can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months, they’re ideal for using as decorations on cakes and cupcakes. I suggest making the decorations a few days ahead, that way you can allow them to become slightly more solid.I’ve only added in a few changes to this recipe, I will include those in brackets.So let’s ge to the cup cake baking, shall we?

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 dozen)

  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (I use whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature (I use 1%)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup white, and 1/2 cup brown)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting (Recipe below!)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  • Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed.
  • You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and 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. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

***

STRAWBERRY ICING

Ingredients:

Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes

(note: you can cut this recipe in half, and spread a thinner icing per cupcake. I found with half of this icing recipe, there was more than enough icing left over.)

  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method:

  • Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

***

Here is the basic recipe for a no-fail marzipan.

Marzipan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

(optional: you can add 1 tsp vanilla, almond or maple extract to play with the flavors! I used vanilla extract for my marzipan. Also, you can add 1 tsp of cocoa powder for a chocolate marzipan!)

Method:

  • Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet.
  • Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water. Place the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes.
  • Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  • Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy.
  • Stir in the ground almonds and the egg whites, the place back over low heat and stir for 2 minutes more until the mixture is thick.
  • Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch.
  • Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant. Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping it in an airtight container.

NOTE: to colour marzipan, pull off the desired amount you want to colour, and add 1-2 drops of food colouring and knead like dough until the colour is worked all of the way through.

I got this recipe here.

Now for some pretty pictures of the above recipes taken by yours truly! 🙂

The finished product, with a marzipan strawberry garnish!
marzipan strawberries, waiting to be put on the cupcakes

marzipan strawberries, waiting to be put on the cupcakes

there's a random marzipan ladybug.. :)

there's a random marzipan ladybug.. 🙂

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