I know that it’s winter here in Melbourne. Living, as I do, in the hills, it gets cold here. We have a wood fire and piles of wood ready to be burnt, and as the weather gets colder I’m increasingly appreciative of our ducted heating system. Sometimes, all you want to do is snuggle down in bed for a few more
However, when it’s sunny outside and there are local strawberries for sale and you want to play pretend, summer is not a bad season to pretend to be in. Especially when all the American food blogs are talking about strawberries, cherries, barbeques and summer dresses.
I like winter. I do. But sometimes, you just gotta go with the summertime flow.
So I bought the strawberries, knowing that there would be a few gunky ones – more than a few, I think I was able to use about half of them – and decided to bake them in cupcakes. When it’s summer and the berries are amazing, I’m guessing you’d just roast them maybe, or make jam or even just eat them straight out of the punnet – but it being winter, I thought cupcakes were in order.
Contrary to some opinion, I don’t think that a muffin is a bald cupcake. I’m not saying they’re good for you, I just think that muffins have a different texture, a different feel. However, cupcakes definitely need a little something on top. And so, I decided to make some buttercream.
Mind you, it being almost seven and time to go meet some friends for pizza and camp prep sesh (yay for camp! yay for hanging out with kids for two weeks! yay for sleep deprivation! wait. What? Oh yeah, cupcakes.) I decided it had to be quick buttercream, one quartered from that goddess of cake decoration, i am baker.
And then I took them to said meeting and they were gobbled up quickly. Yum.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I halved this recipe because I only had a punnet of strawberries, and I used a plain and spelt flour combination because I’m quite fond of spelt at the moment. I also diced the strawberries and folded them through the batter.
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup flour (I swapped in half a cup for wholemeal spelt. Good Idea)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g strawberries, diced
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and put cupcake liners into a muffin tin. I only made seven cupcakes out of this recipe.
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and beat until silky smooth.
Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add gradually while beating until just incorporated. Gently fold in the diced strawberries.
Divide among your cupcake liners. You want them to be in between three quarters and fully loaded. Bake for five minutes on 180 degrees, then lower to 160 degrees and bake another fifteen or so minutes. Cool in the pan and then unpan them and ice them. (I put them in the fridge for a few minutes to cool right down.)
Quick Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from i am baker
I, as I mentioned, quartered this recipe, which originally would have been able to frost two eight inch (20 cm) cakes. I still had leftovers.
65 g butter
1-2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rosewater (This was my addition – a pink flavour to compliment the pink strawberry cupcakes)
Put the butter, milk, vanilla and half a cup of the icing sugar into your mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the sugar while beating, until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency. You may not need all the sugar.