Sunday, January 17, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

If you want something easy and fun to make, you'll love this! It's rich, but not chocolate--fruity, but not super-sweet. I love it! This recipe makes 12 extra-large cupcakes. (I'm in love with my jumbo sized pans!)

These cupcakes are made with old-fashioned hot milk sponge cake batter, with hot milk beaten into whipped eggs. Before they are filled, these can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to a month. You can take out as many cupcakes as you need and defrost them still in their wrapping for a quick dessert! The quantities I give are for 1/2 cup strawberries and 1/2 cup whipped cream for each cupcake, but you can adjust it as you like it.

2/3 c. milk (whole milk is best)
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Filling and topping (If you don't want to make this whipped topping, you could also you Dreamwhip)
8 c stemmed and sliced strawberries
1/3 c. granulated sugar
3 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (make sure rack is in center of oven) and line 12 extra-large muffin tin cups with large paper liners or spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the Cupcakes: Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat just until it is hot; Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color (about 3 minutes). Stop mixer and scrape the sides to make sure you get it all! :) Mix in the vanilla and almond. On low speed, mix in the flour mixture and then slowly add the hot milk and continue mixing about 30 more seconds. (Don't freak, the batter will be thin)

Fill each paper liner only about 1/2 full. Bake until top feels firm and toothpick comes out clean (about 16 minutes). Let them cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove them and let them cool completely. Remove liners (if you used them). They should look spongey! Like This!
You will slice the cupcakes into thirds like this, and stack the cream and strawberries in between.
In large bowl, stir together the sliced strawberries and sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. (Juice will be released and it will shrink to about 6 cups)

To make the cream, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form like these.
Until then, happy cooking!!

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