This past weekend my family and I went to Cullipher Farm Market in Pungo. If you live any where in Hampton Roads, you must visit this family farm. Not only do they consistently have the best produce and prices, they are amazingly helpful, courteous, and genuinely nice. We love stopping by there on the way to visit my father-in-law.
While we were at Cullipher's, I bought a few containers of strawberries. I also bought a giant zucchini for a future post. These cupcakes don't have an overwhelming taste of strawberry. I would have preferred them with homemade sweetened whipped cream but I forgot to buy heavy cream at the store. These were topped with vanilla buttercream and garnished with a strawberry in syrup.
Looking at the picture you can see that I decided to go with a simple, casual look this week. Not everyone has decorating tips and piping bags. I used a spatula to spread on the icing. My husband very politely let me know that these cupcakes were not up to my usual standard of decorating. I tried to explain to him that there is nothing wrong with a homemade look but he didn't get it. It's the thought (and the taste) that matters. I believe he even told me that after the "Leaning Tower of Pisa Banana Cake" incident. Oh well. I hope you enjoy the laid back approach. If you are one of the many sweet lovers that doesn't have decorating tools, please check out the giveaway going on now. You only have till midnight tomorrow to enter for your chance to win.
(makes approx. 24 regular cupcakes)
2/3 cups butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup half and half
2 cups sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries until they are almost smooth but some small pieces are still visible. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add flour mixture, a third at a time, alternating with the half and half. Beat well after each addition. Add strawberry puree and mix just until blended.
Fill liner ¾ of the way with batter. Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
½ cup half and half
In a large bowl, mix together shortening, salt, vanilla, and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add in remaining sugar, 2 cups at a time and alternate with half and half. Add more half and half to thin and more sugar to thicken the icing, if needed. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.
6 medium strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons sugar
Place quartered strawberries in a bowl. Stir in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, at least 1 hour. Add strawberry garnish to cupcake just before serving.