jubilee celebration cupcakes: a taste of summer with strawberries and cream

strawberries and cream cupcakes
 I have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to come up with an idea for a cupcake to celebrate our dear old maj's Diamond Jubilee. I can't say that I am a fan of the Royals as such, although the Queen herself doesn't seem to be a bad old bird. However, in a recent argument about whether we should have an elected figurehead rather than a heredity one, a friend clinched it for me by not only suggesting that there was a whole load of talentless z-list celebrities who would just love to wear the crown, but had two words for me . . . Margaret Thatcher (shudder).

So in grateful thanks that at least the Queen's 60 years have spared us that indignity, I decided I would make a cupcake that was suitably British and full of the joy of summer flavours.

mottled icing!
I do love strawberries and English strawberries are intensely sweet and juicy. Sadly their season is short (much like the average British summer) so I thought I should take advantage of them as soon as possible. Although I am delighted to report that my wild strawberry plants are actually bearing fruit this year. Hurrah!

buttercream and sprinkles
My strawberries and cream cupcakes are not the prettiest of cakes. Not the cake's fault but mine. I have yet to master the art of icing and in my haste to decorate the cakes, forgot to drain the strawberries from their kirsch, which is why they look a little mottled. They still tasted delicious though!

Makes about 15 cupcakes
Skill level: Easy

ingredients:
225g butter, at room temperature
225g vanilla caster sugar
½ - 1 tsp vanilla extract
4 x large eggs
235g self-raising flour, sifted (you can replace 25g of the flour with ground almonds or cornflour)
1 tsp baking powder
100g English strawberries, chopped (reserve any juice)

macerated strawberries
10 strawberries, halved
2-3 tbsp kirsch

glacé icing
125g icing sugar
1 tbsp strawberry juice (or warm water and a few drops of pink food dye)

strawberry butter cream icing
110g unsalted butter
60ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted
4 tbsp strawberry jam (you need a good quality one, full of fruit - I used Bonne Maman)
sprinkles, to decorate

directions:
  1. Macerate the strawberries in the kirsch overnight in the fridge. Make sure they are turned a couple of times to make sure the strawberries absorb all the fruit flavour of the kirsch.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  3. Line at least one 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases. (You will probably have enough batter mix to bake about 15 cupcakes.)
  4. Cream the butter before adding the sugar. Continue to beat until the sugar has been absorbed and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Beat the eggs together and add to the butter and sugar mixture, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla essence and then the sifted flour and baking powder. Beat until well-combined.
  7. Stir in the chopped strawberries, but not the strawberry juice.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. They need to be about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove the muffin tins from the oven and leave to cool for ten minutes before removing the cupcakes and placing on a wire cake wrack to cool.
  10. Make the glacé icing by gradually adding the strawberry juice or warm water until the icing becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If necessary, add more water (a drop at a time) or icing sugar to adjust the consistency.
  11. Alternatively make the butter cream icing by combining all the ingredients.
  12. Ice the cakes to your liking.
  13. Top with drained, macerated strawberries or decorative cake sprinkles.

tip:
  • If you can't get enough of the strawberry flavour, add a little strawberry jam to the cupcakes once they have cooled. Make a small hole in the centre of each cupcake and add some of the warmed jam into the centre of each cake, before decorating with butter cream icing.

1 comment:

  1. These little cakes are SO pretty Rachel....and I love your cake stant too.....You can't beat strawberries and cream as a summer flavour combination! Karen

    ReplyDelete

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