It’s official, strawberries are THE best berries.
Raspberries are a close second (if any of you say blueberries then we can’t be friends).
Every time I eat one I remember being at my nanny’s house, sitting in the kitchen and eating a bowlful of sliced strawbs with a sprinkling of granulated sugar. Ugh, it was the best.
Fresh strawberry buttercream is like eating a slice of summer. It tastes SO fresh. Why anyone would use strawberry flavourings (apart from when they’re out of season) is a mystery to me.
Though the vanilla cupcakes may seem a bit basic, they are the perfect vehicles for this outstanding strawberry buttercream. Simply swirl it on the top, add a sliced strawb and enjoy the sunshine!
Strawberry & Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 170g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 170g caster sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 170g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2-4 tbsp milk
For the strawberry buttercream:
- 125g unsalted butter
- 250g icing sugar
- 2 handfuls of fresh strawberries (plus extra to decorate)
- Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC (fan) and line a 12-holed muffin tin with muffin cases.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, for a few minutes until it is pale. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
- Whisk the flour and baking powder together, then fold in half to the cake mixture, repeat with the other half. Now add the vanilla extract and milk and fold in again.
- Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes until a skewer, inserted into the middle of a cupcake, comes out clean.
- Once baked, pop the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack. While they are cooling, make the buttercream by taking the stalks off the strawberries and placing the fruit into a food processor, or blender, and pulse into a purée (you can also do this by hand by mushing them with a fork and pushing through a sieve). Set the strawberry purée to one side.
- Weigh out the icing sugar and set to one side. Now beat the butter in a large mixing bowl (you can do this by hand, but i’d recommend an electric whisk). Add half the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time to the buttercream and beat well. Then add 3-4 tablespoons of the strawberry purée and the rest of the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time until well incorporated and stiff. If your buttercream is too runny you may need some more icing sugar.
- Spoon, or pipe, the buttercream on the top of each cupcake and then, when you’re ready to serve, decorate with half a fresh strawberry.