strawberries and cream cupcakes


May celebrations continued with my birthday this past week. I love strawberries, and the local farm stands are now overflowing with sweetly scented berries. I turned a few baskets into a gorgeous puree that is added to the batter and topping of these strawberries and cream cupcakes. A spoonful or two of balsamic vinegar adds tenderness and intensifies the essence of the berries. Top with fresh sliced berries for a pretty look, and if you have extra berries, make a strawberry tart!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Adapted from Raley’s
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups cake flour*
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pureed fresh strawberries
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
3 Tbsp pureed fresh strawberries

*To make your own cake flour, place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg whites; beat until combined.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together pureed berries, sour cream, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and beat just until combined. Add berry mixture, then finish with remaining flour mixture.

Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 2 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Holding an edge of each liner, carefully lift the cupcakes from the pan and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare topping, whip heavy cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixture on medium speed just until stiff peaks form. Fold in pureed berries and divide topping evenly among cupcakes. Refrigerate cupcakes up to overnight in airtight containers.

Yield – 14 cupcakes (serving size: 1 cupcake)
Calories – 210
Carbs – 24

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