Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
1 2/3 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree*
1/4 cup buttermilk**
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 drops red food coloring
3/4 cup diced strawberries
Diced and whole strawberries for topping
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup salted butter
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift cake flour into a mixing bowl then add baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk 20 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and granluated sugar until pale and fluffy . Mix in egg then mix in egg whites one at a time. In liquid measuring cup used to measure buttermilk, whisk together the buttermilk, 1/3 cup strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with half of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Fold in the 3/4 cup diced strawberries. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full . Bake in preheated oven 20 - 23 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Add 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree to a small saucepan. Heat mixture over medium-low heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced by about 2/3 to 3 Tbsp, about 10 - 14 minutes . Pour reduced puree into a small bowl, then freeze until cool . In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip unsalted and salted butter until very pale and fluffy . Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar, then blend in 3 Tbsp reduced strawberry puree, vanilla extract, and optional red food coloring. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and continue to mix until frosting is pale and fluffy, adding in an additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar if needed to reach desired consistency.
Place a small mound of small diced strawberries on top center of cupcakes. Pipe frosting around and over berries then decorate with a whole small strawberry. Store cupcakes in an airtight container. .