Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes: Moist cupcakes flavored with strawberry nectar and topped with delicious Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
I keep going and sitting down with my laptop hoping something will pour out of me.
But it doesn’t.
I’m mostly just numb.
We are now in a world where if your old enough Duck and Cover will pop into your head. A world where nuclear threat is real again.
A world where I don’t feel safe.
Even after 9/11 when President Bush came out and spoke he calmed me. I felt we would be okay.
Now after every time our current President speaks I think better eat as much bacon and cinnamon rolls as I want and hug my husband and dogs tight because this may be it.
Then this weekend happened.
I honestly can’t gather words to talk about the direction the country is going.
So instead I’ll make buttercream. Because buttercream makes everything better.
- For the cupcakes:
- 12 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup Strawberry Nectar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- For the Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 7 large egg whites
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened but still cold
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries, crushed finely
- For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray cupcake pan with baking spray or line with cupcake liners.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
- Combine the dry ingredients into a small bowl.
- Add half the dry ingredients and mix on low.
- Add the Strawberry Nectar and beat until combined.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Add the buttermilk and mix well until fully combined.
- Remove from mixer.
- Scrape the bottom, and sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is well mixed.
- Fill prepared pan 2/3 of the way for each cupcake spot.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
- For the buttercream:
- In a medium pot, bring about an inch of water to a simmer.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the stainless steel mixing bowl from your stand mixer.
- Add 7 egg whites and 2 cups sugar and whisk together.
- Place mixing bowl over pot of barely simmering water, creating a seal over the pot (bowl should be over the steam, not touching water).
- Whisk constantly until mixture reaches 160˚F.
- Sugar should be fully dissolved (you should not feel any sugar granules when rubbing mixture between finger tips). Mixture will feel hot to the touch.
- Wipe water from bottom of mixing bowl and transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
- Beat on medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks form (about 15-20 min) and bottom of the bowl feels completely at room temp and not warm (important: warm meringue will melt the butter).
- Once bowl is at room temp, switch to paddle attachment, reduce to medium speed and add butter 1 Tbsp at a time, adding it just as fast as it is absorbed by meringue.
- Once all butter is in, scrape down the bowl and continue beating until it reaches a thick whipped consistency (3 min on med-high speed). If it looks lumpy or liquidy at all, keep beating until smooth, thick and whipped. Don’t panic it comes together.
- Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and ¼ tsp salt and mix on med-high until incorporated.
- Add the freeze dried strawberries and whip until incorporated.