Special Strawberry Cupcakes...for a very special day.

One of my best friends, Allison (who I have a long history of cooking with) had a very big day last week. It was her birthday and to her surprise, she was proposed to as well. We have cooked in everywhere from our dorm at college to a class in Italy and made cookbooks to journal our adventures as well. So for this day, I decided to make some fresh strawberry cupcakes that are acclaimed as the Sprinkles' recipe for strawberry cupcakes and icing on Martha Stewart's website.

Now I have to say Martha, I think you have been a little bit duped. When I first saw how they turned out, I could tell immediately the icing did not look the same as the cupcakes I have had at Sprinkle's bakery. However, whatever recipe they are, they were a hit! The cupcakes are barely sweet, which ends up being a perfect compliment to the very sweet and refreshing strawberry icing.

I can't tell which was more of a challenge, the seemingly endless steps and bowls used to make these (which only produced 11 cupcakes by the way... okay okay, maybe it could have been 12 if I hadn't helped myself to some of the delicious batter) or trying to keep them in tip top shape on my journey to Austin. But, as you can can see, they made it!

This is the first post of a category I will feature on here: Labor of Love Recipes. For the most part, I like to write about quick and easy recipes. These were definitely not quick or extremely easy. However, these kinds of recipes are definitely worth making if one of the following circumstances is true: it is for a very special occasion, the taste is worth the time, or it is for very special company. In this case, all three were true!

Strawberry Cupcakes
Sprinkles Recipe on Martha Stewart Website
Recipe Notes: 
This recipe got mixed reviews on Martha's website. Some said they did not get great results, but others raved about it. I will suggest having the ingredients exactly as they say. For example, butter at room temperature as well as milk and eggs. Also, I used fresh strawberries for the cupcakes and frozen for the icing. I highly recommend these for a special occasion!
Ingredients for cupcakes
2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

Ingredients for Strawberry Icing
1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions for Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

3. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed.

4. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

6. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.

7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.

8. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy.

9. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

10. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended.

11. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended.

12. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

13. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

14. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. 

15. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

Directions for Icing
1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined.

4. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.

5. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air.

6. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Have extra strawberry puree?  Put it in a freezer bag with the date.  
Add to smoothies or other breads within 3 months.


  1. Ashlea, you are a super star! So proud of you and this blog!! Martha would for sure be proud!

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