Thursday, 25 September 2014

Strawberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes

Sweet and fruity strawberry swirled cupcakes topped with luxurious, creamy white chocolate buttercream. Perfect comfort food for the autumn nights!

What a good week this has been! I have successfully finished my first week at my new job (well, it's a year long unpaid placement...), Martin has finally handed in his dissertation so has completed his MSc and tomorrow my best friend is moving back to our flat in Cardiff aaaall the way from London and I am so excited because I haven't seen her in FOUR WHOLE MONTHS!! Meaning of course I had to make some celebratory cupcakes for her to come home to...

I had been craving white chocolate all week. I bought a giant bar to use for my blondies earlier in the week but decided not to use it so it has been sitting in my cupboard staring at me. Tempting me. Begging me to bake. Would have been rude not to! I've wanted to make raspberry ripple white chocolate cupcakes for months now (watch this space!) but haven't got round to it and that kind of inspired these little beauties. There were some strawberries starting to go a bit bad in the fridge so rather see them go to waste for the sake of using raspberries I replaced the raspberries in my plan for the strawberries. Also, my last strawberry cupcakes are one of the most popular recipes on my blog so people obviously love strawberries!! I wanted them to be different from my previous strawberry cupcakes so I put a handful of strawberries in a food processor then swirled the chunky puree into my cake batter. The end result was a light strawberry flavour, more like a very pleasant aftertaste, and some lovely mouthfuls of slightly stronger strawberry. 

The white chocolate buttercream was made in a bit of a mad rush and I honestly didn't know how it would turn out as I didn't fancy any of the recipes I had seen on pinterest so I just winged it. And my word, was it delicious! Not to mention ridiculously easy: normal buttercream recipe with melted white chocolate folded in. Add as much as you want depending on the flavour you are after. It piped on absolutely beautifully and had such a lovely consistency as well as the mouthwatering, creamy taste. I personally would add MORE white chocolate next time I make it, because I am a firm believer of more=better (with most add ins like sprinkles or chocolate chips). So please feel free to adjust quantities of white chocolate or strawberries to achieve your perfect flavour. In fact, this applies to most of my recipes. Stick to the quantities for the main part of the recipe (flour, butter, egg etc) but go nuts with add ins!!

Ingredients: (makes about 10 medium sized cupcakes - recipe is easily doubled)


100g self raising flour, sifted
100g butter, softened to room temperature
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps milk, preferably whole/full-fat (always best for cooking)
big handful of strawberries (I used about 7 small-ish strawberries, wouldn't recommend using less but using more would undoubtedly be delicious)


75g slightly salted butter, softened 
200g icing sugar, sifted
100g white chocolate 
1 heaped tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 180c and prepare a muffin tray with cupcake liners. I used my new "sixties teatime" cases, they are adorable but unfortunately aren't very thick. 

2. Wash and prepare your strawberries by cutting off the stalks and cutting any big ones in half. Put in a food processor and blitz until pureed but still slightly chunky. Fruity chunks are what make these cupcakes.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, honestly you can't beat it enough - the fluffier the better! Then add the eggs 1 at a time along with the vanilla and whisk until combined before adding the flour and folding in gradually. Once you have a smooth, combined mixture stir in the milk until fully incorporated then carefully swirl in your strawberries!

4. Pop 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each cupcake case or fill to approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the top is golden and springy to the touch and a toothpick or a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

5. Melt the chocolate before starting the buttercream to give it time to cool. The best way I think is to melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn't touch the water! You can, of course, melt it in a microwave but be careful of burning! Melt in 20 second bursts stirring in between until most but not all of the chocolate has melted. Keep stirring and let the rest melt in the heat.

6. Next, prepare the buttercream. Start by beating the butter until soft and fluffy and easier to work with, it's easiest to cut the butter into cubes. This is far easier with a stand mixer, no doubt but if I can do it with a wooden spoon so can you! Gradually add in the icing sugar around half a cup at a time I find works best for me without making a humongous mess. Once the chocolate has slightly cooled, stir into the mixture with the vanilla until combined.

7. Level any cupcakes that are a bit too domed (and eat the tops, it's the only way!!), pop a Wilton 1M tip into a piping bag and fill with buttercream. Pipe lots of luscious swirls on top of your cupcakes, you could even top with a strawberry chunk or pink sprinkles!

Hope you enjoy these super easy and quick cupcakes! Surely the strawberries count as 1 of your 5 a day? All the more reason to get baking...

Teri x

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