Pink Lady Cupcakes
A certain little girl in my household loves strawberries and the color pink. This cake is a natural for her birthday.
Tasting notes: Very tender, delicate cake, great flavor, but with not as much *strawberry* flavor as I'd wanted. And natural flavorings are hard to come by, at least obscure ones like strawberry. I found strawberry oil locally, but would have to drive out to Gilbert to get it... trying to decide if it's worth it and if I have the time to do so.
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 c cornstarch
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar (bakers get bonuses for using vanilla sugar!)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 c pureed strawberries, from about 2 c whole berries
3 Tbsp liquid from canned unsalted beets*
1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two 12-cup muffin tins or line with muffin papers. Combine dry ingredients, whisk to mix, and set aside.
Whip butter in stand mixer with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add sugar; mix 1-2 minutes or until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs; beat 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add vanilla, strawberry puree and beet juice; beat until well combined. Add half of flour and half of milk, beating between additions; add other half. Beat until light and fluffy.
Divide batter among prepared muffin tins. Bake 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then frost and decorate.**
*Because the batter just didn't look pink enough without it, and we don't use artificial dye. It doesn't flavor the batter, don't worry.
**With pink frosting, no doubt. I haven't decided on a recipe yet, but will post it here when I do.