Jill, from JBean Cuisine was our hostess this month for What's Baking, and chose the theme of Baking with Fresh Herbs. I'll admit that I don't use fresh herbs nearly as much as I should in cooking and baking, but I'm hoping to get some plants going on my patio so that shouldn't be a problem in the near future!
For this challenge, I started thinking about what herbs I could use in some sort of a dessert (because you know I love to bake desserts for these challenges!), and I decided to look for something with strawberry and basil, since that is such an amazing flavor combo. It didn't take much searching to come across this recipe for Strawberry-Basil Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream - YUM!! As if the cupcake itself didn't sound delicious enough, throw in the word lemon and I am definitely on board!!
I had a long day yesterday and to be honest, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was be in the kitchen baking...but I pushed through the laziness and by 11pm, these puppies were baked, cooled, and iced!! After tasting one, it was definitely worth the effort and my co-workers are super glad to see them in the office this morning!
Thanks to Jill for a great theme!! I am the lucky hostess for next month's What's Baking challenge, and since there are so many wonderful fruits in season, I chose Summer Fruits for the theme! I can't wait to see what all the ladies come up with!
Strawberry-Basil Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
Source: Runs with Spatulas
- 3 sticks (24 Tbsp) butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 1/2 cups cake flour
- 5 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
- 8 egg whites (1 pint if using a carton)
- 2/3 cup milk
- 5 fresh basil leaves, minced
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 sticks (16 Tbsp) butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the strawberry puree.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly, and in batches, add the flour to the butter mixture. Once incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes until once again it looks light and fluffy. Mixture will be thick.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk. Add the mixture to the batter in two or three additions, mixing just enough to incorporate between each addition. Add in the basil, again mixing only enough to incorporate throughout the batter.
- Fill the baking cups about 2/3 full of batter and bake the cupcakes for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, use a large mixing bowl to beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until fully incorporated.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with the tip of your choice or a spatula, and ENJOY!!